Why Clean Solar Panels?
Solar panels work by allowing light into the solar cells. The more light that hits a panel, the more power it will generate. Due to the angle of solar panels, they are more prone to a build-up of general dust, dirt, salt and bird droppings that do not wash off with just rain. This reduces the amount of light hitting the panel and reduces the output. Projected energy figures claimed by solar panel manufacturers and installers are based on the optimal performance of clean solar panels. The build-up of dirt can adversely affect the panel’s ability to meet those projections. So it is important to clean solar panels in order to protect and maintain your investment.
Why Clean Solar Panels - Can It Improve Efficiency?
Louth Callan Renewables research shows potential large increases up to 30% in solar efficiency resulting from solar panel cleaning. This is especially true of solar arrays on agricultural sites, nearby forested lands and sites close to the ocean, but undetected grit build up occurs to some degree on all solar arrays over time.
Dust, dirt, salt and more must be removed from the surface of solar panels in order to ensure the highest performance. Solar Energy Power Association notes that dirty solar panels can lose 20% of their energy output. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory puts that figure even higher, at 25%. Recent university research has shown that a dirty solar panel can lose 50% of it’s efficiency compared to a clean solar panel. Our cleaning services help you avoid these kind of losses.
How Often Should your Panels be Cleaned?
Louth Callan Renewables recommends that a solar system be cleaned every 6-12 months. Think of it this way, if you didn’t clean your car wind shield for 6 months, how much visibility would you lose? If left, the grime on your wind shield would accumulate and eventually you wouldn’t be able to see through it. Even if the car is rained on, the rain contains airborne dust particles that settle and attach to the surface after the rainwater evaporates. When we use our wind shield wipers, we clean most of the front wind shield, but where the wipers do not reach, there is still dirt. Think of your solar panels like your energy wind shield. Energy production is lost with accumulation of dirt and grime on the solar panels, so the longer you wait before properly cleaning your solar array, the lower your returns on your original investment.