How to Clean Solar Panels

To optimize the output of your solar energy system, it is important that your panels remain free of debris or other factors that could limit the output.  It is important to understand how to clean your panels properly and effectively in order to avoid any damage. 

Why Cleaning Solar Panels is Important

Factors such as: dirt, dust and debris can reduce solar panel efficiency and limit the output of your system. In areas that receive regular precipitation, maintenance and cleaning should be minimal as rain can wash the panels, however in any location relying on rain to clean the panels is not always enough.

Solar panels work most effectively and efficiently when their view to the sun is not obstructed by buildup and other debris. Regular cleaning ensures that you reap the maximum benefits from your financial investment in a solar energy system.

Factors to Consider Before Cleaning

Taking safety precautions before cleaning your panels is essential to their longevity. Not all solar panels have the same maintenance suggestions, so checking the manufacturer’s instructions is important before conducting any cleaning. The correct amount of tilt and adequate rain allow the panels to be self-cleaning, but it is important to take the proper measures if you must clean the panels yourself. To avoid scratching or damaging your panels, it is best practice to use water and a soft non-abrasive cloth to remove dirt and debris. It is best to choose to clean your panels during cooler or overcast days to avoid the heat as well as minimize the risk of cracking the panel glass as the water dries.

Equipment and Materials Needed

When cleaning your panels, it is important to use the proper equipment to eliminate any potential damages. Using non-abrasive equipment such as soft brushes and microfiber clothes is best practice for cleaning as well as a gentle detergent solution if necessary. Using non-abrasive and non-corrosive cleaning materials is essential to making sure that your panels are not damaged during the cleaning process.

Cleaning Methods

To effectively clean your panels it is essential to know the proper steps to take in order to clean effectively. First start by dislodging any dust, dirt or other debris with a soft brush. Next, use a hose to spray the panels clean. During this step, it is important to understand that high-pressure water can create cracks on the panel surface. Lastly, if any problem areas remain, scrub them with a soft brush and water. Once the cleaning has been completed, it is good practice to monitor the system's output in case the cleaning causes any damage. 

Safety Considerations

Solar panel cleaning may involve climbing ladders and/or spending time on elevated surfaces. Because of the risks involved, safety precautions are necessary. Before conducting cleaning, the system should be turned off and power sources should be disconnected. Consult professionals if you have any questions about this step. Wearing work gloves and non-slip footwear can help keep you safe.

Professional Cleaning Services

If you are feeling uneasy about cleaning your panels yourself, exploring the option of hiring professional cleaning services for solar panel maintenance may be a good choice for you. Outsourcing the cleaning process can help ensure that the system is not impaired through electrical error when turning off the system for cleaning. Complex cleaning conditions can also be easily handled by professionals. Whatever your cleaning needs may be, professional services are available to guarantee that your system is able to operate at its full capacity. 

Regular Maintenance and Monitoring

Regular inspections and maintenance of solar panels can help ensure that your solar energy system is performing optimally. Checking for loose electrical connections or damaged components can catch any issues promptly so fixes can be made. Consistently monitoring your system’s production and seeking professional assistance if issues arise is significant to maximizing your system capabilities and financial investment.

Bottom Line

In order to effectively and safely clean your panels, using non-abrasive and non-corrosive equipment. The proper safety, equipment and an understanding of manufacturer guidelines is important for proper solar panel cleaning. If you are unable to perform proper cleaning on your own, professional cleaning services are widely available. Regular maintenance and cleaning will ensure optimal performance and maximize your system’s energy output.