Solar Panel Cleaner Serving Denver, Aurora, and the Surrounding Metro
Solar Panel Cleaning
Looking for a professional and trustworthy solar panel cleaner near you? You have come to the right place! Residential solar panel cleaning is a proven method to ensure your solar panel array is operating at peak efficiency. Studies have shown that dirty solar panels lose as much as 20% of their performance. Over time dirt, pollution, pollen and grime build up on the surface of solar panels and degrade their efficiency. It’s a common myth that solar panels are self-cleaning, they are not. The only proven method to restore their functionality to peak performance is with a thorough cleaning.
According to solar panel manufacturers the only recommended cleaning method is with water as soaps, chemicals and solutions leave a residue on your solar panels and can damage the coating.
Summit Window Cleaning utilizes cutting edge technology to and environmentally friendly cleaning techniques for residential solar panel cleaning.
Capitalize on Colorado’s 300 days of yearly sunshine and schedule a solar panel cleaning today!
Is Professional Residential Solar Panel Cleaning Necessary?
“I’ve heard we can just spray our solar panels with a hose from time to time.”
Please don’t. It’s unclear why this is such a widely recommended technique for caring for solar panels as it’s potentially dangerous and ultimately ineffective. First, do you really want to climb up to a second or third story roof, hose in hand and start spraying water around? The potential for slipping and falling is far too high! (Manufacturers also advise against using pressure washers as they can easily damage your solar panels).
Stray golf balls, falling tree branches, hailstorms and other acts of nature can crack the surface of solar panels. This can expose the underlying photovoltaic panels. Spraying water on to an exposed electrical unit is clearly a bad idea, and unfortunately one that many homeowners do not take into consideration.
Lastly, water from your hose is one of the primary contributors to hard water build up on your Windows. If you have ever noticed your basement and other Windows that routinely get hit by hose and your sprinklers becoming increasingly cloudy and water-spotted over time, hard water is the culprit. Once they get built up, hard water stains are very hard to take off glass. They require the use of specialty acid based cleaning products- not an ideal solution for delicate solar panel surfaces.
Solar Panel Cleaning Service Area
Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Centennial, Cherry Creek, Cherry Hills Village, Conifer, Denver, Edgewater, Englewood, Erie, Evergreen, Genesse, Golden, Glendale, Greenwood Village, Highlands Ranch, Lakewood, Lafayette, Littleton, Lone Tree, Longmont, Louisville, Lyons, Morrison, Northglenn, Parker, Stapleton, Superior, The Pinery, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge
How Does Summit Window Cleaning Approach Residential Solar Panel Cleaning?
We’re equipped to safely get access to solar panels up to three stories off the ground. Our ladders are fitted with advanced safety features, minimizing slippage and protecting the surfaces they come in contact with from damage.
The first step is to do a thorough inspection of your solar panels. After making sure there aren’t any concerns with the array, we can begin the cleaning process.
Summit Window Cleaning never uses soaps, chemicals, or additives of any kind to clean your solar panels. The only recommended cleaning technique outlined by manufacturers involves using purified water. We utilize the same Pure Water cleaning technology that even our most discerning window cleaning clients love to clean your solar panels. The Pure Water set up is precisely what it sounds like. It combines 3 stages of advanced filtration in addition to de-ionization to remove impurities from the water. Water filtered through this system can be tested to read 0 parts per million of total dissolved solids. In other words, all impurities have been removed and it will dry completely spot free!
The filtered water is sent into a water fed pole with a soft brush head attachment. The surface of your solar panels are gently agitated with the brush to loosen any dirt. They are then rinsed with the purified water and allowed to dry. The end result is a perfectly clean solar panel!
Does Cleaning Solar Panels Make a Difference?
Solar panels are made to be exposed to the elements. However, this does not mean that they do not require any maintenance. Although very little and only from time to time, a good cleaning routine can help your solar energy system generate more – energy. In fact, clean panels are known to produce more power, while leaving them dirty for too long can risk making them more susceptible to breakage and malfunction.
However, cleaning them too often or too aggressively can cause other types of issues, which again include breakage and malfunction. For this reason, you should either: 1. Hire a professional, or 2. Learn how to do it yourself. As the first option can be costly, we will FOCUS on knowing how to clean them yourself. Cleaning solar panels does not take much time, can be done in an afternoon, and you will be rewarded with a higher solar power production without hiring a costly solar panel cleaning service.
