Monday, 11 January 2010

How to keep solar panels working efficiently during Winter

When looking out at the dark mornings and dark evenings, you could be forgiven for thinking solar panels don't work in the Winter at all.

However, there's still plenty of daylight to be had and whilst the shorter hours mean you won't generate much, you should still be able to generate a little.

So, if you've got solar panels already fitted and installed, then there are one or two 'housekeeping' chores you can carry out to keep your solar panels working at their most efficient.

Basically, anything that stops light reaching the panels is going to have an adverse effect so it's a good idea to give your solar panels surface a clean to remove any accumulation of dirt or grime.

Probably best not to attempt climbing on the roof for this one, try an extendable handle mounted squeegee with a little soapy water.

The panel should generate enough heat to melt a few snow flakes but for heavier snowfalls, consider clearing the snow off of the panel section.

There are also a number of specialist cleaners available for solar panels that work with a hose pipe attachment - a bit like a car cleaner system - so ask your local installer - they have details of what's recommended for your solar panel brand. Don't forget to follow the manufacturers instructions.

That's it. Keeping your solar panels clean or free from heavy snowfalls will make a big difference to how they perform for you during the winter.

photo credit: brian kusler

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