Solar panel cleaning is usually the last thing on a prospective green candidate's mind when it comes to installing a solar panel system on their home or business. It is more common to think about how much the cost of the system will be and the potential energy savings.
Does dirty panels really matter?
The external surfaces of your panels are designed to capture sunlight and convert that to usable electricity so anything that hinders the ability of the panels to capture sunlight will decrease the amount of generated electricity. This decrease will cut into your energy savings. Unlike a car that can be left dirty for months at a time with no impact, your solar panels will perform less efficiently.
What makes solar panels dirty?
A solar panel system is typically mounted high atop a home or business leaving it susceptible to all elements of nature. Dirt, which comes is many forms, has the biggest impact. Dirt can be loose soil or sand from the ground, dust, or grime. All of which becomes airborne potentially mixing with other substances in the air and eventually finding its way onto your solar panels. During the nighttime, moisture becomes a problem leading to water spots facilitating quicker accumulation of dirt. Bugs, insects, and bird droppings are yet more nuisance creating further maintenance needs.
Solar Panel Cleaning Solutions
One option for keeping your solar panels clean is to roll up your sleeves and get a good cleaning kit to help you easily and quickly clean your panels. The frequency of cleaning depends on your neighborhood and how quickly your solar panels get dirty.
Another option would be to employ an automated cleaning system that will clean your solar panels at a set interval. An automated cleaning system is a good option to cut down on the cleaning care for your system but will add to the overall cost of your solar panel system.
Lastly, you can consider a cleaning service with a local service provider.
Deciding which options are best suited for your needs depends largely on the impact to your energy savings. If your solar panels get dirty on a frequent basis, then you'll benefit from an automated cleaning system. On the other hand, for areas of less dirt saturation, manual care or periodic cleaning service makes more sense.