Maintaining solar panels – With solar panel systems doing a great job of reducing your reliance on utility bills with green energy for the home, they do require periodic cleaning and maintenance throughout their lifetime to support their supply.
Every so often, a build-up of dust, debris and weather effects can start to impair photovoltaic cell performance, thereby not operating at peak efficiency. If you wonder what ‘maintenance’ on your solar panel system means – it can be really simple work. However, if it is anything technical in nature that requires maintenance, we recommend professionals take care of it.
What is ‘Maintenance’?
Unlike household boilers, your panels don’t require regular maintenance upon installation. The work mainly comes in the form of annual cleaning.
Most solar PV cells work at full efficiency when clean and clear from debris. Dust can sometimes gradually cover the cells and reduce the amount of sunlight absorbed over time. Cleaning your panels is simply clearing out the dust before it accumulates and debris is collected. As solar panels don’t have moving parts, maintaining solar panels will not be a regular requirement – meaning wires fraying, surfaces wearing and mechanisms breaking won’t be a regular annoyance.
How Many Cleans?
To keep your solar panels working to full efficiency is simply a case of keeping them clean. Luckily, the UK rainfall does its part in ensuring your panels stay clean for the most part.
When it is not raining, you can clean them yourself with water and a soft brush – or even ask your window cleaner if it is something they can include in their routine. People typically clean their solar panels twice a year at the most. Of course, this can change depending on your location. If you live in a countryside area where trees provide plenty of twigs and leaves, you may want to keep on top of ensuring they don’t start covering your panels.
How to Clean Panels
Whilst the level of UK rainfall is sufficient to fully clean your solar panels, should you choose to undertake the process yourself you will need to consider safety.
Spray your panels with water like you would spray a window to get rid of the majority of dirt and built-up dust. If your panels have something more substantial upon them, such as bird muck, you can try increasing the water pressure by attaching a nozzle or trying with a sponge or squeegee. Solar panels don’t require the use of specialist cleaning tools or chemicals – plus, these may damage the protective layer on the solar panel surface.
Always consult with your installer on how to properly clean and maintain domestic and commercial solar panels to not void your warranty and lifespan. Contact the team at Positive Energy Solutions today for all of your renewable energy needs, tips and guidance.