We will also discuss some affordable cleaning tools and compare them. Knowing what types of tools you should use is one of the best ways to prevent scratches and other damage to the (not so) delicate solar panels. Knowing what each tool can remove will keep dirty solar panels at bay and will help the panels installed on your rooftop offset as much of your energy consumption as possible. With that being said, let’s move on and dive right in.
Solar Energy Equipment Maintenance
So, cleaning is important. But what parts to clean and what parts to avoid? After all, shouldn’t you clean the entire system at once? Well, not really, as this can cause more damage than good. Your solar panel system is a complex system, consisting of many parts:
- The solar panel array,
- The wiring,
- The solar inverter,
- The solar battery,
- The solar charge controller, and
- The connection to the main panel.
The solar panel array further consists of all the solar panels you have that are connected to the system. This is the only part of the system that you should clean. This is the part that produces solar power and should be kept as clean as possible to maximize the solar output of your solar panels.
The wiring on the underside of the panels should never be touched. These are ‘live’ wires, and you risk either damaging them or getting electrocuted. The only time you should really check the wiring is if you notice birds underneath (in systems with a wider gap between the roof and the panels) or if a particularly strong wind log in a branch in the space between. In all other cases, this is a job of a professional to check.
All other parts, including the solar inverter, the solar battery, the charge controller, and the connection to the mains, should never be touched. Making sure that these parts of the solar panel system are kept dry and protected from the elements (such as your garage or a special shed), should be enough. Keep the area around them clean and easily accessible (no boxes with old toys around them), and you will be good to go for over a decade.
Never forget that all parts of your solar panels and all other equipment should be inspected once a year. This should pinpoint any problems that your system may encounter and will help you get the most out of your solar panels. Solar panel cleaning services should be called in for regular maintenance, but a lot of the work is the work you can do yourself.
Cleaning Solar Panels
This work generally includes removing any debris and dust that may have settled on your panes. The debris can include leaves of all sizes, shapes, and colors, pollen particles, bird droppings, and all other debris that is specific to your area. On the other hand, some dust is present wherever you live, so it should be cleaned regularly, irrelevant of where you may live.
As always, the location where the solar panels are installed is not the only thing that can influence your solar panels efficiency and how often you should clean them. In fact, there is a number of factors that you should consider in addition to giving them an eye inspection every week or so:
- The area you live in,
- The vicinity of any agricultural fields,
- The vicinity of thermal power plants (especially coal and oil-powered),
- The vicinity of blooming trees and other vegetation which may produce a lot of pollen,
- The vicinity of large bodies of water, especially the sea and the ocean,
- The orientation and tilt (the angle) of your solar panels,
- The vicinity of desserts,
- Nearby bird settlements, and migratory bird patterns
- The precipitation patterns in your area.
All of these should be taken into account, as all of these factors may contribute to making your solar panel maintenance more or less frequent. DIY solar panel upkeep is not difficult, but doing it too rarely can compromise the panel efficiency while doing it too often and in a less-than-ideal way can compromise their structure, increase the corrosion rate, and, overall, damage your solar panels. You do not need entire solar farms to pay attention to all these details – a few minutes of your time spent researching the topic is usually enough.
Common Causes of Dirt in Solar Panels
With all these factors influencing your solar panel’s performance, the story should be made simpler before we make it detailed again. Regular cleaning is necessary, especially for all those who want to rely on renewable energy output for most of their energy needs. Knowing how and when to clean your panels will provide you with maximum efficiency and will influence which cleaning tools you use: in most cases, a soft sponge and a very mild dish soap will resolve 99% of the issues that may interfere with energy production.
Dust, leaves, water, bird droppings, and pollen are among the most common polluters that can influence your system’s efficiency. Regularly cleaning these will make sure your panel work at peak capacity and that your solar investment is paid back in as short of a time as possible. Now, let’s consider different pollutants that may stick to the glass surface, rendering solar cells useless.
The first and the most common polluter is dust. The dust consists of hair, dead skin cells, small fragments of plastic and sand, or even soil – depending on where you live. This does not mean that living in an area with a lot of trees and little to no exposed soil nearby will guarantee that you will have no issues with solar panels – remember that there is some dust even in rainwater and that clean solar panels mean no residue on them whatsoever.
The dust issue is especially pronounced in desert areas, as well as in agricultural areas. In the former, dust is an ever-present problem, especially if you live down the wind from sand and areas with eroded land – more frequent cleaning resolves this issue. However, if you live in an agricultural area, your panels may get covered in dust every time the land is tilled – especially during spring and autumn, and even in the summer in multi-crop or multi-harvest areas (generally to the South of the US).
