Maintenance of solar panels is definitely a big challenge. These are installed in open spaces, therefore, cannot be left to deal with the environmental extremities on their own. Given the cost of installation and the output the solar panels deliver, it is important to find cleaning methods that require minimal labor and very less time.
Conventional methods of Solar Panel Cleaning
As soon as the solar panel installations came into picture, the cleaning and maintenance contracts came along. These contracts did bring the cause of concern in the form of maintenance cost. Some of the tips for low budget solar panel cleaning made available to users are:
- Use of clean water and coarse cloth: Detergent is not to be used at all for cleaning solar panels. This stuff creates scratches on glass solar panels. The better alternative is to use clean water and coarse cloth. It is advisable to use trained cleaners who use necessary safety equipment to carry out the cleaning regime in higher and otherwise inaccessible areas of the installed panels.
- Use of iso-propyl alcohol: This cleaning agent proves effective for removing oily deposits on the solar panel. Oily stains are commonly found in those solar panels which are installed near to heavily frequented roads like highways, or near to airports or in areas of chemicals industries.
Modern alternative to manual cleaning
A more permanent solution is achieved by the use of self-cleaning PV coatings that take the effort out from the maintenance regime of solar panels. Self-cleaning coatings lay stuck permanently to the surface of the panels and just a splash of water is sufficient for them to roll off the dirt and other nasty deposits. In addition to providing ease of cleaning, the PV coatings also let pass the light through the surface due to its anti-reflective nature. The more light means better productivity per unit area.
So, these are some of the cleaning methods one can adopt to keep the solar panels shining as well as functional for longer periods.