Much like any other power generator, solar panels require maintenance and regular checks in order to continue operating at maximum efficiency. As solar panels are located outside, it is very easy for them to get dirty over a short period of time. This dirt could come from dust, rain, dirt, leaves, animal dropping to name a few.
Even if the layer of dirt seems insignificant, it can drastically affect the performance of your panels. You will also find that larger areas of dirt or obstructed sections will have a much larger effect on the efficiency of the panels.
How often should Solar Panel be cleaned?
Most owners won’t think to clean their solar panels until there is a problem, but professional solar panel companies would recommend that you have them cleaned and inspected every 6 months.
Getting solar panel cleaning biannually will help prevent any residue building up over a long period and being difficult to remove. It also ensures that you are able to keep them operating efficiently and most importantly allows you to keep track of any cracks or fire risks on your panels.
How much more efficient are solar panels when cleaned?
Whilst in the past it was believed that the rain would be enough to wash away any dirt and debris obstructing the panels, this has been proven to not be the case.
Rainwater contains dirt and pollutants that at first won’t cause any visible build up but after a while will cause surfaces to become clouded.
Solar panels are affected in the same way as windows and need sufficient professional solar panel cleaning to be most effective.
Statistically speaking, having any build up on your solar panels can reduce your system’s energy yield by up to 25%. Over time you will find that this percentage will have a drastic effect on your annual energy yield and cost you more in the long term.