After solar power installation, it is very important to clean and maintain the solar panels. As this can affect the output of the system.
The panels are flat and broad so it is quite easy to clean and maintain them. However, certain precautions & steps need to be taken before cleaning.
The cleaning process
How often should I clean my solar panels?
Well, it depends on your location, season and the tilt of the panels.
If you live in a region where rain is a regular phenomenon then cleaning of panels is less frequent.
The regions where the rainfall is limited, the accumulation of the dirt is normal. Hence requires cleaning more often.
The tilted panels are washed more easily by the rainwater as opposed to the flat-mounted solar panels.
Certain seasons like autumn which is marked with falling of the leaves require more frequent cleaning of the panels.
During winters, the wind speed is generally low hence the accumulation of dirt and water droplets on the surface of the panel is a normal phenomenon.
In addition, if you live near a city or a factory location, the polluting particles get deposited, making a thin layer of dirt on the surface of the panel and the output drops.
Why should I clean my solar panels?
The accumulation of the dirt affects the performance of the solar power system and its output drops,
In other words, it affects the financial feasibility of the system.
It is found and I experienced that regular cleaning of the panels improves their performance and the output increases.
For example, a 5 kW solar power system in Arizona (USA) generates an average of 650 units per month.
The 10% reduction in the output due to dirt will result in a loss of 65 units in a month.
Moreover, leaving the cleaning process only in the rain will not get you satisfying results. Professionally cleaned panels have better output than cleaned by rain only.
Monitor and note the output of the system before and after cleaning of the panels. You will notice the 10% -15% rise in the output.
After that note the output regularly and at different time intervals. A gradual decrease in the output over a period of time is a signal for another round of cleaning.
Although changing seasons also affect the performance of the system. Don’t get misled by the drop in performance due to cloudy weather or the extreme temperature
(Did you know that the performance of panels drops due to high temperature?).
To know whether the fall in output is due to the season or dirt, monitor the system output regularly and maintain a notebook.
I am giving you a rough hint.
You will receive the highest power during a clear sunny day. Seasons with the highest output: Autumn and Spring
In a nutshell, whenever you notice a fall in the output of the solar power system (if all the connections are right). It is an indication that you need cleaning of the panels.
Cleaning of the solar panels is no different than the cleaning of your room window. It is easy and fast.