Autumn is definitely in the air so we’re all looking forward to cooler weather after this year’s blistering summer heat.
Your solar panels will also be looking forward to cooler days too, as they operate much better at temperatures below 25C. For every degree over 25C the panels reach, they lose 0.3-0.5% of their efficiency, so even though the days are shorter and a bit chillier, your panels will still be kicking out loads of power.
Autumn is a good time to give your panels a once-over as there are a few things you should do to keep them in tip-top condition and working efficiently over the colder months.
Give your panels a wash
Always use a soft brush you clean your panels as any scratches will affect the amount of light reaching the cells. You need to remove bird droppings, dust, grease, dead leaves and so on so that you maximise the amount of light getting through.
Never use harsh detergents with abrasives in, or hard-bristled brushes and you should never get onto your roof unless you have the right equipment and experience. If you can’t reach your panels from the ground, you should call your installer, who’ll be able to recommend a reputable panel cleaner.
Angle your panels to catch the sun
The sun hits the earth at a shallower angle in autumn and winter, so to get the best angle of incidence possible, you’ll need to (if you can) adjust your panels so they face the sun. You should get a decent amount of full sun in this way.
Autumn is also the best time to crop back any branches, hedges or bushes that have had a growth spurt over the summer as they could literally be throwing shade onto your panels and this has a much bigger impact than you might imagine.
You can talk to your installer about the best angle to tilt your panels at for autumn and winter, or ask them to come in and do it for you as part of your autumn servicing.