If you recently purchased a house with a solar array installed in the backyard, then it is important for you to keep the solar panels clean so that they will continue to function well. While solar panels are resistant to the weather, they do not work as efficiently if they become soiled by bird waste, bugs, or dirt. The soiling prevents the solar energy from transmitting through the glass and onto the solar cells.
Follow these three simple steps to clean your new home's solar panels like a pro:
Step 1: Remove the Dust from the Glass
Before you wash your solar panels you should remove any loose dust and dirt that is on them. The best ways to accomplish this are to use either compressed air or a feather duster. You can use an air compressor or purchase compressed air that is used to clean consumer electronics. You can purchase a feather duster at any home improvement store.
You should try to avoid rubbing the dust on the glass, as this will scratch it. When the glass scratches, it forms shadows on the solar cells and lowers their ability to capture solar energy. In turn, this reduces the efficiency of your solar panels.
Step 2: Wash the Glass Panel
Once you have dusted the panels, then it is time to wash them. You should use distilled water and a squeegee that is made of rubber. The distilled water will keep your final result free of hard water spots. And the rubber squeegee will not damage the glass because rubber is a softer material than glass.
Wash the glass panels by scrubbing them lightly with water on the sponge of the squeegee. If you have a lot of stuck-on bird waste on the glass, then you can use hot water instead of cold. The hot water will help to loosen the bird waste for easier removal.
You should not use any cleaners or abrasives on the glass of your solar panels. Cleaners can leave behind residues and abrasives will scratch the glass.
Step 3: Dry the Solar Panels
Finally, you should dry your solar panels using the rubber portion of the squeegee, just as you would your car's windshield. Wipe the rubber blade of the squeegee with a rag to keep it dry to avoid drips.
If your home has its solar array located on the roof or if you do not feel confident about cleaning the panels yourself, then you should contact a local solar panel cleaning service in your area.