Dust is almost never an issue in heavily wooded areas, as trees help clean the air and filter out all the soil and sand particles from the air, especially when coupled with regular rainfall. However, these trees could be deciduous, and the leaves that fall from them every autumn can get carried by the wind for miles at times. These leaves can then be deposited onto your solar panels and cover a larger area in a single day than dust ever could.
Leaves can be removed by means of a soft brush or a water hose. However, leaving them on the panels for too long can cause issues, such as partial breakdown, where the leafy materials turn into a paste of a sort that sticks to the panels and may require more scrubbing than blowing them away. In any case, if you need regular gutter cleaning, you will need regular panel cleaning as well. This is usually done once a year, in late autumn when most leaves have fallen.
We’ve already mentioned that you can use water to remove the leafy deposits and dust from the solar panels, but did you know that water can also make your panels dirty? The thing is that all water, rainwater included, contains minerals and impurities that most homeowners would not stress about too much. However, these impurities and minerals can solidify over dirt deposits and debris that already exist on your solar panels, making them mat and stick to the surface of the panels.
In this case, professional cleaning services should come to the rescue and restore the solar panel’s performance. The thing is that cleaning these solidified deposits requires one to climb the roof to remove them by hand or by tools, and not everyone has the necessary safety precautions and equipment to do that safely. However, regular hosing down or brushing down of your panels should help tremendously and prevent you from having to call professional services to keep the panels in their top shape.
Besides water, another kind of liquid is notoriously difficult to remove from the panels. These would be bird droppings. These droppings are the most common in areas where there are a lot of birds, in areas over which birds migrate twice a year (both in the spring and the autumn), and in the vicinity of bird sanctuaries.
Bird droppings are a notorious enemy of your solar system, as they can deliver multiple types of damage all at once. They cover the panels, making them less efficient. They can damage the protective lining on the exposed metal parts of the panels (thanks to harsh chemicals that can be found in bird droppings), causing corrosion and possible water penetration. In addition to this, some smaller birds may decide to nest under your panels, possibly causing damage to the wiring. In any case, birds are a big no no for your panels.
And finally, pollen is another pollutant that can be frequently found on solar panels. This type of pollutant cannot be removed by water only, as in most cases, pollen is either fatty or water-repellent. Frequent cleaning with a brush and water seems to do the trick, but be careful not to damage the protective lining on your solar panels. A soft cloth and some mild laundry detergents can help clean the panels, but make sure to be cautious and always rinse the panels after using soap.
frequent cleaning of your panels will help prevent a lot of damage done to them and will help you achieve all the positive effects of new (and clean solar panels). Regularly removing dust, pollen, bird droppings, and leaves will also protect your panels over longer periods of time, as dirty areas produce no electricity, can overheat, and even burn out. When you clean your solar panels regularly, you ensure the maximum of each solar panel’s performance, fewer visits to solar companies, and less money spent on professional cleaning companies.
Effects of Cleaning Solar Panels
So, an increase in the production rate of your panels is one of the most common benefits that you can see when you keep your panes clean. Professional cleaners charge a lot, so investing in a simple soft brush and some cleaning tools with low cleaning power (pressure washers are out of the question) will help you tremendously.
Solar panels that are kept clean can produce at least 5% more power than those that are not kept clean. In fact, your panels can lose up to 5% of their efficiency per quarter, a trend that continues until the panel loses about ⅓ of their total power output – or about 35% of it. That can all add up to up to 20% power output loss every year, so make sure there is no bird poop and leaves on your panels.
Besides an increase in power production, extra cleaning will also help your panels last for much longer. Panels that are dirty, even partially, will overheat, especially the solar cells that are covered in dirt. This can make them burn out and last less than your warranty says, they should – typically 20-30 years. A buildup of dirt not only damages their production and longevity but will also attract birds and pests.
Solar Panel Cleaning Options
To keep all this damage at bay, it is important to clean your solar panels at least (!) once a year. This will keep them in their pristine state and will guarantee that you get exactly what you paid for – a lot of solar power and less build-up of pollutants. As a rule of thumb, whenever you think you should clean your gutters, clean your panels as well.
DIY Solar Panel Cleaning
So, assuming you clean the gutters once a year and in the fall, this is the perfect time to clean your solar panels. In a DIY setting, you will need a water hose, a brush (a soft one), and a soft rag. You may also want to use soapy water, especially in areas prone to pollen and bird droppings.
