With roof top solar being the primary installation for residential and commercial properties, many that own their system inquire when it would be ideal to clean the solar pv panels. For those that may lease, solar panel cleaning should be provided by the leasor of the panels who are the owners of the system. With dust, dirt, and debris, and droppings (from the birds), having regular maintenance will help keep panels producing at their optimal efficiency. It’s ideal to clean the panels once or twice a year. Typically during the winter and spring, rain will wash the panels clean. However with our state’s drought property owners with solar are recommended to take the extra step of manually cleaning the solar modules.
WHAT’S INVOLVED WITH THE CLEANING PROCESS
This may depend on the type of property the system is installed on. Commercial properties are straightforward because of their flat roof and expansive space. This allows a more convenient washing of the panels. Also, the commercial property owners can hire their custodial services to clean the panels once or twice a year. However, most residential homes will have sloped roofs which my bring challenges to the homeowner who may want to clean their panels. Also some homes may be 2-stories which can be risky and dangerous to be on. Here are some suggestions for homeowner to self-clean their panels from the ground if possible:
1. Use a hose with a nozzle that allows a high pressure stream of water can be sufficient enough to wash.
2. Buy a squeegee made of plastic with a blade and covered sponge that can be coupled to a long extension.
3. Don’t clean the panels in direct daylight since the dirt can quickly evaporate and cause smearing. Early morning, late afternoon, or during a cloudy day will make the job easier and faster.
4. Don’t use any abrasive products such as bleach, household cleaning products, detergents, or car wash soap. Such products may negativity affect the glass of the panel and corrode the framing around it.
5. Hire a professional that is qualified to property clean your solar panels.
WHEN TO GET PANELS CLEANS
Since solar panels have been designed for low maintenance so extra cleaning is not required. Our suggestion is to get the solar clean when the following occurs:
1. A substantial amount dirt or dust that has collected that has completely obscured your panel’s blue tint.
2. A layer of ash from potential fires.
3. Bird droppings in multiple areas of the array.
4. Dry leaves that may have collected during the autumn season.
5. If seasonal rain is non-existent.
6. If detailed performance is reporting production that is not meeting guaranteed threshold.
7. Utility bill may seem to be higher despite no dramatic changes to home’s usual energy consumption.
It’s important for all property owners to be mindful of their solar’s production and efficiency. That’s how you’ll maximize the most from such a special renewable resource investment. For any reason that you may want to consider a panel cleaning, please contact us.
Robert Sarai is the Business Devleopment Manager at LA Solar Group with over 7 years in the real estate industry. He helps property owners discover solar power and assists with their energy goals. He can be contacted directly at 818-946-2320.Linkedin