Solar Panel Cleaning Dallas TX
Solar panels are a Smart move. It’s not just about saving electrical costs or being completely self-sufficient: solar panel energy is without a doubt humanities future. Every time we see a house with solar panels in Dallas, TX, we smile. We really do believe that more people embracing solar energy will make the world a better place. However, it’s important to remember that solar panels aren’t magic. They’re a piece of hardware. Like any hardware, they need regular maintenance and fine-tuning over time to remain in optimal condition. Just like you’re changing your car’s oil, you’ll need to clean your Dallas solar panels to keep them operating at top performance. Our Dallas solar panel cleaning ensures optimal solar efficiency. Not only that keeping your solar panels clean, keeps the glass on your solar array from being damaged. Let us keep your solar panels looking great and performing even better!
Boost Solar Performance By Up To 20%
Did you know that solar performance can degrade by 20% without adequate solar cleaning in Dallas? It makes sense. Because you’re generating power from the sun, any obstructions are going to reduce the amount of solar power generated. Dirt, dust, and debris can pile onto your panels, blocking those precious sunbeams from reaching the inside of your array. So let us ask you this question: How effective are your solar panels? When’s the last time you’ve gotten your solar panels cleaned? It might be time to make the move. Luckily for you, we offer the best solar panel cleaning service in Dallas, TX.
How Our Dallas Solar Cleaning Works
Here’s how we take care of your problems
Even before our solar cleaning in Dallas starts, we do a full visual inspection of your solar panels. Some debris like rocks should be removed before cleaning commences. We also do a visual inspection to ensure that there is no cracks in any panels. We can also capture a before picture upon your request to show you the difference of the cleaning both before and after.
We will then gently spray down your solar modules. Rather than using high-pressure washers (like those used on decks and siding) we keep everything at the absolute minimal pressure to avoid damage. The pressure at this point is similar to natural rainfall.
We don’t use raw tap or hose water. Those water sources are filled with minerals that can leave residue and cause your panels to be damaged. Instead, our water is filtered through a di-ionization system to remove dissolvable solids found in tap water.
We gently scrub your solar panels using soft-bristled brushes that are safe and delicate to not damage the glass on your solar array. We gently scrub the dirt and bug splatter off your panels, avoiding any microfractures or scratches.
We’ll, spray, brush, and rinse until every inch of your solar panels are in pristine condition. We continue the same process over and over to ensure a thorough solar panel cleaning in Dallas.
dramatic results guaranteed
Although we’re experienced, skilled, and effective, it wasn’t these qualities that made us the best in Dallas, TX. We’re the best because of the heart we put into our work. Our company culture stresses the importance of a hard days work. We treat each and every home we visit like we would our home: with respect, courtesy, and buckets of elbow grease. We never take shortcuts and we’re not here to make a quick buck. In addition to respecting your home, we respect your TIME. You won’t be waiting around all day for a solar cleaner that doesn’t show up. We guarantee your satisfaction. If any part of the job left you wanting more, give us a call day or night. We’ll do everything in our power to make sure you’re happy with our solar panel cleaning services.
Why use our Solar Cleaning?
It’s refined technology – not a cast iron pan. We avoid using abrasive cleaning methods which can damage your panels. We also avoid using any chemicals or abrasive cleaning methods that can strip protective coatings from your modules. It’s all about caution when dealing with your solar panels.
The safety of your home and solar panels are of the utmost importance to us, as well as keeping our staff safe from any hazard. Your home will be inspected for any unforeseen hazards or difficult conditions every step of the way.
Often your solar panels are surrounded by potentially sensitive equipment. Things like combiner boxes or inverters are never far from solar panels. We’ll always make sure to keep any water from being sprayed in these areas.
Not all roofs are safe to walk on, and not all solar panels are situated on roofs. That’s why we don’t limit our access options to just ladders. We have a variety of specialized equipment that helps us get to where we need to be, each and every time. In some cases, we can even wash your panels from the ground with our water fed pole technology. Utilizing a water fed pole allows us to pull purified water from our system and spray it onto your panels all while gently agitating your solar panels with our nylon brush attached to the carbon fiber pole. The results are crystal clear solar panels that dry spot free without and residue or dissolved solids drying onto your panels causing spotting or stains.
