Cleaning solar panels: how to do it properly
Solar panel cleaning is a controversial topic. Some believe that solar panels don’t need washing at all and that their owners can rely on rain. Others even advocate for special cleaning products for solar panels that are being advertised by manufacturers. Let’s look at the question — when and how to clean solar panels — more closely.
Some time ago Google engineers conducted an experiment: they left some panels on a solar farm in California unwashed. After 15 months, engineers cleaned them and the production instantly doubled. Then they performed cleaning again 8 months later and the output rose by 36%. These panels were installed on the ground, but experts suggested that rain might be enough to keep panels on the roof clean.
If PV system production levels dropped, try cleaning them!
However, not everybody agrees on the latter. Rain does wash away most of the debris and dirt, but not all of it. The most obvious parallel is a dirty car: at some point, you can’t rely on rain anymore — you have to take it to a carwash.
The dust and debris don’t cause a huge loss in production by themselves — maybe they’ll decrease the output by 5% at worst. But some studies show that not washing your rooftop solar panels at all results in a substantial drop in efficiency in 2-3 years because of these layers of mud. After all, solar panel systems do need some care to prolong their lifespan which normally surpasses 20-25 years.
A drop in production hints at right time for cleaning
There are two ways to decide whether or not your solar panel system needs cleaning. The first is through physical examination. If there is a lot of debris, mud, and bird spots, then it’s time to get to work.
how often should you clean solar panels at home on average
The second way is by looking at a monitoring system. If you noticed that the performance of your panels has dropped, the dirt might be a reason for that. Monitoring also answers the question “How often do solar panels need to be cleaned” — you can figure out the right frequency by comparing efficiency numbers before and after the cleaning. Generally, 1-2 times a year is enough, but the cleanliness of your panels depends on the weather and the area you live in.
How to clean solar pathway lights quick and easy.
Cleaning ground-mounted solar systems is straightforward. The question of how to clean solar panels on a roof can be more challenging. If you don’t feel like climbing on top of your house, there are companies that offer cleaning services.
How to clean solar panels? It’s a lot like washing Windows
Cloudy days are best for cleaning Windows — and panels
Solar panels are mostly all alike when it comes to cleaning them. The manufacturer or your installer might give you guidelines on the care and cleaning of solar panels.
Pick a cool, cloudy day to wash solar panels, just as you would for washing Windows. When it’s hot, water evaporates too quickly and leaves residue. Solar panels don’t like sudden changes in temperatures and by applying cold water to them on a hot day, you risk cracking them. In the early hours of the day morning dew might soften up the mud for you, making the task a bit easier.
Here is how to clean solar panels yourself:
Turn off your solar panel system. Gather your materials — water, equipment, and any cleaning products. Place them on a roof if you’re climbing up or somewhere around if you’re cleaning panels from the ground. Spray down solar panels. Just take a hose and wash all the debris away. Sometimes this is all it takes. Where water wasn’t enough, scrub the spots with a brush or sponge. Start from the top as the dirty water is coming down. Rinse. It’s better to use filtered or deionized water for this — it doesn’t leave any traces. You can use a squeegee to remove excess water just like you would when cleaning a window. Let the panels dry and turn them back on in 30-45 minutes. This sums up the process of DIY solar panel cleaning.
Follow the safety rules! The best option is cleaning solar panels from the ground without having to use a ladder. There is a variety of different brushes on the market that can help you with that. If you’re determined to climb up, make sure to wear the right kind of shoes that won’t let you slip and have someone watching your back.
Best Tips for Industrial Solar Panel Cleaning
Have you installed a solar panel system for your industry and want to maintain its power output? Then you need to keep up with the cleaning. Solar panels are laid out in the open, and there are many things that can make them dirty and prevent them from running to their full potential. In this article, we will help you learn the best tips to clean your industrial solar panels.
How Do Industrial Solar Panels Work?
Industrial solar panels use the energy from the sun that falls on photovoltaic panels that release free electrons in order to generate electricity. These solar panels are made of silicon, and since they are semiconductors, they create an electrical field with the help of positive and negative layers. These layers are made of boron and phosphorus. The plates generate AC, and an inverter is used to convert it into DC for industries to use.
There are many benefits of using industrial solar panels that can push you to finally install a system. For instance, you will be self-sufficient when it comes to electricity and you will not have to worry about any changes in the grid electricity.
