Sunlight and the heat energy delivered by a solar system are always in a direct relationship; the more sunlight, the more energy. And the more energy, the higher the temperature of water in your home. However, the process of converting sunlight to heat energy isn't as straightforward as it seems. This is because the panels on your roof need to be clear of dirt and obstacles to trap maximum sunlight. Unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent certain obstacles like bird droppings from collecting on the panels. If you have bird droppings on your solar panels, you need to clean them.
Why Should You Get Rid Of The Droppings?
Bird droppings, especially when they are heavily concentrated, can block all the sunlight and reduce the efficiency of your solar hot water system. In numbers, the efficiency can reduce by 15-20%. So before you get worked up on why your water isn't as hot as you expect, check your panels first.
How Do You Clean The Panels?
Since most panels are made of glass, cleaning the droppings or any other type of dirt shouldn't be much of a problem. All you need is your garden hose, a sponge, a soft brush or a soft cloth. First, try your garden hose on the panels. The water pressure should be enough to wipe off the droppings. If not, fill a spray bottle or a bucket with soap and warm water. Soak your sponge in the water and try to scrub the surface of the panels.
Do not use detergent or abrasive powders as your soap. This is because detergents may streak the glass panels while abrasive powders may also scratch the panels and reduce their efficiency. Another tip is to mind the time of day you pick for cleaning. The panels can gain heat quickly and turn hot if the temperature outside is high so opt for the morning or afternoon hours.
Safety Tips For Panels Located On The Roof
If your solar panels are located on the roof, there is much more to worry about other than the panels. First you need to keep yourself safe by observing the rules of climbing a roof. One of the rules is to use a ladder and to have someone else stand by to offer support when you need it. Another safety precaution is to wear loose clothes and rubber-soled shoes for better traction. Also, do not carry objects with you as you climb the roof because they will cause instability and increase your chances of falling over. Instead, pull the items up the ladder with a rope.