As summer sets in with earnest, now is about the time many homes are enjoying the full potential of their solar power.
But did you know clean solar panels are more energy efficient? Here’s a guide to cleaning solar panels, and why it should be part of your annual roof and gutter clean.
Grime reduces output
Just as you clean your windows on a regular basis, a solar panel clean should also be on your annual to-do list. Research indicates a build-up of dirt, grime and animal droppings can reduce the output of solar panels, while caring for and maintaining your panels can also increase their lifespan.
In fact, a study of soiling on solar panels found the accumulation of dirt on the collector surface can reduce the power generated by between 10 per cent to 40 per cent or more on a monthly basis.
The extent of this impact varies depending on location and climate conditions, but ultimately can increase the cost-of-electricity and the viability of the system.
The main offenders
When it comes to the type of soiling that may impact your solar panel efficiency, the usual offenders come into play.
These are the common pollutants you would find on most roofs like leaf litter, dust, bacteria and fungi, along with bird and bat droppings.
As to the main offender, research indicates bird and bat droppings are by far the biggest potential problem. Unlike leaves which are likely to be shifted with wind or rain, bird and bat droppings can set onto the panels blocking light and reducing solar input.
In the interim this build up of debris on your panels can also potentially cause hotspots which may lead the panels to crack.
Meanwhile, even a build-up of dust has the potential to reduce your electricity output in both the short and long term, particularly if the solar array is in a location prone to dust and pollution.
How should solar panels be cleaned?
In a nutshell solar panels should be cleaned gently. These valuable pieces of infrastructure do not tolerate harsh scrubbing or strong chemicals as they can damage the surface of the panels.
Basically, nothing stronger than the detergent used to wash dishes should be utilised to remove grime from your solar array, and remember this is a job where safety needs to come first. Roofs can be dangerous places where the risk of falls is very real.
Gutter-Vac solar panel cleaning
In addition to cleaning gutters and roofs, Gutter-Vac offers professional solar panel cleaning that allows you to keep your system operating at maximum efficiency.
We gently clean solar panels of grime and debris using a soft brush vacuum and/or demineralized water to achieve the optimal result while keeping panels unblemished and safe.
The means you can rest assured your solar panels will be brought back to maximum efficiency at the same time as your roof and gutters are thoroughly cleaned and maintained.
Gutter-Vac is a national company proudly offering the highest quality technicians in the gutter cleaning industry. Each of our technicians is equipped with specialised training in Gutter-Vac’s vacuum technology and provides quality customer service with an emphasis on safety.