Furthermore, industries contribute greatly when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, and if you want to run a large operation, it is better for you to switch to sunlight. This will help you keep your production as high as you can and ensure that you don’t impact the environment negatively.
Therefore, as an industry, you must think about making the switch to solar so you can not only protect the environment but also ensure that your business excels. However, things do not end there after you have installed the solar panels. You need to ensure that these panels work to their maximum potential, and to do that; you must keep up with the cleaning and maintenance.
Best Tips For Industrial Solar Panel Cleaning
There are several ways you can keep your solar panels clean but you need to ensure that the cleaning methods you use are in accordance with your solar system and will give the best cleaning possible.
Solar panels are not high to maintain but they do require regular cleaning so they keep running to their maximum potential. There are several things that can accumulate on solar panels, for instance, solar panels can gather a lot of dirt, bird droppings, and even fallen leaves. It is very important for you to clean them off properly so the panels can perform at their maximum potential. Here are some of the best tips you can use to clean your industrial solar panels.
Brushes Sponges (Soap-less)
There are many solar companies who have discovered that with the help of deionized water and a brush, they can easily clean the panels without using soap at all. Soap should not be used when cleaning solar panels because soap usually leaves a residue on the panel. Not only will that affect the efficiency of electricity production, but the soap also causes the panels to gather dirt. Therefore, it is best not to use any cleaning agents.
Other companies also use a mixture of sorts such as diluted vinegar and hydrogen peroxide using a brush to remove all the dirt.
One of the best and most effective ways to clean your solar panels is to hire a cleaning company or ask your solar provider to do it for you. These experts will manually clean your solar panels. These companies have the best tools and experts that help them do the job perfectly.
Don’t distress! Clean up that fogged up solar panel on your outside solar lights!
These companies might even use the latest technologies; you can rely on them to clean the solar panels as expertly as they can. You can trust them to do a good job. They will also ensure that the system remains unharmed and is cleaned thoroughly.
This is one of the latest technologies for solar panels. The solar system accumulates a lot of dirt. This is because the material is as such. Dust can easily settle here, and if your industry is in a dusty place, then you can expect a lot of dust on the panels that you must clean regularly.
However, with nanoparticle coating, you will add a film to your solar panels that prevent any dirt or grime from accumulating on them. No matter what temperatures you live in or how dusty the area is, your solar panels will remain safe from dirt accumulation. You can easily clean the panels off with water, and the panels remain as good as new. Furthermore, the coating is transparent. This means that it will not affect the production of electricity.
Companies that operate on a large scale can use robotics for their solar panel cleaning. These robots are both automatic and semi-automatic that are designed exclusively to clean solar panels. Robotics is a very convenient option because they can easily clean the solar panels that are in hard-to-reach places. For instance, solar panels on roofs and greenhouses are hard to clean.
You can also get fixed roof robots if you have a bigger installation for your industry and are located in a very dusty area such as the desert. These robots use airflow to clean off the dirt and grime, this is because if they were to use high-pressure water, it would damage the panels and ruin the efficiency. These robots also run on solar power and can easily recharge themselves between each cleaning cycle.
Vibrating solar panels can also be an effective way to clean the surface. Some companies use a DC motor on the panel to vertically vibrate it and get rid of all the dust. With this technique, you can minimize the chances of damaging your solar panels.
How To Know When It Is Time To Clean Your Commercial Solar Panels
It can be difficult to tell if your solar panels need cleaning and maintenance if you are new to the concept of solar panel systems and have only recently installed them.
You Can See The Dirt
One of the most obvious telltale signs of a dirty solar panel is that you can easily see the dust on it. You can climb onto the roof or wherever you have kept your solar panels and inspect them for dirt, bird droppings, and grime.
Once you are convinced that the solar panels are dirty, you must contact an expert immediately and ensure that you clean them as soon as possible so it does not affect the efficiency of your solar panels.
If you have been noticing a drop in the efficiency of your solar panels and there is no reason for that to happen then it is mostly because of dirty solar panels. If dirt is accumulated on solar panels, they will not receive the amount of sunlight they should, and that can affect the production of electricity.
Suppose you feel that the solar panel system is fairly new and the depreciation in electricity generated is higher than normal. In that case, you must consider getting your solar panels professionally cleaned.