Start by hosing down the panels with water, but avoid getting water splashes on the underside. You should also consider doing so early in the morning or an hour or so after the sun has set to prevent cracks from cold water hitting the hot panel surface. Wearing a safety harness is also a must, even with a lot-lying roof, as you can never be too cautious.
Once this is done, you should use the brush or the rag to remove any dirt that may have stuck to the panel’s surface. Doing so will render the solar panels clean, even from the dirt and oily stains that you may not always be able to see. This will improve the solar panel’s performance. Once done, you should use the garden hose again to remove the soap residue and any particles that got loose while scrubbing.
At all times, you should keep caution and wear your harness. This will guarantee that you do not slip and fall. Never forget that the roof is tilted and that soapy water can get very slippery, irrelevant to the surface, or drops on. Always wear protective boots and never step on the panels themselves – they can be very slippery, causing you to fall, and may even crack under your own weight.
Professional Solar Cleaners,
On the other hand, you can always call professional cleaning services. They will come, estimate the dirt build-up and the type of dirt, and will be able to use professional (and gentle) solar panel cleaning tools that you may not have or not know how to use properly. You will have to pay, though, depending on the size of the system, the ease of accessibility, and the dirt built up
When do you Call for Cleaning?
You should not call cleaning services every time you clean your panels. In general, once a year will suffice, especially if you have a lot of pollen in your area or bird poop on the panels themselves. Dust buildup can be removed more easily, and you will be able to take care of that yourself. Mind you, waiting for the rainfall to remove the dirt will not rid you of all of it – in fact, experiments show that actually cleaning your panels will provide you with more power output than rainfall ever could.
Automated Solar Panel Cleaners
As an attempt to reduce cleaning costs, especially with dust build up on solar farms, automated solar panel cleaners clean instead of you or the workers with a soft cloth. These cleaners are automated, can be very gentle to the surface of the panels, and use a mix of brushes and water to remove most of the dirt. There are even software solutions that can monitor the power output of your solar panels and inform you when it may be time to clean them. Some cleaning professionals use these solutions.
Solar Panel Cleaning Costs
Since there are many ways to clean your solar panels, it is worth comparing their pricing. We’ve mentioned DIY cleaning, calling professionals for help, and using automatic cleaners. Let’s consider the pricing:
|0.00. the best option only if your roof is accessible, and you have no fear of heights
|140-180 per cleaning
|1,500-3,000. single time purchase, can be reused
How Frequently Should You Clean Solar Panels?
The solar industry standard for when solar panels need cleaning differs from state to state and area to area. However, they should be cleaned AT LEAST once a year. However, there are some factors that you should consider that may say you need to clean your panels more frequently. These include:
- The location of solar panels,
- System design,
- Installation angle,
- Size of solar panels,
- The number of solar panels,
- The types of dirt commonly found in your area, and
- The local weather.
The location is the sole most important contributor to how often you should clean your solar panels. The location will influence by specific pollutants, pollen, bird migratory and settlement patterns, the vicinity of water bodies, and eroded soil areas (deserts). Let’s check them out in more detail:
Polluted areas are any areas where there are factories, thermal power plants, highways, airports, etc. These areas are known for increased dust and micro and nano plastic particles and their concentrations. In addition to these, your solar panels may also experience a higher build-up of oil stains, which can lock in all other types of pollutants and render cleaning with water only impossible.
Heavily wooded areas have the benefit of filtering the air as it passes through them to remove or reduce other types of pollutants, in particular dust and any particles. However, wooded areas are also prone to producing more pollen, which can stick to the surface of your solar panel. The solar industry also notes that areas with a lot of deciduous trees pose the issue of fallen leaves covering your panels.
Deserts and any areas with eroded or eroding soil can also pose significant issues to solar panels. These areas are known for high dust concentrations and the heavy buildup on the panels themselves. In these areas, solar panels need cleaning more often than once a year. A single sand or dust storm can easily reduce the efficiency of your panels by up to 35% – meaning you should clean them every time there is a storm.
The way that your system has been designed can also influence how often you should clean your panels. All the pollutants reducing efficiency can be removed or made difficult to stick to your panels by means of microstructure on the panel surface, removed by means of waterless vibration or the installation range.
