Article Author: Meghan Harmon, Director of Marketing & Media
Is It Really Necessary? Yes.
People often forget that their solar panels will eventually need maintenance. This includes regular cleanings and inspections to ensure optimum production levels. The difficult part is figuring out how often to get them cleaned.
Google recently did an experiment at their solar farm in Mountain View, CA. They found that “Cleaning their solar panels was the number one way to maximize the energy they produce” (Maehlum, 2013). Dust, grime, dirt, and other debris can accumulate on the surface of your system and cause blockage. Some homeowners dismiss the need for professional cleanings, claiming that rainfall will naturally wash away the debris.
Experts found, “Rain is not a satisfying way of cleaning solar panels. Solar panels that were cleaned professionally had a 12% higher output of electricity compared to those cleaned by rain” (Maehlum, 2013). Depending on the size of your home, that could have a significant impact on your energy bill each month. California is currently running the course of its fifth consecutive year in a drought. This depletes consumers of the natural rainfall that would otherwise give them (at the very least) a good rinse. Your panels could collect dirt and debris quicker/slower than someone who lives on another side of town.
When To Clean Your Solar Panels
It is known that the Central Valley has a high rate air pollution. This is due to heavy traffic flow and condensed areas of industrial manufacturers. These factors can contribute to needing your panels cleaned on a bi-annual basis. We here at Solar Negotiators give consumers the information and tools to make their own decisions. There are in fact steps you can take to identify when you need to get your solar panels cleaned. When it becomes an issue with your production levels, monitoring systems usually offer a better alternative.
Depending on where you have a monitoring system installed, short routine (couple mins) that could save you a costly hassle in the future. Since it is already recommended that you check your monthly output levels, you should be able to determine whether or not you need to call a professional to get your system washed. Power output can decrease as much as 30% when you have dirty panels, that could make the difference of offsetting your bill each month.
It is true that you can clean them yourselves, but it isn’t guaranteed that you will get as deep of a cleaning as you would with a professional. At the affordable rates we offer in our packages, why go through the hassle? You want the most from your solar system, and we here at Solar Negotiators want to give you all the tools possible to make sure that happens. Give us a call at our Solar Maintenance Pros line today (559) 355-3544.