We’re not simply workmen or laborers. We’re the best problem solvers in Dallas, TX, and we’re here to make your life easier. Whether we’re dealing with vinyl siding or shingles, we’ve done it before. Whether it’s stucco, brick, concrete, wood or aluminum, no house (or problem) is too big for us to tackle. We understand why you want it done, and we understand how to get it done. Not only that we stand behind our work and warranty many of our pressure washing services.
Why Solar Service to Clean Your Solar Panels in San Antonio?
Solar Service Highest Rated Solar Company in San Antonio
Solar Services has been great to work with, Jenna in the office is very pleasant and understanding, answered all my questions that I had. Justice price was the technician that came out and installed my new inverter and fix some issues that we didn’t even know we had on some of the panels very good work very pleasant gentleman.
The team for the removal arrived on time, they were prepared, courteous, knowledgeable and efficient. I’m glad I chose them for my solar panel issues.
Justice showed up within the time they said he would be here. He was professional, knowledgeable and able to resolve my solar issue quickly. Highly recommend this company for all solar services.
Did exactly what they advertised. Prompt, courteous, with excellent communication. Panels are clean and ready to pump out 100% of their capacity!
Company tech was professional and thorough cleaning 54 solar panels. Highly recommend these folks to service your solar electric system.
Brian‘s organization is very professional. The workers always show up on time and they always do a great job. The price is very reasonable. I have been renewing with them now for a couple years and I’m extremely happy with the service.
Justise was friendly and very patient with all my questions. I explained how I couldn’t get a hold of the company that installed my solar panels and he was very understanding. He explained everything he was doing and helped me understand what was going on with my inverter not giving me a reading to my solar edge app. I highly recommend this company if you are having issues with your solar panels and unable to get a hold of your provider. I hope I don’t have anymore issues but I’ll definitely give them another call if I do. Thank you Justise
Big Thank you to Justise, excellent technician troubleshot and explained the issue, throughly.Outstanding!
I have used Solar Service on four occasions now. The technicians that arrived on this occasion conducted an inspection of wiring and cleaned my solar panels. He also checked the solar electrical box on side of my home. He sent me pictures of inspection items. I was impressed with his work and knowledge. I had this business come in to handle reconnecting my solar equipment when I had an emergency generator installed. The tech did a quick professional job. In May a tech came out and did the annual inspection. He noticed I had loose wiring. The problem has been repaired. I am glad I have found a company that can service my equipment.
Jenna and Justice have been a breath of fresh air. The communication has been top notch. A pleasure to work with.
My experiences with Solar Service were great every time I needed them to come out.The techs were very efficient in explaining the process from start to finish. I would diffently recommend this company
I want to thank CJ for coming out today inspect and wash our solar panels and setting us up pro cleaning services. Looking forward to doing business.
Our technician (CJ) did a great job! Our Solar Panels look much better. The entire job from booking through payment was handled professionally and efficiently.
So glad we found Solar Service. Our panels were really dirty and now they look great! Great service, very professional and super easy to work with! CJ and Jenna were awesome! Thanks Solar Service, see you next time!
I Give Justice Five Stars I would recommend him to anyone to get the Job done he’s very good at what he does. Thank you for your service
CJ did an excellent job cleaning our solar panels and they looked like new. Jenna and CJ provided great customer service during this entire process and I’m a new customer as well.
Solar Service were detail, communicative, and prompt. Justise, the technician, explained everything in great detail and took care of the warranty paperwork. Within two weeks, Justise installed the inverter and ensured everything was back working again. Very happy customer
Solar Service came out and repaired a conduit line that was moved by another contractor. I wish I had found them originally. would have saved me headaches and money. They were great and the technician who came out (Jeremy) was very friendly and professional. Explained everything that needed to be corrected and gor my system up and running again in a short time. Also liked the way they communicate everything that was happening as well. Great experience, will definitely use again.
Super fast service which was very much appreciated when our original solar installer CAM Solar took almost a month to get back to us about being scheduled! And the technician patiently explained everything to us, and were very fair. I will only call them in the future for solar repairs.
