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How to Clean Solar Panels?

how to clean solar panels

I assembled the solar energy system for my RV three years ago and achieved wonderful results during use. The solar panels not only help me get copious electricity to power appliances like television, fridge, lights, etc. but also contribute to protecting the clean environment. The most outstanding feature of solar panels is they don’t need to be maintained over 6, 7 or maybe 10 years.

However, we ought to take care of them by cleaning or removing dust on solar square cells to support the sunlight that could be able to get through strongly. Hence, I will introduce you to a lot of helpful tips on how to clean solar panels on the roof effortlessly in this article.

Why Should We Clean the RV Solar Panels?

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During traveling your RV, the natural elements from the environment can affect the surface of panels. Then, they will be a film of dust latching on solar cells and decrease absorption capacity in the sunlight of the product. Hence, cleaning the RV solar panels becomes the best way to maintain panels’ life. These are some reasons that created dust membranes on panels:

Dust, water, and leaves

Although a bit of dust will not have a serious effect on solar panels, it still causes a few damages of consumable energy and the costs. The performed test by companies and technology websites gave a result that the solar energy system can lose a lower 5 percent power if they aren’t cleaned. Moreover, NREL has demonstrated that 30 percent of energy might be lost per year if solar panels are not washed monthly. Additionally, cleaning your product thoroughly can increase 3,5 percent of converting power more efficiently.

The leaf is the second reason that prevents touch between the sunlight and solar cells. If your RV solar panels are covered by thick leaf layers, you won’t receive enough energy to power the electric appliances like television or mini-fridge. Fortunately, you can take advantage of rainwater to remove partial dust and leaves on the product.

Bird droppings

Birdy droppings become the number one enemy of solar panels because they are harder to be cleaned than dust and leaves. The droppings can cover an entire solar cell and we couldn’t take advantage of rainwater to wash them away effortlessly.

However, you can detect and remove them easily if you assemble micro-inverters or a string inverter. The micro-inverters should be attached to each separate solar panel and they will show the operating process of the solar energy system. When you see one of the inverters stop showing electricity flow, you will determine exactly the panel covered by the droppings.

How to Clean?

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Before cleaning the solar panels, you should prepare items as below:

  • Sponge
  • Squeegee bucket water or soft mop
  • Isopropyl alcohol

Step 1: When the solar panels are dry, use a brush to remove leaves or any loose materials first.

Step 2: Spray water to the solar panels.

Step 3: Use a mop or sponge with soap to wipe off dust and bird droppings latching on the panels.

Step 4: If your product has oily stains, you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean them quickly.

Step 5: Remove the entire dust by water. Then, use a soft mop to wipe off small streaks of water to prevent deposits on panels.

Some Tips for Maintaining the Solar Panels

Those are steps on how to clean the RV solar panels. As you can see, to remove dust on the panels is easy because we just need basic tools and five simple steps. Additionally, we ought to equip some important tips to maintain the quality of the product. These are a lot of tips that you should know:

  • You should cool the solar system before starting to clean it.
  • Check the instructions of your product at cleaning tips to guarantee whether the solar panels are allowed to wash by the soapy water.
  • You are not allowed to use hard or sharp items for cleaning the panel surfaces because they will create scratches on the product.
  • It would help if you used low pressure when washing the panels to prevent damages.
  • Do not use detergents or abrasive powders.
  • With sharp growth in the development of technology, the manufacturers have produced utilities to support users in protecting their solar panels. These include:
  • Special coatings on the solar panel to reduce and repel dust.
  • You can still remove dust without using water and do it at night with robotic cleaners. They operate based on air blowers and soft brushes.
  • You can measure dirt levels by commercial tools.

Conclusion

With helpful pieces of information above, I hope you can get enough knowledge to clean your solar panels effortlessly and quickly.

Did you find these steps beneficial for you?

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