Investing in solar panels is a logical choice for improving your home. Not just for the immediate financial rewards that having a source of free, renewable electricity brings, but because of the future benefits that you’ll continue to see, year after year. In order to keep seeing those benefits, you’ll need to make sure your solar panels stay in good shape. Thankfully, you don’t need an engineer or electrician to make regular visits to keep your solar panels staying functional. As they don’t contain any moving parts, like a wind turbine for example, they aren’t subject to the eventual wear-and-tear that continuous movement would eventually bring. The only hazards to solar panels are from the elements, so the abuses of extreme weather (which you can’t help) and the local wildlife. Getting your solar panels clean will get rid of any grime and moss that’s grown over time in the sunshine.
Do solar panels require maintenance?
That being said, we do recommend that you arrange for a solar panel specialist to check on your panels from time-to-time. If you’re noticing drops in productivity and you’re not getting as much electricity as you expected, something might be wrong. Because there are so many components in a solar panel system – not just the panels themselves – there could be an issue elsewhere which you would need an electrician to fix.
At Dynamic Solar, we’re experts in every aspect of the installation – not just the panels. We’re on hand to arrange any maintenance work and we’ll check the system from top-to-bottom. We’ll also be able to put you in touch with our recommended choice for local window cleaners who can take the job of cleaning your panels off your hands.
How do you maintain solar panels?
If you want to manage cleaning your solar panels yourself, absolutely go for it. We tend to recommend that it’s best to clean your panels at least three times a year. Of course, this is a much easier task if your panels are ground-mounted. For roof-mounted panels, you are going to need a ladder. Only tackle the cleaning job yourself if you are completely confident up a ladder and have plenty of experience with handling DIY jobs like this yourself. Don’t take on the solar panel maintenance yourself if there is a risk.
You’ll be surprised how quickly solar panels can get grimey. Exposed to the elements, the panels find dirt deposits building up which does hinder their productivity so cleaning them is a must.
You can clean panels yourself. There are handy cleaning kits designed exactly for this use with the ideal tools and detergents for the job. You’ll need a soft bristle brush to dislodge dirt build-ups. We find that microfibre cloths are perfect for finishing off the job and leaving the panels pristine. Make sure that you use only mild cleaning products as strong chemicals can damage the panels. Check that what you’re using is compatible for glass.
Things to consider when maintaining your solar panels
If you’re planning to maintain your solar panels yourself, there are some key points that you will need to consider before getting out your brushes and hose.
Don’t clean during sunny weather
You may think that choosing a nice, sunny day to get on the roof and clean your panels is the best time to do the job. In fact, warm, sunny days are the worst time to clean your panels. As the water evaporates that much faster before you can rinse off the detergent, you run the risk of leaving water marks on the panels which will affect the productivity. You also need to bear in mind that temperature does affect the solar cells. On a hot day, you’re introducing the panels to a rapid change in temperature as you cool the hot surface with the water. This can lead to damage if severe enough. A cloudy day is the best choice for cleaning – thankfully, in the UK, you get plenty of those!
Cleaning is best done in the morning
The morning or evening is the best time for when the sun isn’t as high in the sky. For the same reasons as the point above, direct sunlight while cleaning can lead to problems isn’t best to avoid. Also, it’s much easier to clean the panels when they are slightly moist. You can make good use of the morning dew with the natural condensation helping to break up and soften some more stubborn bits of dirt.
Dry the panels when you’re done
You can leave them to dry but if you want to make sure that the surfaces are completely clean, we recommend that you dry off excess water. Use soft cloth or even microfibre to remove the water and also polish up the surface.
Regular cleaning makes it easier
If you leave cleaning the panels too long, it creates a bigger job for you. If you keep on top of cleaning your panels, they’ll remain clear of stubborn dirt patches which are more tricky to clean off. Just hosing them off and using a squeegee with an extendable arm will keep them in good shape. Remember, clean panels work the best so if you do want to spread your time out over shorter, more regular cleans, you’ll get the best results.
Monitor your inverters for productivity
Keep an eye on your equipment. You’ll know when your solar panels are functioning by checking the inverters for their activity. If you start to notice that your electricity production is slowing or encountering outages, you’ll need to speak to a solar panel company. You can contact us if you think you have an issue and we can arrange a visit to assess the situation. Our solar panel installation service has a 5 year warranty so if we fitted your panels, maintenance work and site visits are covered.
Arranging professional maintenance for solar panels
For total peace of mind, you can easily arrange for a professional cleaner to manage the job. Most professional window cleaning services or property maintenance companies will be able to manage the job. With more and more homes around the country making the decision to have solar panels installed, there’s more of a demand than ever. If you would like some help finding a professional solar panel cleaner in your area, we may be able to help.
Have a question about maintaining your solar panels?
Our team are on hand for any questions relating to looking after your solar panels. Need advice on what tools and products to use? We can give you our top recommendations. Simply get in touch here or give us a call on 01202 985 325.