Zane was polite, friendly, thorough and efficient. My panels look great once again. I would recommend a minimum of two cleanings a year at minimum. I am well pleased with Solar Service.
The technician showed up on time and found our issue to be a faulty disconnect and gave us the timeline to get back up and running in a few weeks as we have to wait on parts. Looking forward to getting our solar back!
Zane was very professional. He was on time and got straight to work. He explained how my system worked and how to make sure it is running properly. Very kind and knowledgeable about his craft.
The office staff was polite and helpful. Scheduled a repair visit. The technician showed up on time very polite and helpful. He was able to diagnose the problem and get it up and running again quickly!
Excellent service. Reconfigured system, easy taking off, got all approvals, cleaned panels and great job getting it back on and up and running. Would definitely recommend and use again.
After months of calling various solar companies to come to our home to repair our system, Solar Services was the only one to follow through. I was contacted, asked about my issue, an appointment was available next day, the tech- Justise- came explained what he found/ what could be done/ what would happen next. Unfortunately, the issue couldn’t be fixed same day. However, the expectation is that Solar Service will follow through have our system up running soon.
Cleaning and Routine Maintenance
Yes! Dirty solar panels produce less power and have shorter life spans than clean panels. We recommend one of our affordable memberships to get routine cleanings and inspections take care of.
Are my solar panels dirty?
If you haven’t gotten your solar panels cleaned in the last six months, then yes they are dirty and you are losing power.
How often should I get my solar panels cleaned?
We recommend cleaning your solar panels at least twice a year. Our silver membership makes this easy and affordable.
What maintenance is needed on my solar?
Regular cleanings and inspections (easily done through our memberships will keep your system running optimally and avert and major issues from arising.
How do you clean solar panels?
We use water fed solar specific brush cleaning poles to clean your solar panels. For most cleanings, one or two scrubs with our equipment should get them totally clean.
Can you explain how my solar panel system works to me?
You bet! We do these “solar orientation service trips” all the time where we can walk you through how your solar system works and answer any of your questions.
A hail storm just rolled through, should I get it checked?
Yes, Solar panels are designed to be resistant to normal sized hail, but sometimes we get abnormally large hail in Texas! We’ll check your panels out to make sure they’re ok. And if any of them are broken, we’ll get you some right sized replacement panels in a hurry!
Save money on regular cleanings inspections
License Number TECL #33444
Pro tip: Never use soap to clean dirty solar panels
One thing learned during the coronavirus pandemic was the effectiveness of soap and water — regularly washing our hands was our best defense. While dirty solar panels do benefit from a regular washing to ward off reduced output and efficiency, soap isn’t the answer here.
Courtesy: Premier Solar Cleaning
California-based solar installer and maintenance provider Bland Company never uses a cleaning agent on solar panels, instead relying on deionized water and a rotating-brush system to wash solar panels.
“Soaps can leave a film or residue that not only shades panels like the dirt that was just washed off, but it can also encourage dirt to stick and build up faster,” said Daniel Green, Bland marketing director. “We use deionized water that is applied through our rotating-brush system. This is the best way to leave the solar panels with a spot-free shine that’s as beautiful as the first day they were installed.”
Rather than risk Bland employee safety or potential damage to the solar panels they’re cleaning, the company has been using Sola-Tecs brush cleaners since 2018. A rolling brush is attached to wheels that glide across the solar panels, allowing for an almost-hands-free deep clean. Bland also runs the customer’s water through a demineralizing and ionizing system.
Courtesy: Premier Solar Cleaning
“[Sola-Tecs] is the only cleaning system we use. We’ve found that in combination with our water treatment procedure, it’s the best way to clean solar panels,” Green said. “It requires less water, fewer passes and no harsh chemicals or detergents.”
Premier Solar Cleaning (PSC) in Southern California also finds that using deionized water through water-fed poles and brushes works just fine to clean solar projects.
“If you have ever smelled your hands after washing them with soap, what you smell is the soap left behind, even though you cannot see any soap afterwards,” said Adam Fuller, co-founder of PSC. “If we used soap to clean panels, the very small molecules of soap would leave something behind for dust and dirt to build upon.”