Once the surface is completely clean, more sunlight will fall on the panels causing them to generate more electricity.
It Has Been A Long Time
If you want to maximize your solar panel usage and ensure that it produces good amounts of electricity, then you must maintain it properly. Solar panels should be maintained regularly to prevent any dust or dirt from accumulating. It is best to clean your solar panels every year to ensure that they are operating as efficiently as they possibly can. However, you can decrease the duration between every clean cycle if you feel that your solar panel system needs cleaning.
How Often Should You Clean Them?
It is advised to clean solar panels anywhere between once a month to once a year. If your panel system is ground-mounted it is much easier for you to monitor the cleanliness of your panels. On the other hand, roof-mounted solar panels are a bit tricky to monitor on a regular basis.
often than not, the angular position of the panels should help in them getting cleaned naturally through rainwater and wind. Another important factor in determining how to clean solar panels is the location. If you live in a crowded city area, you may want to clean your panels more often as compared to a house in the outskirts where there is less pollution and dust in general.
A quick weekly or monthly check would be ideal to make sure your panels are performing without hindrances. According to source, an annual solar panel cleaning routine has proved to improve energy output by 12% higher.
How to Clean Solar Panels Without Damaging Them?
How to clean solar panels effectively? When you choose to install solar panels you are making a fairly big investment towards renewable energy and a greener lifestyle. A small effort in cleaning and maintaining your solar panels can go a long way to make sure the panels are working at optimal efficiency. Here are 10 cleaning tips that you need to know:
- First and foremost, you need to check your panels for dirt and dust and see if they have accumulated in any of the panels, since this can block the panels from absorbing sunlight.
- Never use a regular sponge or soap to clean the panels. You will end up damaging the glass of the panel. If you’d like to give the panels a proper wash, you can use a biodegradable soap with a soft rag.
- Roof mounted solar panels are not very safe to climb up and clean, and therefore, it is recommended to call a professional who has the right equipment required. If you choose to clean the panels yourself, you must make sure to use safety ropes and ladders as the panels can get slippery while washing.
- If you would like to clean your panels frequently, you could use a hose and run them along your panels to remove any dust on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Make sure to not use any harsh cleaning materials on your panels as they can scratch or damage the panel glass, which can be a costly repair.
- One of the most common tips on how to clean solar panels is to do it early in the morning. At this time the panels are cooled through the night, and with dew and mist on the panels will make it easier to clean the dirt and grime.
- In most cases, using plain water to clean the panels is the most effective and safest way to clean them.
- If you would like to use something more than water, make sure it is mild and does not contain harsh chemicals. A mild dishwashing detergent diluted in water should work well for this purpose.
- If your panels are floor mounted it is way easier to do a DIY cleaning as compared to roof mounted panels which can be risky.
- Do not use a washer spray on your panels as their pressure can damage the panels and hinder them from working effectively.
Solar Panel Maintenance Tips
Good maintenance with regular cleaning can increase your solar panel efficiency in general. Check your system regularly and document day to day performance to keep track of the panel performance and maintenance requirements.
People who do not enjoy regular cleaning can install automated sprinkler systems or schedule regular cleaning appointments with local professionals. How to clean solar panels has never been easier with multiple options to choose from. Fortunately, solar panels are immovable and are comparatively lower maintenance systems.
So, in general, taking regular care and monitoring your system’s performance and functionality should help a great deal in protecting your solar panel system. If you’re a DIY person and do not want to spend a lot on regular cleaning appointments, you can easily clean the panels by using these tips. In the case of solar panels, a little maintenance goes a long way.
At JK Services, we install solar panels at homes and businesses throughout all of Ireland. We also install EV chargers, provide electrical maintenance services such as PAT testing, periodic inspections and out of hours emergency electrician. JK Services are one of Corks best rated electrical contractors with a fantastic team of qualified electricians. Get in touch with our solar panels Cork team today.
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1 Eisenson, M. (2022, October 26). Solar Panels Reduce CO2 Emissions Per Acre Than Trees — and Much Than Corn Ethanol. Columbia Climate School. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from
2 Chandler, D. L. (2022, March 11). How to clean solar panels without water. MIT News. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from
3 Wikipedia. (2023, March 9). Solar cell. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from
4 Tinker, L. (2016, September 16). Getting the Most out of Solar Panels. Energy Gov. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from