Solar panels can lose anywhere from 10%-20% of their power generating capabilities after the first year. From our observation a UV blocking film of dirt develops over the glass panels. Start adding pollen, bird droppings, road traffic, or salt if near the ocean, you can start to seriously diminish you return of your investment in the solar panels on your home or building.
The safest and most thorough way to clean a solar panel is to use de-ionized water. This is created by running water through a series of filters to remove all of it’s impurities. This type of water will dry 99.9% spot free since all of its impurities have been removed. There are DI systems that can run through a waterfed pole with a soft brush on the end. The DI water will run through the pole, out of the brush, and on to the panel. With a gentle motion of the brush and a DI water rinse, the panel will become perfectly clean.
The Right Technique For Every Job
Some panels may need a slightly more aggressive cleaning. Check out our video to see a large solar panel farm that has been invaded by bird droppings. Since there are so many panels in would not be cost efficient to clean them with DI water. The filters for DI water can be expensive which can account for a major portion of the cleaning bill. Different processes to produce deionized water include reverse osmosis, microfiltration, carbon filtration, ultrafiltration, electrodialysis, and ultraviolet oxidation. The bottom line is that if the photovoltaic cells, or solar cells, are getting diminished sunlight exposure, they will not produce the energy intended.
To have a cost effective solar panel maintenance program it may be sufficient to clean the panels with a non-caustic cleaner to loosen some solid debris. A gentle low-pressure rinse is a safe and effective way to release most of the major stains on a panel. Water softeners and rinsing agents can be added to detergents to provide a generally spot free rinse. DI water gives a most thorough spot free finish, but this alternative method of low-pressure washing can be more than efficient and still leave money in the budget for next years cleaning.
Solar panels are durable and are designed to withstand years of harsh outside elements such as wind, rain, and snow. We understand that it doesn’t make much sense to spend your energy savings on the cleaning of the panels. Call us for a free evaluation and let us help you find an affordable way to keep your panels running efficiently without draining your wallet.