Solar panels are used to convert the energy of the sun (in the form of photons) to electricity that can be used to power a variety of applications in remote areas, like Vegetarium. Solar panels are gaining popularity and you can find them more and more on the roofs of normal houses within villages and cities around the world. This is a good development, if you ask me. However, a lot of people don’t realise that, for optimal use, you need to clean them from time to time. So that is what I did this week.
Why should I clean my panels?
Because the panels usually have an upward angel, they are prone to collect bird droppings, dust and other dirt.. Solar panels work by the light of the sun hitting the solar cells. The more light hit that hits the panels, the more power generated. So cleaning your solar panels will increase their efficiency. Measurement have shown that in agricultural areas efficiency can improve up to 30%. In residential areas this is up to 21% and in industrial and commercial sites an increase of up to 60% is measured. Moreover, cleaning your solar panels will also increate their durability and improve your return of investment (ROI).
How can I clean my panels?
A lot of people won’t clean their panels after a rain but I am sorry to inform you that rainwater won’t do it for you. Just like the rain won’t clean your car for you. There a quite a lot of different methods you can use to clean your solar panels; robotics, professional cleaning crews, nanoparticle coating and of course manual labour. The latter is how we do it at Vegetarium. There are a few rules for cleaning your solar panels; (1) don’t use a high-pressure cleaner, (2) use soft brushes or cloths, (3) don’t use any cleaning detergent, and (4) don’t clean them in full sun.
How often do I need to clean my panels?
This can depend on a variety of different factors; is there a lot of pollution in your geographical area? Is there a lot of dust formation near your solar panels? Do you live in a wooded area? and so on. However, a general advise would be to clean your panels at least once or twice a year.
So, how clean are your panels?