Are you contributing to our country’s net-zero emission goal by choosing to power your home with solar energy? Solar PV systems are great investments that provide affordable and clean energy for the next 20 to 25 years, allowing you to reduce your carbon footprint and save extra money in the long run. But, these panels require regular maintenance in order to operate at peak conditions all year round. With proper care, the life expectancy of the solar panels may even extend beyond 25 years! Here are some tips for maintaining your solar panels.
Learn More: Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy
1. Get a Solar Cleaning Kit
Solar panel cleaning kits are very handy and can be easily purchased online. Usually, these kits contain an extendable brush or a long-handle brush, some brush, duster, or cloth attachments, and occasionally a wiper and/or a biodegradable soap. If you’re new to solar panel maintenance, these kits provide you with the basic equipment needed to get started. Additionally, you may wish to have a few pieces of soft cloth ready and a hose that can be connected to a water source.
2. Avoid Abrasive Materials and Chemicals
The panel’s surfaces are crucial to the system’s operation. They are typically made of silicon, which is a material that has high photoconductivity that helps absorb light energy. These surfaces must be kept in pristine condition. So, never use any abrasive cleaning tools—such as steel wool and stiff brushes—or solutions—such as powdered cleaners, bleach, and rubbing alcohol—on the panels as it may scratch the surface or cause corrosive damage. Use soft cleaning brushes and cloth, and gentle cleaning products.
3. Use Safety Ropes and Harness When Cleaning
Most solar panels for homes are installed on rooftops, which means that one will have to climb onto the roof or stand on a ladder when cleaning them. Always ensure that the person cleaning the solar panels is secured with safety ropes and a harness to prevent accidents.
4. Engage a Professional Team
Cleaning the solar panels, although simple, requires extreme carefulness. If you do not wish to go through the trouble of maintaining the panels yourself, you can engage a professional team to handle the cleaning for you. Some solar companies do provide annual maintenance for solar PV systems they’ve installed.
How to Clean Your Solar Panels
Step 1: Choose a cool time of the day to clean your panels. When the panels are hot, coming into contact with cool water causes a sudden change in temperature, which increases the risk of cracks.
Step 2: Shut down your solar PV system before cleaning.
Step 3: Dust off any loose dirt, fallen leaves, branches, and other debris that can be easily removed.
Step 4: Wash your solar panels with a hose or a bucket of water. Avoid intentionally splashing the back of the panels or the gaps between each panel with water.
Step 5: Use a soft cloth and mild soap to gently scrub away any stubborn grime. Then, wash off with water.
Step 6: Dry the solar panels with a soft cloth to prevent the water from leaving any marks.
Need help with the maintenance of your solar panels or interested in installing a solar PV system for your home? Union Solar develops and operates a network of rooftop solar PV systems to power buildings and homes in Singapore. Get in touch with us to find out more about going solar.