The installation angle here is unfortunately fixed and is usually tied to the number of degrees of latitude. This means that if you live at 45 degrees North, this is exactly the tilt that your panels should have. A higher tilt means that more dust will be blown away or washed away naturally, rendering cleaning your panels much less frequent. However, the closer to flat panels that you get, the more difficult it gets to clean them and the more deposits there will be.
Size/number of Panels
The size of the solar panels can make them more prone to certain pollutants, such as dust, as smaller panels mean smaller vertices can form and clean them for you. Likewise, the more solar panels you have, the less frequently you will need to clean them, as more panels should be able to produce more power than you really need – up to 10% in some system configurations.
Types of dirt
The type of dirt deposited on panels can also have a say in how often your should clean them. Not all types of dirt reduce the light that passes through this dirty layer equally. In general, the bigger the particles, the worse, and the same go for the color of the particles themselves – the darker they are (exhaust from cars, planes, or factories), the more light they will absorb, making you clean your solar panels more frequently.
The weather patterns can help and do the cleaning for you. Namely, each event of rain will remove some dirt from your panels. If you experience rain every few days or even biweekly, you will need to clean your panels only once a year. On the other hand, in areas with heavy snowfall, you will need to clean your panels more frequently – this time, to remove snow.
The duration between Thorough Cleanings
There is no ideal time or duration between the cleaning sessions of your panels. In fact, you need to observe them to make sure they can stay reasonably clean. In general, cleaning them once a year is a must, while anything more frequent than this should only be done if there is a need for it. Desert areas and agricultural areas are also areas where panels should be cleaned more regularly.
How do you Make Solar Panels 100% Efficient?
Solar panels are up to 22% efficient with top-tier technology that is available today. To make them use 100% of that power, there are several things to do:
Make sure your solar panels face south, 2. Make sure they are tilted properly, 3. Make sure to clean solar panels regularly, 4. Cleaning solar panels should be done with specialized (but affordable) equipment, 5. Make sure to invest in a high-quality power inverter.
If possible, invest in CPV (Concentrated PhotoVoltaic), to gain more efficiency.
Can Solar Panels be Self Cleaning?
In most cases, solar panels are self-cleaning. That means that thanks to their smooth surface and their tilt, any wind or rain will be able to remove most of the fallen leaves, debris, and dust. However, you will also need to clean solar panels occasionally – especially as the debris can build up. Solar panel cleaning is easy and takes very little time. It should be done twice a year.
Can you Clean Solar Panels Without Water?
Yes, solar panel cleaning without water is possible. What you will need is a soft, wide brush, some time, and patience. Some people also use leaf blowers to do the job, but this may not always be advisable, especially as malfunctioning leaf blowers may blow out bits and pieces of metal or plastic at high speeds.
How Often Should I Clean My Solar Panels?
Solar panel cleaning depends on what type of area you live in. If you live in a desert or a dusty area, cleaning your solar panels frequently will remove any dust deposits from them. If, on the other hand, you live in an area with little dust and a lot of rain, you may only need to clean your panels once or twice a year.
Your panels need to be cleaned only once every so often. And while once a year is the gold standard, cleaning them even more frequently with a non-abrasive sponge should be done in some areas. Keeping your panels clean will help you increase their power output and will help them pay off faster.
Learning how to clean solar panels can improve the efficiency of solar energy systems and reduce home energy costs. Here are some easy steps for cleaning solar panels.
By Jacqueline Medina | Updated Apr 7, 2022 12:55 PM
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Solar panels have become increasingly popular for meeting home energy needs. By absorbing sunlight, they create a current that’s converted to usable electricity. The amount generated depends on the absorption of sunlight, so if solar panels are dirty, they’re not as efficient—or cost-effective—as they can be.
In general, solar panels require little cleaning and maintenance in areas that receive regular precipitation. Rain can wash away much of the dirt and debris that might block a home’s solar panels from absorbing the maximum amount of sunlight. However, grime can still build up over time. Especially in dry climates or near construction or industrial sites, relying on rain to keep panels clean may not be enough.
Maybe it’s time to call in a solar energy pro. Get free, no-commitment estimates from experts near you.
With a few easy-to-find tools, homeowners can learn how to clean solar panels safely to boost their efficiency, as well as determine when it might be best to hire professional help for solar panel cleaning.
