One of the questions a homeowner or business owner might wonder about when considering the installation of a solar power system centers is: How do I maintain my solar panels? Since they are obviously the key component in any solar power generation system, it seems logical that maintenance of the solar panels would be critical to long-term energy production and efficiency. In truth, this happens to be one of the strong selling points of solar energy, because for the most part, very little maintenance is actually required.
Low Maintenance isn’t ‘No Maintenance’
While it is true that little maintenance is necessary with solar panels, this doesn’t mean they should be completely ignored for decades after installation. For instance, if you happen to live in a very dusty, wind-blown section of the country, it is quite likely that dust and debris will accumulate on the surfaces of your solar panels.
When dust, dirt, and other debris gather on these surfaces, it interferes with the efficient absorption of sunlight by the panels. This makes it desirable to periodically clean those panels to ensure that the entire surface area is capable of efficient absorption of the sun’s radiant energy, and conversion into electricity.
How to clean solar panels
One of the easiest ways to accomplish cleaning of solar panel surfaces is to rinse them off with an ordinary garden hose. Obviously this is made more difficult by having to climb a ladder to rinse off the panels, but it’s well worth the effort. If there are materials which do not rinse off with an ordinary spraying, you can use a soft, spongy squeegee on a long pole to reach the dirty areas. Soapy water is fine to use on solar panels, and will not harm them in any way, but the soapy water should be rinsed off after cleaning with the garden hose.
If you don’t feel comfortable with climbing up a ladder to do this process yourself, it may be advisable to contact your local solar power vendor and retain the services of a professional to have your panels cleaned for you. If you are thinking that frequent rains are accomplishing the solar power maintenance work for you, in general you’re probably right. Most of the time, rain showers will adequately clean the surfaces of your solar panels, but it’s still a good idea to regularly check the surfaces yourself to make sure that no debris is sticking to them.