PSC offers a full maintenance suite, including infrared inspections to find damaged panels that need more than just a good wash. Fuller also stays busy doing year-round “pigeon evictions,” cleaning underneath panels and installing critter guards to ward off birds and other animals. He takes pride in giving customers honest answers and showing how production will increase after panels are cleaned.
Courtesy: Premier Solar Cleaning
“The homes and factories nearest the airport and highways gather smog or oil-based pollution, which resist running off with a normal rainfall,” Fuller said. “These make some of the older blue panels appear black at first glance. Dirt on the surface reflects light away from the panels. A clean panel remains cooler, allowing the flow of electrons to move more easily.”
National residential and commercial OM provider SunSystem Technology also stays away from soap and uses filtered water and a rotating brush to clean panels, but director of marketing Jeff Struhm said the company uses a mixture of diluted vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to aide in scrubbing away dirt and grime.
“When rain happens, soil accumulates at the bottom edge of the solar panel, obstructing the lower PV cell row and hindering the production efficiency,” Struhm said. “It’s like a car getting hosed down — you still need to scrub it or use a soil-releasing mixture in order to avoid scrubbing.”
Sometimes just water isn’t enough, but everyone agrees that soap should never be used. That’s why lubricant manufacturer Polywater released its Solar Panel Wash five years ago. The highly concentrated additive isn’t a filmy soap; instead it enhances water’s ability to clean solar panels, said Charlie Cole, Polywater international VP.
Non-soap Solar Panel Wash from Polywater
“We’re giving the water the capacity to lift the soil off the panel as opposed to a solvent, which is basically surrounding the dirt particle and taking it off the panel,” Cole said. “[Solar Panel Wash] is safer for the components of the panel. It’s not going to affect anti-reflective films; it’s not going to corrode the aluminum rails. It’s biodegradable, meaning that it’s non-persistent, making it friendly with the environment. It’s not going to affect the groundwater.”
Solar Panel Wash modifies the surface tension of the water, so instead of water beading up, it will form a continuous film across the solar panels to lift dirt and debris. Cole said Solar Panel Wash is especially helpful in arid locations where dust is high and water is scarce, because the wash allows for less water to be used in cleaning.
“A lot of these installations are done in desert regions where the availability of water is really an issue. If we can reduce the use of water, it’s an environmental benefit,” Cole said.
Polywater works with panel manufacturers to get its wash approved for use to not void any warranties. Canadian Solar and other global brands have confirmed Solar Panel Wash is safe for use on their panels. It can be purchased through Polywater’s global network of distributors and from Amazon in North America.
Solar OM providers are glad the industry is waking up to the need for periodic panel washing.
“At the beginning, panel managers were saying, ‘Don’t use anything but rain water.’ People were taking that to heart, and then three years after the panel installation they started to see a significant degradation of productivity,” Cole said. “For a large installation, if your efficiency goes down by 50%, that really cuts into the economic justification that was made in the first place.”
Even on residential projects, homeowners will benefit from paying some extra attention to the cleanliness of their few solar panels.
“We oftentimes hear customers say that the rain does just fine cleaning their panels, and while the rain does wash some dirt off, it doesn’t truly clean the panels. If the panels are already filthy, the rain just makes it worse by converting dust to thick layers of mud,” Bland’s Green said. “The perfect analogy is to consider your car. If your car hasn’t been washed in six months, does leaving it out in the rain make the dirt better or worse? The same is true with dirty solar panels.”
Just don’t use soap — a little elbow grease and water work fine.
About The Author
Kelly Pickerel has over a decade of experience reporting on the U.S. solar industry and is currently editor in chief of Solar Power World.
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
I highly recommend following the advice given in this article and avoiding the use of soap to clean dirty solar panels. Using soap or other harsh chemicals can damage the surface of the panels and reduce their efficiency over time. Instead, it’s best to use a soft brush or cloth and plain water to gently remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on the panels. Regular cleaning of solar panel is essential to ensure optimal energy production, and this gentle approach will help to protect your investment and ensure maximum energy output for years to come. I also advise contacting a professional solar panel cleaning company to ensure that the job is done safely and effectively, especially for hard-to-reach panels or larger installations. By taking proper care of your solar panels, you can enjoy the many benefits of clean, renewable energy for years to come.