Time required: 20 minutes to 1 hour Difficulty: Beginner Estimated cost: 40–75 (when supplies are first needed)
- Soft bristle brush
- Telescopic extension pole with threaded tip or hook
- Extension ladder (optional)
- Hard hat (if using extension ladder)
- Harness (if working on a roof)
- Work gloves
- See full list «
- Garden hose
- Telescopic hose wand (optional)
- Sponge, squeegee, or soft cloth
- Vinegar (optional)
- Gentle dish soap (optional)
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Before You Begin…
Not all solar panels have the same maintenance suggestions, so it’s important to check manufacturer instructions before doing any DIY cleaning work. Homeowners should also judge their ability to work safely. Suppose the solar panels are too high to reach comfortably with tools or are set in a steep or slippery location. In that case, homeowners should hire professional assistance to avoid potentially serious injuries.
If DIY solar panel cleaning is feasible, the first step is shutting them off. Solar panels are electrical equipment and should not be cleaned while active. Manufacturer specifications will explain how to make sure electrical currents—both produced by the panel and going into the home—are turned off.
Standard hardware supplies can be used for a solar panel cleaning project, but safety considerations are critical. A hard hat, ladder support, and harness are recommended for any homeowner who plans to work on a roof instead of from the ground.
Maybe it’s time to call in a solar energy pro. Get free, no-commitment estimates from experts near you.
Tips for Cleaning Solar Panels
- Cooler days are better to complete a solar panel cleaning project because they minimize the risk of cracking glass as the water dries.
- Abrasive, heavy-duty detergent is not recommended for cleaning solar panels. A small amount of gentle, non-abrasive soap mixed with one part vinegar and eight parts water is an excellent homemade solution for cleaning the glass on solar panels.
- Solar panels must be turned off before cleaning, and the underside should never be touched.
- It’s safest to clean solar panels from the ground with extension tools while wearing gloves. However, homes with second or third stories may require climbing up to the roof.
- Homeowners who are unsure of their ability to clean their solar panels safely should consider calling a local solar power professional to complete the job for them.
Maybe it’s time to call in a solar energy pro. Get free, no-commitment estimates from experts near you.
STEP 1: Dislodge any dust, dirt, or leaves with a soft brush.
Leaves, bird poop, and dust accumulate on solar panels. Even though rain clears away some of this, it doesn’t get everything and can create dirty residue when puddles evaporate. Debris should be removed with gentle brushing from a soft-bristled tool to start the cleaning process.
This can be done from the ground if the soft brush is attached to a telescopic extension pole with a threaded tip or hook. Some poles can extend to 24 feet. Without a long enough extension pole, reaching solar panels to brush will require an extension ladder. If you need to climb onto the roof, take safety precautions like wearing a hard hat and harness.
Starting with a gentle brushing is the best way to clean solar panels because if a lot of material is sitting on solar panels, immediately mixing the debris with water might cause spread and smear. Brushing breaks down and removes some material, making the next steps in the cleaning process more effective. Wear work gloves to keep your hands clean and safe.
STEP 2: Use a garden hose to spray the panels clean.
Water is a major player in solar panel cleaning. After dry debris is removed by brushing, a garden hose can remove most remaining dirt on solar panels.
It may be tempting to hit solar panels with as much water as possible to get the job done quickly, but high-pressure cleaning is likely to create fine cracks on their surfaces. This will ruin the efficiency of the solar system and invite future problems. It may also void existing warranties due to noncompliance with manufacturer specifications for solar panel maintenance. If a hose has a high-pressure attachment, it should be removed before solar panel cleaning.
The key to this step is careful, deliberate spraying along each solar panel. If a garden hose doesn’t allow for enough spraying control, a telescopic hose wand may help. These have more supportive grip than a hose on its own.
STEP 3: Scrub any problem areas with a soft brush and water.
After spraying away most of the mess, problem areas can be given extra attention with a sponge, squeegee, or soft cloth dunked into a bucket of clean water. Gentle, focused cleaning in a repetitive motion—with some patience—is best since aggressive scrubbing can scratch the panels.
Even cleaning products deemed “safe” for use on solar panels can be abrasive. Water is the best solar panel cleaner, especially if it’s deionized or distilled. This water attracts other chemicals, so it’s more efficient for cleaning. If deionized or distilled water isn’t available, treating hose water with a water softener can help improve its cleansing power.
If there are stubborn spots that water can’t handle, a squirt of mild, gentle dish soap mixed with one part vinegar to eight parts water can boost cleaning power. However, any soap should be used sparingly and with caution. When soap is rinsed, it can leave a residue that dirt clings onto in the future, leading to streaky solar panels. Not only is this less aesthetically pleasing, but it can also compromise some of the panels’ functionality.
