Solar Panel Cleaning: What Homeowners Should Know
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Utah homeowners with solar-powered homes know that solar is a wise investment — but not a cheap one. If you’re a Utahan with a solar home, however, what you don’t know about solar panel cleaning can hurt you.
Cleaning a solar array effectively to maximize efficiency and panel production is, in conjunction with getting the aesthetic outcome correct, unfortunately, beyond the scope of a typical homeowner’s ability (yes, even if you’re a proud DIYer).
Sure, certain kinds of cleaning, such as removing snow from solar panels, can be completed by a homeowner with a roof rake. However, when dust, bird droppings, and pest exclusion need removal from panels, you’ll need a professional solar panel cleaner to ensure you get the return on investment needed from your solar panel cleaning.
The 3 Purposes of Solar Panel Cleaning Solutions
There are three main purposes of solar panel cleaning solutions:
1) Improving the aesthetics of the solar panels as a high-grade accessory to the home.
2) The additional solar panel efficiency that can be garnered from a professional, high-grade solar panel cleaning.
3) Ensuring the safety of the panels amid pest intrusion. It’s not just for the safety of the solar panels — it’s for the safety of the animals as well.
Kinds of Solar Panel Cleaning Services
There are two main kinds of solar panel cleaning services you can get from a professional Utah solar panel cleaning company:
The standard cleaning of the panels themselves and pest exclusion: It’s common for animals, such as birds, to nest under solar panels. Solar panel production, however, can be impacted by debris. Taking the time to clean solar panels can improve how well they function. This matters because it can lead to damages of the solar panels themselves.
Be Sure To Choose a Company Specializing in Solar Panel Cleaning, Not a Range of Other Services.
If possible, do not let the seeming ease of solar panel cleaning deceive you into going with a company specializing in numerous kinds of home cleaning services. Choosing a window washing company that doubles as a solar panel cleaning company may come at a cheaper rate, but that company’s operating costs are likely contained by mixing and matching certain cleaning solutions into one process.
The best Utah solar panel cleaning services typically operate on a subscription model, meaning recurring cleanings for existing customers are these companies’ wellspring. The benefit of the subscription model these companies run is the fact that it champions great customer service, and on a recurring basis, not a one-time fee.
However, if you do want a single cleaning without opting into a subscription, numerous companies will offer that, albeit at a slightly higher price for the one solar panel cleaning than the customer would get per clean for an annual subscription for two solar panel cleanings.
Picking a solar panel cleaning company with great reviews is a must. Why? Because, quite simply, cleaning solar panels is not like cleaning windows or other simple surfaces. It requires much more than getting on the roof and scrubbing the dust off of the solar panels with water and soap.
And, as Utah homeowners know, the dust in the Beehive State is plentiful, especially in the arid summertime. This dust can reduce your solar panels’ ability to provide power to your home, and at an essential time of year for reducing the power bill, given the demand for air conditioning!
Additionally, if your Utah home has the Tesla Powerwall or another form of battery backup, a significant amount of dust on the arrays themselves can be preventing you from getting maximum storage of energy in your battery backup system.
The Best Way To Clean Solar Panels: Sorry, DIYers, It Comes With the Expertise of a Professional
While a solar panel may appear to have similar cleaning needs to a window, when you think about it, the purposes of these surfaces is very different, and each of them needs to be accounted for. The purpose of a window is to allow the passage of light into a room and to provide sight from inside the home to the outer world.
A solar panel, however, has a very different, and far more technical, purpose. From the wafers of the silica, conductors in the panels, to the electrical conduit’s ability to send enough photovoltaic energy to the inverter to complete current transduction, which enables the panels to power the home for standard use, the difference in purpose between solar panels and windows is a great mirror into the technicalities needed for cleaning solar panels — in contrast to windows.
The cleaning solutions needed for solar panels must be of higher grade and specialized only for that surface if homeowners are to get the benefits of both aesthetic improvement and improvement in the production of their solar panels from the cleaning itself.
Even if you have a ground mount that is easily accessible and only several feet off the ground, you’ll want to ensure you call a professional to use the right cleaning solutions, which are outlined in the below section.
The Beauty and Efficiency of RO/DI Water Cleaning Solutions for Solar Panels
The hallmark of a Utah solar panel cleaning company using the right solution is a branded solar panel cleaning solution made just for cleaning solar panels and not other surfaces, such as RO/DI water.
RO/DI water is an abbreviation for “Reverse Osmosis,” which filters out all the minerals of the water to ensure a spot-free rinse on the solar panels.
DI is an abbreviation for “de-ionization,” which strips the water of all harmful ions, such as salt, which makes it attach to and remove dust particles more readily from the solar panels themselves.
When used in tandem with a sophisticated filtration system, any Utah solar panel cleaning service with the above solutions is worth its weight in gold to a solar-powered home.
Dust and Its impact on Utah Solar Panel Efficiency
If you have a high-grade, monocrystalline, German-engineered set of solar modules, the opportunity cost of them not being clean is far greater than it would be with dust and debris cluttering a cheaper, polycrystalline set of solar modules.
Common debris on solar panels includes dust, dirt, pollen and bird droppings. These collect on solar panels and can block full sun exposure. Depending on the geographical location of the array, debris can decrease solar efficiency significantly.
Utah Solar Panel Cleaning Services: More Specifics
Solar panel cleaning services make cleaning solar panels a painless process. Knowing when a cleaning job should be completed by a professional and what to look for will save time and money.
Solar panels don’t need much maintenance. However, cleaning solar panels at least once per year is recommended as the bare minimum, with two professional cleanings annually being the best bang for the buck and return on investment.
When a Solar Panel Cleaning Service Is Worth Considering
Cleaning services are ideal for tough solar panel cleaning jobs. However, it is also a good fit for those who don’t want to clean their solar panels. If after checking the array’s solar monitoring app, the production is a little low, it may be worth it to get a professional cleaning for the solar panels.
What To Look for in a Utah Solar Cleaning Company
Now that you’ve learned your solar panels can benefit greatly from a professional cleaning, choosing the best one is the next step. Steer clear of companies who do not take care of the heart of the issue, whether that issue is aesthetics or performance optimization of the solar panels themselves.
It is also important to know how they clean the solar panels. Sometimes soaps leave a residue, so methods that reduce this could increase solar production.
Getting a reference from your solar company may also increase your chances of a satisfactory cleaning service. Going with a solar panel cleaning company your solar installer trusts is an easy way to ensure you’re getting a good recommendation from an expert who understands the needs of solar panel cleaning, inside and out.