Hello all, My name is Randy with Tiki’s SoftWash located in the Inland Empire, Southern California. I own an exterior cleaning service and one service we offer is solar cleaning. This is a great article and the information is absolutely educational. I’ve read a lot of your posts and many of you have questions and/or suggestions. As a professional that has cleaned many solar panels I wanted to speak about what we’ve learned during our time cleaning. First, solar companies don’t speak about the maintenance because this can be an added cost or added personal task to your already busy schedule. Second, we’ve found that most solar companies though are knowledgeable about general info and installation are clueless when it comes to the maintenance of your solar panels. This truth has been realized time and time again in the industry. There are several reasons one would hire a professional to clean. One of the most important reasons to hire a professional is the safety factor. Being on the roof can be very dangerous. Though some may be very comfortable with doing this task themselves doesn’t mean they have the experience to work in that environment. There are many factors to consider while cleaning on either a one story or two story home. Two, many houses in Southern California have tiled roofing materials. If you are not experienced in walking on this type of material you can cause a lot of damage to your roof. I have witnessed much damage from homeowners trying to walk on there own roof for various reasons. Three, we have all the right equipment. Our truck carries 300 feet of hose and utilizes a soft rinse and a soft bristle hand brush with extension handles that reach 30 feet for small jobs and a rotating soft bristle brush for large jobs. We clean with water only and rinse with deionized water for a streak free shine. And last, BEWARE, most solar companies claim that if customer uses any soap or cleaning products or third party companies hired that use soaps or cleaning products, that this can affect the warranty. Definitely check with your solar professional before applying any cleaning products to your solar panels. Using DI water is the safest alternative to keeping your panels clean. If you would like to ask questions or make an appointment please go to our website at: http://www.tikisSoftWash.com Or call: (909) 375-0408
I live in the beautiful Central Valley in California. Since it is primarily an agricultural area, dust in the air is common, and will build up on solar panels. This layer of dirt will reduce the amount of energy the solar panels produce. I did a little research as to how the solar panels actually work and what wavelength of light solar panels use to generate electricity. I found that the solar panels use the visible wavelengths. Knowing that UV light destroys everything, especially in California, I wanted a way to block the UV light, and clean my solar panels so the visible wavelength is an obstructed. My conclusion was to use the same soap that I use to wash my car. McGuiar’s wash and wax. https://www.meguiars.com/automotive/products/meguiars-ultimate-wash-wax-g17748-48-oz-liquid This car wash soap is gentle enough to clean the fragile paint on our cars, and contains wax, which will naturally be depleted by the UV rays from the Sun. I also use a car wash pass through Pole and brush that I got from Harbor Freight. https://www.harborfreight.com/instant-on-off-telescoping-flow-thru-brush-67658.html Each time I have washed my solar panels, I have gotten between 7% and 12% increase in production the following day. At dusk, after the panels have cooled down, I spray them wet with water, then using a spray bottle with a quarter ounce of the car wash soap and 32 oz of water, I spray a section of panels at a time. I gently brush the panels, then I turn the water on and brush the panels again rinsing them off at the same time. I do not squeegee them dry. My panels are the cleanest on the block!
Thanks for heads up in research. I live by Fresno. How long does the car wash last? I was using dawn dish soap and it would hold up for about a month or so before needing to be cleaned again.
I installed 27 panels back in 2020 and clueless on how to clean them after all the months. Being a car fanatic and only taking absolute care for the paint, I figured using the same method on my panels would do no harm. I mean if a wash mitt can’t or won’t swirl the paint, how can it do any harm to the panel right? I was very unsure on using meguiars but your post just gave me some relief, so thank you.
Panels can last for many years using this method. I have noticed that some bugs like to lay their egg cases on solar PV panels, these leave a waxy blob on the panel that is not always easy to remove. In those cases, warm soapy water, squeegee with a soft rubber blade, repeat until gone.
