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Sun, Sand, and...Dust: How to Clean Your Portable Solar Panels for Optimal Performance

RT2
POWEREPUBLIC Inc. April 14, 2023
Classify:
Camping Tips Power Tips Solar Energy

More and more folks are turning to portable solar panels for their power, but it's crucial to know why keeping them clean is a big deal. As time goes by, dust and dirt can accumulate on the panels, reducing their effectiveness. Cleaning them ensures they continue to operate efficiently.

It is very important to know that the efficiency of a portable solar panel is a measurement of its ability to convert sunlight into usable electricity. In other words, solar panel with 23% efficiency, meaning that it is capable of converting 23% of the sunlight into electricity.

In this article, we'll explore why it's crucial to clean your portable solar panels and how to do it effectively.

Why Do We Need To Clean Solar Panels Properly

The primary reason to clean your portable solar panels is to maintain their efficiency. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity via what's known as the photovoltaic effect.

When solar panels become dirty, the dust and debris can create a barrier between the sun and the panels, preventing them from harnessing the energy from the sun. This will result in reduced solar input, which can be frustrating if you rely on portable solar panels for your energy needs, especially when you need them to recharge your portable power station.

Furthermore, solar panels with dirt can also lead to more wear and tear on your equipment. When panels are clogged with debris, it can cause them to overheat, which will shorten their lifespan. And that’s why having regular cleaning is important as it can prevent overheating and ensure the panel’s lifespan.

How Do I Know If My Solar Panels Need Maintenance

The easiest way to determine if your solar panels need maintenance is to check whether the solar input has decreased. Additionally, you can visually inspect them to see if they are covered by dirt, leaves, or other debris.

Some people may think it is not a big deal to be so overwhelmed by it. But we are here to let you know, you could be missing out on a lot of electricity conversion because of dirt on the surface. Any obstruction, like dirt or debris, has the same effect as shading.

So, it is quite important to keep your solar panels properly maintained on a regular base.

Some Simple Steps To Keep Your Panels Clean

Now that you understand why it's essential to keep your portable solar panels clean, let's explore how to do it effectively.

The good news is that cleaning your solar panels is not complicated. It is a straightforward process that can be done with a few household items.  Before cleaning your panels, please make sure they are turned off and disconnected from any power source to prevent damage to your equipment. Safety first.

Here are the 3 steps of how to clean the panels effectively:

  • Use a gentle brush or a leaf blower to clear away loose dirt and debris. Be gentle to avoid scratching the panels. Avoid using a brush with stiff bristles as it could damage the panel's surface.

  • Fill a bucket with cold or room-temperature water and a few drops of dish soap. Using a sponge or cloth, gently scrub the surface of your solar panels to remove any dirt and grime. Be sure to avoid using abrasive cleaners or chemicals that could damage the panels.

  • Rinse the solar panels with clean water, making sure to remove all the soap residue. Dry the panels with a clean, soft cloth, or let them air dry.

      How often should I clean my solar panels? 

      It's essential to clean your portable solar panels regularly to maintain their efficiency, particularly if you're using them in dusty or dirty environments.

      How often you clean your panels will depend on your environment, but it's a good practice to clean them every 3 to 6 months. For example, if you live at the beach with solar panels, the salt crust may happen more frequently than every 6 months, meaning you will need to maintain your panels more frequently. If you’re in a particularly pollen-heavy area, you will need to see to it that you clean your panels more frequently, as the dust may accumulate more and faster than in other areas.

      Final thoughts

      In conclusion, keeping your portable solar panels clean is crucial to keep them working well for a long time. By following the three simple steps mentioned earlier, you can ensure your panels continue to provide the power you need.

      If you have the budget for it, it's a good idea to contact a local solar installation company to help with cleaning. Lastly, if you plan to clean the panels yourself, do it in the early morning when they're cool. Solar panels can get hot, up to 149°F in the summer, so keep that in mind.

      Learn More About POWEREPUBLIC Portable Solar Panels.

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