The Dos & Don’ts Of Cleaning A Solar Panel

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Renewable Energy, Solar Energy

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Solar panels may appear frail and susceptible, yet they are durable in all-weather situations and require little maintenance, contrary to popular belief. Manufacturers frequently recommend cleaning a solar panel and keeping it dust-free and clear of leaves and pollutants; however, rain can address all of these issues.

Do’s & Don’ts of Solar Panel Cleaning

Cleaning your solar panels can help maintain their efficiency and prolong their lifespan. Here’s a straightforward list of dos and don’ts to guide you through the process:

The Dos & Dont's of Cleaning a Solar Panel

Do’s

1. Remember to Turn Off the Power

If you decide cleaning a solar panel yourself, always prioritise personal safety when undertaking solar panel maintenance. Before you begin cleaning, consult your owner’s or instruction handbook to learn how to turn off your solar panel system.

2. Do Use Calcium-Free Water

Water from the tap or hose is considered “hard water” because it includes minerals that can cause deposits, water spots and scaling on your solar panels. This accumulation might diminish the energy output of your solar panels, causing catastrophic harm to your system. To lessen the effects of hard water on cleaning a solar panel, one alternative is to get a complete house water softener. This can help secure your entire plumbing system from scaling.

3. Do Not Use Cold Water on Hot Panels

Your solar panels can reach incredibly high temperatures from sun exposure, which might cause problems when cleaning them. Using cold water on these hot panels can break the tempered glass, invalidating your solar panel’s warranty.

4. Do Clean with Gentle Materials

The best approach to cleaning a solar panel on your own is to use a bucket of water, a non-abrasive sponge, and soapy water produced with mild dishwashing liquid, followed by cleaning after the panels have cooled down.

Don’ts

1. Don’t Wash Your Solar Panels Needlessly

While making your panels shimmer and shine enjoyable, cleaning a solar panel is usually necessary if they’re so dirty that it’s hindering their performance or there are creepy crawlies on them. In most circumstances, a rain shower is enough to keep your panels clean and running correctly.

2. Do Not Use Abrasives!

If you believe in cleaning a solar panel, avoid using abrasive materials or methods. Using heavy-duty scrubbers and harsh cleaning solutions to remove brutal filth and grime is tempting, but they may cause more harm than good. Abrasives can scrape and damage the surface of your panels, lowering their effectiveness and perhaps causing lasting harm.

3. No Bleaching or Harsh Chemicals

Bleach and caustic chemicals can remove the protective coating on your panels, lowering their effectiveness and potentially causing lasting damage. You risk damaging anti-reflective coatings, EVA coatings, tempered glass, and other materials. Not only that, but they can be hazardous to the environment, releasing toxic substances into the air and water. Furthermore, they might be unsafe for your health if not utilised correctly.

4. Avoid High-Pressure Water Jets

Though it may appear a quick and straightforward technique to remove dirt and debris, it could cause more harm than benefit. High-pressure water jets can harm your panels’ sensitive surface, generating scratches and lowering their efficiency. Using high-pressure washers on solar panels can cause stress on the photovoltaic cells embedded in the panel’s surface.

To summarise, cleaning a solar panel is a critical component of solar panel maintenance. To maximise the benefits of solar electricity, consider cleaning your solar panels every six months. To ensure that the system runs smoothly, check your panels regularly for any accumulations of dust, dirt, fallen leaves, and bird droppings.

FAQs

Q1. What is the best thing to clean solar panels with?

Answer: The best thing to clean solar panels with is a combination of lukewarm water and a bar of mild, non-abrasive soap, if necessary. Start by gently rinsing the panels with lukewarm water to loosen any surface dirt and debris. If the panels are still not clean, you can use a soft cloth or sponge with a bit of mild soap to carefully wipe them down. After applying soap, make sure to thoroughly rinse the panels with more lukewarm water to remove any soap residue. This method is effective, safe for the panels, and helps maintain their efficiency without causing damage.

Q2. Can I clean my solar panels myself?

Answer: Yes, you can clean your solar panels yourself, but it’s important to do it safely and correctly to avoid damaging the panels or injuring yourself.

Q3. What is the best tool to clean solar panels with?

Answer: The best tool to clean solar panels is a soft brush or a sponge attached to a long, extendable handle. This setup allows you to gently scrub the panels without scratching their surface, while the extendable handle enables you to reach the panels safely, especially if they’re installed on your roof. Pairing this tool with a squeegee that has a plastic blade can help remove water and prevent streaks after rinsing. For many homeowners, this combination strikes the perfect balance between effective cleaning and protecting the panels’ integrity.

Also Read: Best Solar Shingles In Florida 2024

 

Author

  • Michael Thompson

    Michael Thompson is an esteemed expert in the renewable energy sector, with a profound experience spanning over 25 years. His expertise encompasses various sustainable energy solutions, including solar, wind, hydroelectric, and energy efficiency practices. Michael discusses the latest trends in renewable energy and provides practical advice on energy conservation.

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