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Eco Sun Powers Solar Panel Cleaning Tips

Clean solar panels are important for the work as well as the viability of your Sonnenkraft solar energy system. These innovative panels have become more popular as a sustainable and cost-effective way to generate electricity. To use solar energy to its full extent, cleaning solar panels is important.

Solar panels use solar energy to create electricity. It is made of many connected solar cells that collect light and transform it into useful electrical energy. These panels are designed to be strong because they are installed outdoors. As time passes, they gather dust, dirt, pollen, bird droppings, and other types of substances that can hinder their ability to function at maximum capacity.

What is a solar panel?

Solar panels are made of many solar cells, which are built of semiconductor elements like silicon. These cells are arranged in a grid-like pattern on the surface of the panel. Solar panels work by using the power of the sun, a process known as the photovoltaic effect. When sunlight strikes the surface of the solar panel, it energizes the electrons in the semiconductor material. This energy allows the electrons to move and flow an electric current.

Conductive metal plates on the sides of the solar cells capture this electric current and channel it into wires, creating direct current (DC) electricity.

The DC electricity is then changed into AC, the kind of electricity used in houses and companies, with a device called an inverter. Your appliances can be supplied with this AC electricity, which will help you meet your energy requirements.

Eco Sun Power Solar Panel Installation: Safety First 

Safety should always be your top priority for cleaning solar panels. Cleaning solar panels is a normal maintenance task, so security issues must be taken care of. At Eco Sun Power, we offer low-cost maintenance contracts to help you keep on top of your maintenance.

Solar panel installations are often seen on rooftops or high-rise buildings. That can pose risks, such as falls or slips. You need to maintain extra care and attention to prevent accidents. Water and electricity don’t mix well. Your solar panels are connected to electrical systems. Electric shocks or damage to your solar panel system can happen if electrical parts are handled after cleaning.

Climbing on your roof or elevated structures without the right equipment or safety measures can lead to injuries. Accidents can happen even to experienced individuals, so it’s essential to take precautions seriously and choose the correct maintenance company. The cleaning of solar panels can be even more dangerous when the weather is extreme or the surface is slippery. Maintaining basic safety measures is essential to protecting yourself and others.

Solar Panel Cleaning Process:

Your Sonnenkraft solar panels will be cleaned easily and quickly by following a few basic steps. Here is a full method to effectively clean your solar panels:

  • Turn off the solar panel System: Turn off your solar panel system before you begin cleaning. Find the disconnect switch for your system, and turn it off safely with the manufacturer’s instructions. This step is crucial to preventing any electrical risks.
  • Mix mild soap with warm water: In a bucket, mix a solution of mild dish soap and warm water. Use a few drops of soap per gallon of water. Avoid using harsh detergents or chemicals, as they can damage the panels.
  • Use a soft brush or sponge to scrub Gently: Gently scrub the area with a soft brush or sponge, putting it into the soapy water together. Start at the top of the panel and work your way down, gently scrubbing the surface.
  • 100% Wash with Clean Water: After scrubbing, rinse the solar panels thoroughly with clean water. You can use a hose with a gentle spray nozzle or a bucket of clean water and a soft cloth or sponge for rinsing.
  • Dry the Panel to Prevent Mineral Deposits: This step is optional, but if you live in a region with hard water, it can help prevent mineral deposits from forming on the panel’s surface. Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to wipe the panels dry. Make sure the panels are completely dry to avoid leaving streaks. Be gentle to avoid scratching the glass.

Ensure that all soap residues are completely washed away. Soap residues can create streaks and reduce the panel’s efficacy.

Gathering Cleaning Supplies for Proper Cleaning:

Before you begin cleaning your solar panels, it’s essential to gather the necessary cleaning supplies. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  1. Mild Soap: Choose a gentle, non-abrasive dish soap such as Fairy. Harsh detergents or chemicals can damage your solar panels.
  1. Water: You’ll need clean water for both the cleaning solution and rinsing. It’s a good idea to have a hose nearby or a bucket of water for rinsing.
  1. Soft Brush or Sponge: Use a soft-bristle brush with a long handle or a soft sponge to scrub the surface of the panels. Avoid abrasive materials like steel wool or hard-bristle brushes that can scratch the glass.
  1. Ladder: Depending on the height and accessibility of your solar panels, you may need a sturdy ladder with rubber feet to reach and clean them safely.
  1. Microfiber Cloth: While optional, a microfiber cloth can be handy for wiping down panels after rinsing to prevent mineral deposits from forming.
  1. Extendable Handle: Many kits come with an extendable handle, allowing you to reach higher panels without the need for a ladder. That improves safety and accessibility.
  1. Soft Bristle Brush Attachment: The kit may include a soft-bristle brush designed specifically for solar panel cleaning. These brushes are gentle on the panel’s surface
  1. Squeegee: Some kits include a squeegee attachment to help remove excess water and prevent streaks during the cleaning process.
  1. Cleaning Solution: Solar panel cleaning kits may also include a specialized cleaning solution that is safe for solar panels and helps break down dirt and grime effectively.

The Right Time to Clean

When it comes to cleaning your solar panels, timing matters. The best times to clean your solar panels are either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Here’s why:

Early Morning: 

Cleaning your solar panels in the early morning has a couple of advantages. First, the panels are relatively cool from the overnight temperature drop, which means they won’t be as hot to the touch as they would be later in the day. Second, mornings often have lower wind speeds, which can make the cleaning process more manageable. Lastly, the angle of the sun is lower in the sky during the morning, reducing glare and making it easier to see dirt and streaks on the panel surface.

Late Afternoon:

Like the morning, late afternoon is another suitable time for cleaning. By this time, the panels have had a chance to cool down from their peak daytime temperatures. Plus, the sun is beginning to set, which means there is less direct sunlight, reducing glare.

What to Avoid Doing to Keep Up Proper Cleaning Techniques:

When it comes to cleaning your solar panels, there are several things you should avoid to prevent damage and maintain their efficiency. 

What not to do is listed below:

  1. Pressure Washers
  2. Caustic materials
  3. Harsh Chemicals
  4. Extreme Thrust
Results of Monitoring the Installation of Solar Panels

It’s essential to keep an eye on the function of your solar panels to make sure they are working properly and to quickly spot any problems. Most solar panel systems, such as the Eco Sun Power Sonnenkraft system, feature internal or external energy production APPs for monitoring. These systems give you information in real time about the amount of electricity your solar panels are creating. Keep track of important performance indicators, including energy output, on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis.

You may monitor trends and spot any unusual performance dips with the use of these measures. Visually check your solar panels on a regular basis. Check for any obvious indications of harm, debris, or shading that might have an impact on their performance. You can accomplish this from the ground, but exercise caution if you decide to use a ladder or scale your roof to get a better look.

If all of this looks too time-consuming and a little risky, you can always contact the specialist maintenance company that Eco Sun Power collaborates with and let them look after your annual cleaning contract.

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Tom Van Gastel

Tom Van Gastel

Manager
Eco Sun Power