You might be surprised to find out that your solar panels are one of the most low-maintenance appliance in (or on top of) your home. The minimal contact necessary with your solar panels is a major reason why they are such a massive investment for your home.
Every now and then, however, giving your panels a thorough look-see is never a bad idea. But don’t take our word for it, take Google’s. Their Mountain View, California campus is the site of a 1.7 megawatt solar panel system which supplies 30 percent of the power for the building on which it’s installed.
With a system that large in place, and with so many smart people around to make sure it’s running at full capacity, the internet-services giant conducted an experiment to see if cleaning the panels would make a difference in their operating efficiency. While their rooftop panels seemed to be placed at enough of a tilt to allow most debris to slide off, they found that their flat carport solar panels, which are located across from a sand field, had accumulated some dust after 15 months of use.
After a cleaning, the panels’ energy output doubled overnight. “When we cleaned them again eight months later, their output instantly increased by 36 percent,” an official Google blog stated. “In fact, we found that cleaning these panels is the #1 way to maximize the energy they produce.” Those carport solar panels have been added to Google’s spring-cleaning checklist.
What to do now
Check with your solar panel manufacturer to find their recommendations for cleaning and what cleaning solution they recommend. Follow those guidelines, and you’ll be ensuring that your can run as efficiently as possible.
Consider solar power
Want to know more about the Google project? The company currently supplies electricity for more than 30 percent of its global operations with renewables, with a goal to supply 100 percent. And they’ve reported that the payback period for the solar panels is estimated six years.
At home or at work, solar is a smart financial investment. If you’d like to know more about solar power, contact your local solar installer for a free quote and find out more about which type of solar installation is right for you.
Download our eBook, Taking Care of Your Solar Panels, to learn more about getting the most from your system.