Has anyone tried that product called “ Wet n Forget”. Simply because I’m terrified of getting on my roof because of the slope. With this stuff I use it to clean the siding on my house. So I was just asking
It is pretty amazing how most solar panel cleaning services do not realize this. Down in Albuquerque, we mostly have window washing companies offer solar panel cleaning as a service and they have no access to de-ionized water. They wash the solar panels just like they’d wash any other window. We do it the right way though. Check out our work at https://www.solarpanelcleaningalbuquerque.com
One thing that is not mentioned here is TEMPERATURE. I live in the desert where the temp. is anywhere between 115 and 130 degrees all days of summer. Yes, it is hot! This (temperature) of the panels is one of the most important things to be aware of. The panels get hot so throwing cool water on them could easily cause the glass to crack! Not good. The ideal time to clean them would be early morning before they even have a chance to heat up. Other than that would be evening after they have had a chance to cool down. Just saying.
Great article! Solar panels don’t need a lot of aftercare but keeping them clean is a must, avoid using products such as Windex and never use a pressure washer to clean them! As other Комментарии и мнения владельцев have mentioned bird dropping aren’t so easy to remove!
I have just installed solar panels at my house and I was not sure how to clean that because if it leave water spots it might harm the panels. But I just got what I was looking for, and thank you for sharing such informative article with us.
We have a very thick layer of soot on our solar panels. It is so thick I can write in it. (We’ve had multiple fires very close to our property in the past two months). Water and a brush do NOT get the soot off. I am thinking of using Dawn dish soap mixed with water and a soft bristle brush. Dawn is really good at cutting greasy substances. However, I also understand it can leave streaks but streaks can not be as bad as leaving the soot, can it? When washing Windows the best recipe is 2 or 3 drops of dawn per gallon; I was thinking of doing the same for the panels. Please let me know your thoughts at your earliest convenience. Thank you, Pam
Your Homeowners Insurance should cover cleaning them if due to wildfires. I even had ash in the water basin of my coffee pot from the ‘07 WitchCreek Fire in CA. Even though my place didn’t burn, my HO policy covered and entire cleaning inside and out. Since the fires are a natural disaster your rates don’t increase.
You can also get a reasonably priced water deionized from Unger on Amazon. Its the blue model for washing cars. I use it for my panels, works great. Little bit of dawn on a rv brush and a long pole then rinse with the filtered water. Good to go.
HA VE NOT HEARD ANYONE TALK ABOUT PRODUCTS THAT WON’T LEAVE WATER SPOTS WHICH IS BAD FOR PANELS, ANYONE HAVE A GOOD IDEA ON A PRODUCT THAT WOULD WORK
Mixed vinegar and water. Splash you car down with it after washing then leave it in the sun to dry. You won’t have any spots.
Yes that’s a system call RO/DI water systems gives you 100% purify water and thats the only way not to get water marks on your panels and Windows i used all the time. The best results but is very expensive to buy! I have a clean business Check my page i have couple pictures there SUN SOFT WASH http://www.sunsoftwash.com Hope that helps you
We wash our panels with a mixture of water and Dawn soap with a final clean water rinse. We do this once a year after all the pollen has finished falling. Our problem is with stained roof shingles from between the two solar panels (facing south). We have had the roof “soft washed” with no real success. Someone suggested installing a zinc panel below the solar panels. Does anyone out there have an answer? Thank you
As mentioned in the article, ““When rain happens, soil accumulates at the bottom edge of the solar panel, obstructing the lower PV cell row and hindering the production efficiency…” This is because the Al frame is higher than the glass, thus prevents the soil water flowing out of the module surface. As Ramond Davidalso mentions, “Depends on the tilt of the modules as well. Panels at 30 degrees get cleaner with rain water better that 10 degrees tilt or less…” This is because the low-angle installed rooftop solar module is much easier to accumelate dust nearby the frame edge. Normally for the angle lower than 15 degree, water cannot flow out of the module surface due to the Al frame (like a dam). So there is a solution to add a small component onto the frame, which can help the accumulated soil water acrosss the frame and flow out of the module surface automatically during the rain, thoroughly remove the dust nearby the frame, also help remove the carbon-hydrogen contamination. This is a patent technology, has been sucessfully applied on tile roof top solar installation, of which the installation agle is always lower than 15 degree. If you wang to know more, testpv.com
I read the full technical document of a component so called ” Mud killer”，which describes the detail on how to remove the dust from the near-frame glass surface. Find the detail here: http://www.testpv.com/portal.php?mod=viewaid=25408
The need and effectiveness of solar panel cleaning is affected by many factors. The types of soiling, levels of rainfall, size of installation, cleaning methods and mineral content of water used to wash panels can affect the level of efficiency gains from cleaning. For those installations where frequent panel cleaning is required, an assessment must be made of cleaning processes and equipment and whether a chemical cleaning solution is required. If it is determined that a PV cleaning product is required, its panel component compatibility needs to be considered. Glass cleaning products and dish soaps are often used to clean PV panels. They can contain a wide array of solvents and their frequent use can corrode or weaken metal and water-proofing components surrounding the panel’s protective glass to expose underlying solar cells to the risk of damage. Solvents can also damage panels’ anti-reflective films to reduce power generating efficiency. Solvents like ethanol are flammable and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). Polywater’s SPW is a non-solvent cleaner that eliminates these risks of component damage. Approved by major solar panel manufacturers, SPW is designed to be a safe and effective PV panel cleaner.
