The Benefits of Solar Panel Cleaning

It’s hard to argue against the huge advantages that a residential solar power system can provide to the Long Island homeowner. From saving you money on your monthly electricity bill to reducing pollution and shrinking your home’s carbon footprint, the immediate and long-term benefits of solar power almost always outweigh the initial costs. In fact, most solar systems will end up more than paying for themselves over the long run, that is, as long as you’re willing to put in the time and energy to keep the panels free from dirt, dust, grime and other debris. In light of this, here are the basic facts you need to know about solar panel cleaning and why it is so essential for maintaining peak solar efficiency.

Understanding Solar Panel Efficiency

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Recent advancements in technology ensure that today’s photovoltaic solar panels are far more efficient at harnessing the sun’s energy than ever before, and this directly equates to more electricity production and thus greater savings. This increase in overall efficiency is primarily related to improvements in the photovoltaic solar cells themselves that allow them to more effectively capture sunlight and turn it into electricity.

The only problem is that the entire system relies on the sunlight actually striking the solar cells, which obviously becomes more difficult if the panels are covered with bird droppings, dirt or grime. Basically, anything that even partially covers the solar panel will block some of the sunlight from reaching the solar cells and thus reducing their energy-generating capabilities.

The Importance of Solar Panel Washing

Many people believe that the rain is usually sufficient enough to clean their solar panels, but you only need to look at how often you have to clean your car’s windshield or exterior windows to understand why rain often isn’t enough. Sticky pollen, bird droppings and even basic dust and grime often clings to glass and tends to require more than just a bit of rain to wash it off. In fact, if you were to go wash your solar panels right now, you’d surely be surprised by just how dirty the water gets almost immediately and also by how shiny the panels look once you’re finished.

Of course, the reason solar panel washing is so important has nothing to do with aesthetics or the way the panels look. Instead, it is all about ensuring the panels perform as efficiently as possible. Even a thin, almost invisible layer of dust can lead to a decrease in efficiency. However, dirtier panels might suffer by as much as 20 t0 25 percent of their total energy-generating capability, and some studies have shown that the total energy loss could increase to over 30 percent in situations where the panels have never been properly washed or cleaned.

Safe, Effective Solar Panel Maintenance

The fact that the efficiency of your solar panels can suffer so much without proper cleaning shows why it’s so essential that you take the time to regularly wash your solar array. Nonetheless, one of the main reasons most people don’t want their solar panels is that they tend not to be easy to access. Climbing up on the roof obviously carries with it certain risks, and these risks are only increased once soap and water are involved. In this case, it is essential that you only ever attempt it if you have the proper safety equipment.

The truth is that solar panel cleaning has the potential to be extremely dangerous, which is why it’s usually best left to the professionals. Hiring a Long Island professional to handle your solar cleaning not only ensures that the job will be done safely, but also that it is done correctly. In this way, you should be able to remain confident that your solar array is functioning at peak efficiency.

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