Are Dirty Solar Panels Less Efficient?

Did you know that homeowners using solar energy save an average of $1,500 annually? That doesn’t even include the potential money made from net metering.

However, dirty solar panels greatly decrease solar energy efficiency. Do you know how to clean solar panels to maximize their potential?

The following guide will explore several solar panel cleaning techniques. Read on to learn all about solar panel maintenance and why it’s important.

Dirty Solar Panels Lower Efficiency

Dust on solar panels and other pollutants often prevent systems from reaching their full potential. In fact, researchers found that pollution can lower solar panel efficiency by up to 7%.

It only takes a few months of buildup on panels to affect efficiency. Human pollutants tend to block light more than dirt and dust. So, those living in heavily populated areas usually need to clean their panels more often.

Rainwater Isn’t Enough

Homeowners in areas with lots of rain commonly think their panels get cleaned after a downpour. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and nature alone can’t clean your panels.

For example, you would lose visibility if you didn’t clean your car’s windshield for months. Grime would still build up on the windshield even with rainwater and the same idea applies to panels.

There are many airborne dust particles found in rainwater. The particles land and attach to surfaces once the water evaporates. That’s why there’s a film of dirt on your windshield where wipers can’t reach.

Less light gets through if this buildup gets left uncleaned. Less light means limited energy and fewer financial benefits from your panels.

Cleaning Solar Panels

The most effective and safest way to clean is by hiring a company like OnPoint Solar Panel Cleaning. Although, there are DIY cleaning methods that also help keep panels functioning.

First, only use water, soap, and a non-abrasive sponge. The goal is to clean your panels without scratching them. You can also use a mild detergent if you need a little extra cleaning power.

Avoid using pressure washers to clean your solar panels and stick to using a standard hose. High water pressure can cause damages that require expensive repairs or replacement.

If you’re just washing off dirt and dust, simply hosing down your panels might be enough. Only use a sponge if there’s substantial buildup such as bird droppings on your panels.

For the mild detergent, don’t use anything stronger than what you’d use to wash your dishes. You’ll risk marking your panels if you use strong chemicals.

Keep Your Panels Clean

Now you know how to clean dirty solar panels and why it’s necessary. Cleaning your panels regularly reduces your need for professional help. But don’t be afraid to hire help if soap and water aren’t cutting it.

Always use caution and care to avoid damaging your panels during cleaning. Remember this guide and maximize your solar saving with clean and clear panels!

Check out our tech category for more fascinating solar power facts and tips.

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