Solar panels are an integral part of the solar energy system. They are the panels that absorb the rays from the sun that the system then converts to energy. The efficiency with which these panels perform this task depends on many factors including how clean the panels are. Solar panels are located outside and this means that they are often exposed to elements such as dust, grime, snow and many others that are common in Illinois. Unless solar panels are regularly cleaned, the dirt can form a coating on the panel, drastically reducing the panel’s ability to absorb solar rays. Here are some of the ways you can keep your home or commercial solar panels clean in Illinois.
Preparing for the Cleanup
It helps to think through the process before you start. For example, the best time to clean solar panels is early in the morning or late in the evening. This is because during the day, the panels heat up and pouring cold water on them could cause them to crack. You should also ensure that there is enough room around the panels to walk around and that you feel safe doing it. Ensure that you have appropriate shoes with good grip and that you protect your head with a hat if the early morning sun rays make you uncomfortable. Put some water, a soft cloth and soap in a bucket as this is all you will need to get the work done. You can also choose to talk to your solar energy contractor to get a feel of what you should and shouldn’t do.
Cleaning the Panels
Most of the dirt on the panels should easily come off with moderate rubbing with a soft, wet cloth. Some of the dirt such as bird droppings might require a little more rubbing but it should come off eventually. If you encounter oily stains (this could happen if you live near an airport such as O’Hare International Airport or a large industrial complex), you can consider using isopropyl alcohol to remove the stains.
Things to Note
Some solar panel contractors offer panel cleaning services. It might be wise to use their services as they come with the right equipment and expertise to get the job done properly. The other thing to remember is that unless the dirt is visible, it might not be worth the while to keep cleaning the panels all the time. Solar panels are sturdy and are designed to withstand the elements. Typically, rain often washes away any dirt and grime on the panels so you don’t have to do much. Frequent cleaning is only an option if you live in an Illinois location that is prone to dust and other kinds of pollutants.
You should also remember never to use anything abrasive that can scratch the surface of the panels. If you are not sure about how to remove a stain or a layer of grime on the surface of the panel in Illinois, it makes a lot of sense to bring in a professional. GenRenew is the leading solar energy experts in Illinois. We can help you install your Illinois solar energy system as well as keep it running efficiently and effectively.