How to Clean Lichen from Solar Panels in 5 Easy Steps

If you have solar panels it’s important to keep your panels clean so that they can operate at their full potential. Lichen, algae, and other types of moss can build up on the panels and reduce their efficiency.

The best way to clean lichen from solar panels is by using a soft brush or a rag to scrub it off gently. If the lichen is very stubborn, you can use a water and vinegar solution to help loosen it up. Be sure to rinse the panels so there is no residue or vinegar left behind.

We will teach you how to clean lichen from solar panels in 5 easy steps so that you can get back to full efficiency.

What Is Lichen and What Does It Look Like on Solar Panels?

Lichen is a type of fungi that can grow on various surfaces, including solar panels. It is typically green or black and can be very difficult to remove.

Like algae, lichen can grow on your solar panels if they are exposed to rainwater or dew for an extended period of time.

Lichen is very visible as it will make your panels look greenish and mossy if it’s allowed to grow unchecked. While it’s not harmful to the panels, lichen can reduce their efficiency and make them less effective at converting sunlight into energy.

How Lichen Forms and Grows on Solar Panels

Algae and lichen form in damp and shady areas. If your solar panels are exposed to rain, they can become a breeding ground for lichen growth.

Lichen may grow in shady areas like your home’s roof or overhanging trees, such as oak trees, for example.

The following conditions must be present in order for lichen to grow:

  • Rainwater or dew on the surface of the panels (usually caused by poor drainage)
  • Shade from something like trees or nearby buildings that block sunlight
  • High humidity levels (usually caused by poor ventilation)
  • A lack of solar panel cleaning and maintenance on the part of the homeowner.

Lichen can grow in any location where these conditions are present, but it’s most common in areas with high rainfall. If you live in a dry climate, you’ll probably see less lichen growth on your solar panels.

How Lichen Affects the Performance of Solar Panels

The system performance of each solar panel can be reduced by up to 15% if they are covered in lichen. The reason for this is that the lichen blocks sunlight from hitting the panel, which reduces the amount of energy that can be converted into electricity.

The build-up of moisture on the panels caused by lichen can also lead to corrosion of the metal parts, which can cause them to malfunction.

This means it’s important to remove lichen on your solar panels as soon as you notice it growing on them so that they can continue performing at their peak efficiency levels.

Tips for Preventing Lichen Growth on Solar Panels in The Future

The best thing you can do to prevent the growth of lichen on your solar panels is to keep them clean and free of debris. This means cleaning them at least once a month, or more often if they are dirty.

Here are some more tips for preventing lichen growth:

  • Make sure your solar panels are installed in a well-drained location.
  • Regularly clean your gutters to ensure that water flows away from the panels.
  • Keep your solar panel system clean and free of debris, especially during periods when there is a lot of rain or snow in your area.
  • If you live in an area with high levels of rainfall, consider using a water repellent coating on your solar panels to help keep them dry.

We hope this helps give you some ideas on how to get rid of lichen growth on your solar panels so they can continue performing at their peak efficiency levels!

FAQ

Final Thoughts

Cleaning solar panels may seem like a difficult task, but with the right tools and instructions, it can be easy and straightforward.

By following these simple steps, you can clean lichen from your solar panels in no time and improve their efficiency.

If you have trees near your solar panels then you may also find it interesting to read how to clean tree sap from your solar panels as this is also a very sticky problem for a lot of people.

Bird droppings on solar panels can also be a problem so remember to clean your solar panels regularly to avoid stuff on your solar panels reducing the efficiency. 

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