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Maintain & Clean Solar Panels

Learn how to care for your solar panels and ensure they remain in top shape with these solar panel cleaning tips!

Solar panels are growing in popularity in South Africa. According to BusinessTech, the residential area alone has invested over R2.2 billion in the first five months of 2022. With the country's crisis to produce energy, this number is expected to rise even higher in the coming years.

But what many of these solar panel owners do not realise is they need to invest in solar power cleaning and maintenance to ensure their system continues running efficiently.

Cleaning and maintaining solar panels can be a tedious and time-consuming task; however, with this guide, they'll be pristine in no time!


Solar Panel Cleaning

Solar panels are usually installed so that it tilts somewhat towards the sun, and this position helps them to remain relatively clean. But dust, dirt, bird droppings or even sap from trees can accumulate on them, and these need to be removed to ensure the panels are able to absorb as much sunlight as possible.

So, how can you clean your solar panels?

1. Gather solar panel cleaning equipment:

If you want to give solar panel cleaning a go on your own, you need to gather specialised cleaning equipment. Popular solar panel cleaning equipment found in South Africa includes a soft brush for removing dirt and debris and a hose and/or pressure washer for getting rid of more persistent grime.

2. Use the right cleaning products:

Most people ask the question of whether or not they should use special water to clean solar panels, and the answer is no. You can use fresh, non-heated water and a soft detergent to clean your solar panel; just make sure it doesn't contain any solvents or abrasives, as these can damage the panel.

3. Invest in solar panel coating:

A solar panel ceramic coat is a specialised, hydrophobic layer that helps protect a solar panel from dirt, dust and build-up of elements on the panel surface such as pollen, mine dust and other debris. Hydrasol Solar Nano Coating is a high-quality, self-clean nanotech ceramic coating that you can use to protect your panels from the elements. According to a university study, this can increase panel output by up to 15%.


Solar Panel Maintenance

Solar panels need to be maintained to work at their maximum efficiency; otherwise, you might spend more money in the long run to replace or repair them.

Now that you have an understanding of solar panel cleaning let's take a look at some of the things you need to do to maintain them.


1. Keep solar panels out of the shade:

The whole idea of a solar panel is to absorb as much sunlight as possible, so make sure that you keep your panels away from trees and other structures which may block the sunlight.


2. Clean them regularly:

According to ESI Africa, it is worth the effort to clean your solar panels once or twice a year. The more regularly you clean your panels, the better they will perform. All you need is solar panel cleaning equipment and some patience.


3. Check the angle of your panels:

Make sure that they are facing in the correct direction. If the panels are not angled correctly, you won't be able to take advantage of their full potential. The angle of your solar panels needs to face South in the Northern Hemisphere and North in the Southern Hemisphere. So here in South Africa, be sure to face them North.


4. Check for damage:

Whilst cleaning your solar panels, take the opportunity to check them for any potential damage. Here are some signs of potential damage:

  • Cracked or broken glass
  • Bent or cracked frames
  • Missing or damaged wires
  • Burn spots
  • Delamination of cells

If you spot any of these issues, then contact a qualified technician as soon as possible to have the issue examined and fixed.


5. Monitor your solar panel performance:

You can use a solar monitoring system to track how much energy you're producing and monitor the performance of your solar panels. This will allow you to better understand the output of your solar system and make any necessary adjustments in order to maximise its potential. 


Start Cleaning and Maintaining Today - Wrapping Up

Hopefully, this guide on how to clean and maintain solar panels has been useful. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your solar panels will ensure that they continue to perform at their best.

According to a university study, this can increase panel output by between 15-20%. 


For more advice on how to care for your solar panels, contact us today!

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