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How to clean and maintain solar panels – Top tips for Cleaning and Maintenance of Solar Panels

Is the cleaning and maintenance of solar panels worth it? Yes, optimal power harvesting is worth cleaning and maintaining solar panels. Cleansing your solar panel is worth due for two main reasons

To remove the dark spot and dirt from the panel top late collector
To maintain the efficiency of the panel
To save the amount of investment

The cleaning and maintenance of Solar panels are done in the entire lifetime for two to three years to maintain the Solar panel performance so that it produces enough energy. Solar panels are a significant investment, but they can be costly to maintain. Here are tips separately highlighted for the maintenance and cleaning of solar panels.

Solar cleaning

Top tips for Cleaning of Solar Panels

Solar panels are simple to maintain. You could do that on your own. However, if you doubt that you can damage your solar panel or if any scratch occurs then better go for the consultancy or solar panel cleaning and maintenance services providers. Solar Panel Costing offers solar PV panel and solar Power system cleaning and maintenance services in the UK, by partnering with them you can plan a services survey.

Solar cleaning

Switch off the solar panel

Switch off the DC/AC drives when you are ready to clean Solar panels. As any short circuit current occurs it will lead to big damage. When excess DC flows through to the body, it harms the muscles; similarly, when the body is exposed to excessive AC, it will directly cause fibrillation in the heart, which affects the blood circulation, heart functioning stops and it's unable to deliver the blood to the whole body. It is, therefore, to power off the PV system before cleaning the solar panel.

Solar cleaning

Clean solar PV panels often

Clean them once a month and notify their voltage and current if you reside in a dusty area. Every month just take a soft cotton fabric and wipe down the solar panel surface with a fabric or sponge and then rinse with mild temperature water. If you want to use some products then use the product by reading the description and instructions mentioned in the guide. The products are for use on metal surfaces to prevent rust.

Solar cleaning

Shading on panels

To overcome the shading effect, trimmed the branches of trees, as shading on solar panels reduces their output efficiency by up to 35-40%. To address this shading, a bypass diode attached to a system is used to level up the output voltage.

Solar cleaning

Optimal time for cleaning solar panels

Since solar panels are tested at different temperatures, sudden temperature fluctuations will hinder their efficiency when temperatures exceed 338.15 Kelvin (65 degrees celsius). It is best to clean solar panels early in the A.M or late in the P.M, as it is good for removing tough stains and spots.

Solar cleaning

Do Not scrub energetically

Too much pressure on the solar PV panel will damage its exterior surface and can introduce micro-scratches and cracks on the surface which will be visible after a few months, whenever exposed to high UV rays. Scratches on the solar panel surface will become a cause to short circuit the cell due to letting rain or other precipitation enter your panels. Hence damaging them and reducing the power of modules.

Solar cleaning

For cleaning solar PV panels at home, use the following cleaning tools:

- Long extension cleaning wiper in addition with a soft brush
- Use soft cotton fabric and newspaper
- Use distilled water don't use hard water and harsh material
- Use the cleaning product which contains ammonia which will help remove dirt faster
- Do Not use bleach to clean hard spots on Solar panels.
- Use organic acid-based cleaner in adequate proportion like white vinegar but note that apply vinegar on the dry surface, Applying it to damp surfaces will cause frequent damage to the panels' surface.
- Don't have a pressure washer, avoid it will save your solar panel
- wear protective goggles and gloves during this process to retain as much of your skin as possible from being damaged by chemicals or other harmful materials coming into contact with it.
- Clean the panel's surface with a solution of mild temperature water and baking powder soda in an appropriate proportion, the leaves spot will frequently disappear within a minute, no need to energetically rub it on the surface.

How to maintain Solar PV Panel – Top tips for Maintenance of Solar Panels

The maintenance of solar panels is the duty of the professional solar panel technician and experts recommend that solar panel maintenance be conducted only once per year. This will ensure that solar PV panels operate smoothly and do not deteriorate prematurely.
Here are some tips to help you keep your panels in good working order. During the maintenance procedure following inspections are considered:

Visual inspection

Technicians visually inspect the faults and spots on the solar panel. This inspection includes

Delimitation on the back of the solar panel:
Accumulated moisture in the back of the solar panel causes bubbles of air to form behind the glass. Module performance is lowered by moisture.

Solar cleaning

Junction Box:
check the soldering of wire, broken or damaged cables, and accumulated moisture in the junction box that can cause short circuits or metal corrosion will increase the chances of melting and wire.

Solar cleaning

Encapsulation Discoloration:
Technicians check the color variation inside the solar panel, and discoloration responsible for reducing current over time.

Solar cleaning

Snail trails on Cells:
Snail trails on cells array are due to micro-cracks that are not visible by the naked eye, it reduces the power of the module.

Solar cleaning

Check module mounting structure:
Assure the solar panel is mounted safely or not. Bolts and nuts tightness is restricted to prevent damage.

Solar cleaning

Check on the LEDs of Inverter:
The solar panel output power PVOUT capacity of Module as per kWh/kWp. The inverter has an LED indicator that indicates the status of the Solar Panel. If the LED on the solar inverter is blinking green then it means that the solar panel is producing its optimal output power.

Solar cleaning

Keep them cool

You can help keep your solar panels cooler by insulating them properly and keeping their environment as cool as possible (adjusting the airflow). This will help them generate less heat as well as extend its lifespan.

Keep them dry

Make sure that no water gets into the panels themselves because this will cause corrosion which could lead to damage or even lead to fire risk if left unchecked.

Conclusion:

The cleansing of the solar panel module must be done after every six months or twice a year to maintain the solar panel's health, as its output capacity degrades over time. On the other extremes, the maintenance of solar panels has to be done every year or two years. Solar panel maintenance and cleaning are crucial and need to be done within time. If neglected, this will affect the solar panel lifetime and its output power which is about to reduce by 1 -3 percent compared to clean solar panels.
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