Investing in a off-grid power solution is a big investment, and while these systems are usually designed to run with minimal maintenance, they do require intervention from time to time, and solar panels within such a system are a vital component to ensure an efficient energy production process.
Cleaning your solar panels is incredibly important to ensure you’re getting optimal performance. Most are manufactured with a protective layer of glass to protect the inner workings of the technology, but if this coating is allowed to get dirty, the less capable this solar panel will be of performing to the highest standards.
This could be the result of dust, grime, animal debris, or anything else that may prevent sun light reaching the cells within the panel. This is often one the biggest reasons for solar panel efficiency drop offs, and it’s pretty easy to rectify too, which is why we’ll be looking at how to clean your solar panel in this blog.
There are few ways you can see if your panels are in need of a clean:
A solar panel system will produce a certain level of electricity each month. By using a monitoring system, you can receive up to date information in regard to whether the system has gone offline or isn’t performing exactly in the way you expect it to.
Once you’ve determined whether your solar panels could do with a good clean, there are several ways to tackle this process.
Although many solar panels are billed as ‘self-cleaning’, this isn’t an entirely accurate description. Solar panels are commonly manufactured with a hydrophobic coating, which means that water cannot adhere to its surface.
However, the panels aren’t protected from dust, pollen, sap, moss, and animal debris. Without regular cleaning these things can build up on the panels and create shaded areas where the sunlight can’t reach the cells to top up energy reserves.
As you can imagine, if this is left to run its course over several years, this build-up will hamper the overall performance of your system, which is certainly not ideal if you rely on this extra energy in a business or off-grid scenario.
Swings in temperature can be another factor in panel performance, as the efficiency will increase when the temperature drops, and decrease in high temperatures. This is because the voltage within the cells varies in different temperature ranges.
Another reason to regularly monitor the performance of your panels is because the panels must be in the right position to take full advantage of the sun’s radiation. The orientation and inclination must all be considered during installation, and may need to be adjusted over time. This means that your panels can perform at their very best for longer periods of time.
If you’d like to learn more about what we’ve covered in this piece, you’re interested in alternative energy solutions, or any of our other products or services, then why not contact us today for more information.