STEP 4: Monitor your home’s solar output to measure the cleaning’s impact.
Because solar panels create usable energy by capturing sunlight, giving them more sunlight will increase their solar output, or how much power they produce. This is why solar panels are most often set up in sunnier locations. Based on the specifics of the solar system, its location, and environmental factors, solar panels are rated for a solar output within a specific range of watts.
Normal operating conditions cause fluctuation within the predicted range. When solar panels are dirty, however, they produce energy at the low end of the range. With a lower solar output, homeowners rely on power from an additional energy provider, driving up energy bills and time in the solar payback period.
To determine how much impact cleaning solar panels has, homeowners should review their energy bills before and after the cleaning. Clean solar panels will have lower energy costs because they allow maximum exposure and higher solar output.
STEP 5: Contact a solar panel professional for complex cleaning and maintenance needs.
If cleaning solar panels seems more dangerous than beneficial, contacting a professional is a practical solution to improving solar output. Even though solar panels don’t need constant cleaning, removal of build-up is part of their maintenance. Finding a solar panel cleaning professional is best for conditions that are too complex to tackle with a garden hose and sponge.
Solar panels cannot be used while they are being cleaned. If professional services are hired, they can work to turn off the electricity and do the cleaning, putting homeowners at ease and giving them confidence that their system will not be impaired through electrical error.
To get the most out of a professional solar panel cleaning service, homeowners can begin a mock version of the cleaning process. They can clear leaves or large debris to get a good idea of specific cleaning problems that need to be addressed.
Since solar panels are often set on roofs or high areas, cleaning solar panels requires careful attention to safety. Only solar panels that are easy and safe to access should be cleaned without professional services.
Solar Panel Cleaning
Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity. If dirt, leaves, animal droppings or debris lands on its surface, its efficiency will be affected.
Cleaning is an integral part of any maintenance process. especially for machines and devices that are exposed to external factors such as weather, changing temperature, dust, leaves. and pollution.
Solar panels are a great example where regular and proper cleaning is required to ensure their maximum efficiency and long term use.
Geographical location and surrounding elements are the two biggest factors that pollute and affect the system.
While heavy rain may help clear your solar panels from debris and other pollutants, it still cannot replace the proper way of cleaning your solar system.
Why Clean Your Solar Panels?
Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity. If dirt, leaves, animal droppings or debris lands on its surface, its efficiency will be affected. When dust, sand or any small particle accumulates and covers the surface of a solar panel, the solar panel will have a hard time absorbing the maximum amount of sunlight it can harvest, which will lead to reduced energy production. This is why it is crucial to find a way to keep the panels free or at least minimize exposure from any of these sediments/outside factors.
In addition, if there are trees or anything that may cover some portion of a solar panel, expect to see a drop or a lower than the average output from the panel. This is because the shaded area of the solar panel cannot receive as much sunlight as its exposed parts. The solution to this is quite straightforward. Make sure to place your panels away from trees or tall structures that may cover the panels. And if done by professional installers, this should not be a problem at all.
How Many Times Should You Clean Solar Panels?
The number of times in a year you need to clean your solar panels depends on where you live and how much dirt and debris accumulates on the panels over a period of time. In general, it is recommended to clean solar panels at least once a year. However, if you live in a place that is exposed to a lot of dust or pollution, you may have to clean your solar panels more than once a year.
Regular and proper cleaning ensures maximum efficiency of the solar panels and at the same time, it is one way of helping the device achieve its longest lifespan possible.
Nature’s Generator. one of the most trusted solar generator brands in the country, offer a couple of solar panel options such as the Power Panel and the Powerhouse Power Addition.
These solar panels are designed to work on Nature’s Generator line of solar powered generators. They are easy to clean and can be DIY but at the same time, if you need professional help, they will be more than happy to assist you.
How to Clean Your Solar Panel
Below are steps that you can follow to clean your solar panels and keep it running at its maximum efficiency.
Safety is always a top priority so before anything else, make sure that you turn off the power supply of your system to avoid possible electrical shocks.
The best time to clean your solar panels are either early in the morning or late in the afternoon or early evening. Cleaning in the middle of the day is not a good idea at all since that is usually the hottest time of the day making the panels hot as well and water may evaporate quickly leaving behind unwanted water spots.
