Our customers often ask us “Should I clean my panels in January or February?” or “It just rained. I’ll wait until it doesn’t rain for awhile”. The truth is that rain will only provide a minimal rinse off any loose dirt or dust, it will not remove the baked in dirt and debris. To illustrate this, consider what would happen to your car’s windshield if you didn’t clean it for 6 months? The grime and dirt would “green over”, completely blocking your visibility (and light) from entering your car.
Think about how dirty your car/windshield gets even after several weeks. And the morning after a rain, remember how your car (if left outside) seems even dirtier than before, like the dust and dirt was just moved around.
The fact is that rain contains dust particles that settle and attach to the surface after the rainwater evaporates. When we use our windshield wipers, we clean the center of the screen, but where the wipers do not reach, there is a nasty film of dirt. Your solar panels are in the same condition as the edge of the windshield, where the wipers can’t reach, and likely even worse, since the angle of most solar panels is less than your windshield. Also, the minimal loose dust that does move by the rain will lead to dust accumulating in the lower row of each solar panel, which can cause significant heating. In a string of photovoltaic cells in a panel, if one cell is shaded the others will force current through it, which makes the cell heat up, and will cause a significant decrease in your solar output and greatly reducing the lifespan of your panels.
We’ve recently cleaned many homes/businesses shortly after a rain and the before pictures are just as bad as we find them in the middle of summer! And our customers routinely report a 15-20% boost in power output after having their solar panels cleaned, even days after it rains.
The other thing we stress is that to keep your solar panels operating at full capacity, you need to clean you panels at least 2X per year, ideally Winter-Summer, or Spring-Fall. The power output boost after a solar panel cleaning has been documented, in fact one of our own customers tells her first hand experience here.
And I had my panels cleaned in December as part of my 2X/yr Silver Service plan, and I documented a 15% boost in power!
Book your appointment today to have your solar panels cleaned this winter or spring! It’s smart!