Solar Panel Cleaning Benefits: Maximizing Your Investment

Solar panels are a significant investment for homeowners and businesses alike, promising to harness clean, renewable energy from the sun. Ensuring optimal performance from these panels may require more than just their installation; below we will discuss the benefits of solar panel cleaning.

How Solar Panels Work and Why Cleaning Matters

Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity through photovoltaic cells. When sunlight hits these cells, they generate an electrical current, which is then converted into usable electricity. However, dirt and debris accumulation on the surface of the panels creates a barrier that reduces the amount of sunlight reaching the photovoltaic cells. Understanding the solar panel cleaning benefits is crucial for maximizing energy production and the return on your investment.

What Causes My Panels to Get Dirty?

Panel soiling, the accumulation of dirt, dust, salt, pollen, and other particles on solar panels, is a natural phenomenon that can impact their production efficiency. Dust and pollen tend to affect panel production temporarily; usually rain and wind help remove these soiling particles within a few short days. Grease and bird droppings tend to stick around and have a longer-term impact. Grease from nearby roads and restaurants can also cause dirt and pollen to adhere longer. Salt can help other soiling particles stick around longer. Studies have shown that panel soiling can result in energy losses ranging from 2% to 20%, depending on the extent of soiling and the duration between cleanings.

How Much Production Might I Lose?

To test how much value you might lose to panel soiling, we examined a 30-panel array on Aquidneck Island that produced 12,500 kWh in the last year. On average, solar panel cleaning should improve production efficiency by 5%. We found that the array would have produced about 630 kWh, or $170 worth of additional energy, demonstrating the significant solar panel cleaning benefits.

How Much Does it Cost to Clean My Panels with Fish Window Cleaning?

Fish Window Cleaning estimates that solar panel cleaning would be about $10 per panel. Cleaning these 30 panels would therefore cost $300. (as of 2024) Roofs that are higher up or steeper may increase the cost of cleaning.

Does it Make Sense to Clean My Solar Panels?

We think yes! It may not be advisable to clean your solar panels every year, but once every 2-3 years could make a lot of sense for reaping solar panel cleaning benefits, especially if you are in a location where birds are nesting, near the ocean, near a highway, or near a populated area where restaurants are cooking frequently. With the payback on the cleaning being 2-3 years, this could be an appropriate approach.

Enhanced Energy Security with Clean Panels

Having batteries also contributes to the argument to clean your solar panels on occasion. During grid outages, every kWh of energy from your solar panels is important to help your batteries last until the grid is repaired and reenergized. If you have batteries, consider the contribution clean panels can make to your security.

Roof Slope and Cleaning Effectiveness

The slope of your roof can have a major impact on the effectiveness of cleaning. The flatter the panels, the more likely they are to stay dirty. Lower slope solar arrays stand to benefit the most from regular cleaning.

Longevity and Performance

Cleaning your solar panels can lead to system longevity as well. Accumulated dirt and debris can create hot spots on the surface of the panels, leading to thermal stress and potential damage over time. By keeping the panels clean with Fish Window Cleaning, owners can ensure they operate at peak performance and avoid costly repairs or replacements.

Conclusion

In conclusion, panel soiling can have a significant impact on solar panel production, leading to decreased energy output and potential financial losses for owners. Scheduled cleaning by Fish Window Cleaning will mitigate the effects of soiling and ensure optimal performance from solar panels. By investing in proper maintenance, owners can maximize their energy production, extend the lifespan of their panels, and reap the full benefits of clean, renewable solar energy.

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