The solar panel also needs care, cleaning, and maintenance just like any other type of equipment. Each user of such a technique wants the solar battery to accumulate energy as efficiently as possible and for a very long time does not fail. It is worth noting that the minimum maintenance interval for solar panels is at least once every 3 months during the summer and autumn season. The cold season and a lot of rain impose its features on the service. In winter and spring, it is necessary to clean the panels at least once a month.
It should be done early in the morning or late in the evening when solar activity is at its minimum. It is also worth noting that there are many additional factors that affect the amount of h & m maintenance of solar panels. It can be physical pollution and shaded by trees, chemical thermal activity and other moments. In this article, we will examine in detail the needs and reasons for the regular maintenance of solar panels.
The Soiling Losses Definition
The term refers to the contamination of panels with various sediments, dirt, bird excrement, or other elements. All this blocks the direct access of sunlight to the photocell and reduces the efficiency of all panels as a whole. You should carefully monitor these parameters because the performance of your solar panels can drop dramatically. In general, soiling losses depend on many factors, in particular on where your station is installed.
Humidity, proximity to various factories and production facilities also affect battery performance. For example, installing a panel with direct proximity to plants and a thermal power plant contributes to the formation of a huge layer of dust on the panels per day. In this case, you have to clean the panels every day.
Many regions with dust and sand storms should also have everything needed for quick panel cleaning. It is worth noting that in many states in the USA tornadoes, dust storms and various precipitations that interfere with the generation of electricity in solar panels also often pass.
Soiling losses are a complex parameter; therefore power rating is classified by special tables. According to statistics, up to 30% of electricity is lost annually due to the inappropriate condition of solar panels. With maintenance procedures and regular system checks, you can reduce energy loss and significantly improve the performance of your solar station.
Source: Power loss due to soiling on a solar panel – M.R Maghami.
Time to Clean: The Main Indicators
Before determining the exact frequency of cleaning your solar battery, you must make preliminary measurements. Immediately after installing the solar panel on your site or the roof of the house you must test and measure the indicators during the first month and the whole subsequent year. It is worth noting that the solar season gives a greater increase in electricity than cloudy winter and autumn days.
Also, do not forget that the indicator of energy storage for 1 year may be lower than 5-7 or even the fifteenth year of use. Having the technical data and the amount of energy storage in hand, you can identify leaks and lack of electricity. On average, panel cleaning should occur at least every 3 months. There are also additional factors that may affect the frequency of cleaning. For example, your neighbors are building a new house or doing repairs related to huge dust emissions.
Also, many state and municipal services can carry out activities associated with dust and dirt. If this happens near you, a certain layer of dirt and dust can be on solar panels and reduce the amount of energy storage. You should also pay attention to the territory in which your battery is located. If the region in which you live is often exposed to dust storms or other weather events, you will have to clean the batteries every month. It is worth noting that winter is the most difficult period for solar panels.
In case of heavy snowfall, you will have to clean the panels so that electricity production is not reduced to a minimum. Of course, the panels can independently heat and melt a small layer of snow. Nevertheless, during heavy snowfalls, this process may be delayed for many hours, which is unacceptable for energy storage. Ideally, you should clean the roof in the winter every month or more often.
One of the most enjoyable meteorological effects for solar panels is rain. It is a natural cleaner that helps reduce the amount of system maintenance. Ideally, your installer should mount the panels at an angle of 15 degrees. It will effectively wash away all dust and dirt from the matrix. Thanks to this, you can avoid energy losses and efficiently use batteries. It is worth noting that many US states have frequent rainy weather every year.
Therefore, you don’t have to worry about regular cleaning with various detergents. All you need to do is periodically check the effectiveness of the rain and eliminate minimal pollution. If you live in Texas or a region with frequent dry months, then you should carefully inspect the solar panel immediately after rain.
The fact is that part of the dirt is collected precisely because of the dust that is wet in the rain. It is worth cleaning such impurities immediately after a rain so that the dirt does not dry out. Otherwise, you risk spending many hours cleaning the solar panel. Keep the whole system clean to avoid the loss of electricity. It does not mean that you have to climb the roof of the house with a mop every day.
The Right Time to Clean It
Speaking of the exact time for cleaning the solar panels, you can focus on the morning period from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. You can also carry out a cleaning procedure from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. This time is chosen by them simply because the solar panels are less efficient at this time. Reducing the amount of sunlight allows you to quickly remove from the panel and not affect the consumption and accumulation of electricity.
The fact is that daytime is the most productive for generating electricity. If you start working during the day, then reduce the efficiency of the entire system. As mentioned earlier, you must carry out seasonal cleaning and monthly maintenance during the winter period. It is worth noting that daily cleaning in the summer is undesirable because the panels tend to heat up. Contact with detergents or water can cause evaporation. And it will be very hot on the roof. Knowing these nuances you can more efficiently remove solar panels.