For DIY cleaning, you need to use the right cleaning supplies for good results and to avoid damaging your panels. A soft-bristle brush, a bucket full of soapy water, a squeegee or a wiping cloth, and a hose with a gentle spray nozzle are all that you need.
Using the soft-bristle brush, gently brush the panels to dislodge any loose dirt, dust, or debris.
Pour the soapy water over the panels and then use the brush to clean the panels thoroughly. After that, use the hose with a gentle spray nozzle to rinse the panels. Start from the top part all the way down to the bottom.
After rinsing, use the squeegee or the wiping cloth to remove any excess water from the panels and prevent water spots from forming on the surface.
Following the steps above will keep your solar panels in tiptop shape and at the same time, help you save on money as it generates more power than a dirty one.
Should You Hire a Professional Solar Panel Cleaner?
Solar panels need regular cleaning to maintain their highest possible efficiency level. While you can DIY the cleaning process, there are events wherein it is better to get the services of a professional solar panel cleaner.
Below are some situations where it is highly recommended to hire a professional solar panel cleaner rather than to DIY.
If the location of your solar panels is hard to reach, let’s say they are installed on your roof, cleaning them on your own can be challenging and may even pose some danger to you and the panels. It is better to get the services of a professional solar panel cleaner in this event because they will have the tools and equipment to easily and effectively clean your panels.
Droppings from birds and bats can be extremely hard to remove on the panels especially if they’ve been there for a long time and have dried up. Professional solar panel cleaners will know exactly what to do and what tools and cleaning solutions to use to get rid of this gunk without damaging your panels.
Hard water stains are not only an eyesore but they can also affect the efficiency of your solar panels. Armed with the right tools, right cleaning agent and years of experience, professional solar panel cleaners can get rid of this problem in a snap. They can also share tips on how to prevent hard water stains from forming in the future.
Not everyone has the time or due to hectic schedules, a lot of people forget about things which can include the last time they had their solar panels cleaned. If your solar panels have not been cleaned for a long period of time, it is highly recommended to just get the professionals do the job. Thorough cleaning is best done by those with experience as they already know all the steps they need to take to ensure that your solar panels will function to their full potential again once cleaned.
When you hire a professional solar panel cleaner, they will not only thoroughly clean your solar panels. They will also inspect them for possible damage or potential issues so they can be resolved right away instead of waiting for it to become a bigger problem in the future. Clean and fully functioning solar panels will be able to produce more energy than dirty ones, making you save on energy costs.
Regular cleaning of your solar panels is needed if you want to achieve the full potential of your solar panels and enjoy maximum energy savings. You need to clean your system at least once a year and may require more depending on where you live and your exposure to pollutants and other surrounding elements. While it is possible to clean the panels on your own, it is important to recognize that there are also situations where it is best to just hire professional cleaners to avoid possible damage to your panels.
We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Ann Matthew, contributed research and content to this blog titled: Solar Panel Cleaning Thank you, Ann, for your contributions!
Solar Panel Cleaning
When you choose Helios to carry out your professional solar panel cleaning, you will feel confident that your panels are being cleaned by the UK’s premier solar panel cleaning experts.
Helios use only the world’s finest equipment to clean your solar panels and take pride in using the industry’s market leading specialist solar panel cleaning robot, the SolarCleano.
The SolarCleano robot allows Helios to thoroughly clean up to 4,000 panels per day in a safe and efficient manner, which means that you will receive both market leading service levels and pricing when you choose Helios to carry out your solar panel cleaning.
After we clean your panels, Helios will provide you with a written report, including photographs, on the condition of your solar array within seven calendar days together with any observations and recommendations for the future cleaning and/or maintenance of your PV system.
The water that Helios use on your panels is fed by our temperature controlled purified water system that enables us to adapt the water temperature that we use on your panels to within 15° of the specific hourly temperature of your solar panels.
This is vitally important so that you do not invalidate the warranties on many brands of solar panels, which specify that cleaning should be carried out early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid thermal shock from the contraction of the glass or the framing of your panels when cold water is applied to them.
Thermal shock can cause your panels to crack, thereby invalidating warranties and creating additional health and safety risks.
During a recent study by Helios on panels that were at 67°C, with the ambient temperature of tap water at 18°C, cracking was evidenced whilst filming the test.
Check your current supplier’s cleaning report and their method statements to see if they have been cleaning your panels correctly. Or have they been invalidating your important warranties?
If your current solar panel cleaning provider does not provide this important service, call Helios today and discover the correct way of increasing the longevity of your solar system.