The importance of cleaning your solar panels
“One very important factor often overlooked by solar panel owners is cleaning.”
Just like your car, the dirt and dust in the atmosphere can leave your pride and joy with an unsightly layer of grime attached. This can have a negative effect on your panels’ performance if left unchecked.With your feed-in tariff revenue for photovoltaic panels being reliant on producing the maximum amount of energy to gain the maximum amount of revenue, then the importance of keeping your panels clean seems obvious.
Solar panels do work well, even when dirty. This has been demonstrated by NASA’s Rovers on Mars. With an expected lifespan of six months when first launched in 2004, the success of the rovers longevity on the Martian landscape has been down to their extraordinary solar panels, which have kept the rover powered, despite their accumulated layers of red dust.
So not keeping your solar panels cleaned, will not stop them from producing power, but if you want to keep the maximum rate of power feeding down into your generation meter, then cleaning periodically is advised.
You will know this if you have a free solar panel system on your roof. These types of companies regularly pay contractors to keep their panels cleaned, to gain the maximum benefit from their investment. Private owners should do the same.
If you own your own panels, then maybe keeping your system clean may not have occurred to you, but just like the Mars Rovers, the atmospheric layers will of dust, dirt and bird poo, will begin to take it’s tole on the amount of power being generated over time.
Solar panel farms around the world, also have regular cleaning crews whom regularly inspect and clean the panel surfaces.
A six monthly clean will not only pay for itself with the extra revenue it generates, but will keep your system looking aesthetically pleasing throughout the varying seasonal changes.
There are some window cleaning companies which specialise in solar panel cleaning and will probably clean your windows as part of the deal too.
Don’t miss out on your system’s full earning potential. The grime in most cases cannot be seen from ground level, so be wise, stay clean and maximise your power generation and ultimately your investment.
"Feel the pride."Stuart Lovatt April 25, 2013
Founder of Heat My Home.