What You Should Know About Cleaning Solar Panels

April 21, 2021

Your solar panels sit out on the top of your roof or on your property 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In that time, it only makes sense that they’re likely going to accumulate some dirt and debris. And if those panels get too coated with dust, there’s a chance it could prevent your system from taking in as much energy as it would otherwise be capable of.

But does this mean you need to clean your solar panels in Phoenix, AZ? Here’s a look at what you should know.

Cleaning solar panels—is it worth it?

You’re never going to be able to prevent dirt and dust from collecting on the panels—that’s simply unavoidable. However, that doesn’t mean you’re going to need to invest a lot of time into cleaning the panels, as most of the time even a short, mild rain shower will be sufficient to clean off the panels to the point where they’re able to operate at or near their full potential.

There have been studies conducted to look into this, in fact. Researchers investigated energy loss due to dust and grime on solar panels during the summer drought, and found that professional panel cleaning will usually not be worth the cost. However, there are a few exceptions:

  • Pitch: If you’re going to rely on rain to clean off the panels, you need to make sure they’re installed at and aligned to the proper pitch. Even just five degrees makes a significant difference. If you have your panels completely flat, rain will not help clean the panels and you will likely need to do that yourself.
  • Dirt type: What type of debris is actually making the panels dirty? How much of it accumulates, and how often? There are always going to be some airborne particles that you can trust to get washed off with rain, such as dirt, dust or pollen. However, other types of debris can be harder to remove, like bird droppings, sap or other types of dirt. If you have particularly stubborn debris clinging to the panels, then you might have to invest in professional cleaning. Still, the frequency of those cleanings shouldn’t be too great.
  • Location: Where on your property are the panels located, and where is the location of your property itself? The closer you are to factories, fields and busy highways, the more likely it is that your panels will be exposed to debris, especially if the wind blows right at the panels. In those cases, the location of your panels and your property could result in cleanings by professionals making financial sense every now and then, especially if you don’t get much in the way of rainfall throughout the year.

Want to know more about cleaning solar panels in Phoenix, AZ and when to have a professional get the job done for you? We encourage you to contact the team at Aneva Solar with any questions you have. As an LG Solar preferred installer, we’re committed to ensuring your solar panels are installed in such a way that maintenance is minimal and the return on your investment is high.

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