Actually the worst case that affect the power generation is the dust accumalated around the solar panel frame, which contributes almost 80% of power loss. 20% efforts of dust cleaning for frame-side dust causes 80% power gain, in another word, 80% efforts of dust cleaning for the glass surface only get 20% of power gain. By using the “mud-killer”, all dust around the solar panel frame will disappear thoroughly. So it helps gain the 80% of power loss back. You may need not spend additional product cleaning any more. From the product document and field test, we confirmed the above mentioned. Please read and download the following article(it’s english version): http://www.testpv.com/portal.php?mod=viewaid=25408
Very well put together post! We need more people spreading the word about not using harsh chemicals on solar panels because they really can be harmful and can damage the panels. Many chemicals can be abrasive and can scratch the surface of the panels, which can reduce their effectiveness. Additionally, some chemicals can react with the materials used in solar panels, such as the photovoltaic cells, and can cause permanent damage. We’ve done so many solar panel replacements solar panel replacements due to this problem. It is generally best to use a cleaning solution that is specifically designed for solar panels and to avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals.
When I was about 30 years old, I had made friends with a retired UPS supervisor, his brother, in a fast growing town in central Kentucky, (this was back around 1980, just before the Chicago Bears got on a roll for the 1985 Superbowl, … they owned a carwash/full service gas station, with a oil change bay, … they were quite energetic, in coming up with ways to provide a number of services for the community, … The one thing I remember JS, saying about that business, is that soap, does not clean cars, … and he showed me a barrel that provided the customers “seller”, … You see, the customers love to see suds, believe that it is the soap which is cleaning their vehicle, … And JS, acknowledged that the soap only helps in providing a medium to carry the dirt away from the vehicle, … The real “magic behind the curtain” was sitting just to the side of it, in a dry corner of the contents room sat several bags of water softener salt, … packed up 6 high on pallets, covered with plastic so it did not get wet too early, … just in case a water leak sprang from somewhere amongst the equipment, … Soft water was the key to cleaning, hot “soft” water would degunk just about anything you could find on any automotive vehicles, … from heavy trucks that worked the coal mines, to old grannies, that only use the car on Sunday, to go to church, to the ingle guys who would “cruise” the malls, … there was a lot of traffic that got washed at the self-service/full service car wash, you could buy a carwash, fill up your car, get the oil changed, I’d be there if you wanted to get your car waxed, … or to have the luster restored to the paint, then waxed, … I was too cheap, for the I was charging, but made enough to feed my family, barely, … but that is another story, … lol, … lets just say that I learned how to have, keep a nice ride without a lot of expense, very little upkeep, …
Airborne Hydrocarbons like to stick to glass, paint metal and, much to the surprise of researchers, who were investigating the Lotus Effect of extreme hydrophobicity; Hydrocarbons also like surfaces that have been treated to shed water or are in some manner modified to be self cleaning. TiO2 coating may be an exception but they may interfere with photon transmission. The hydrocarbon build up attracts airborne particles. Where I work in the SF Bay area, I’m sandwiched between 10 lanes of I-880 and one of the main off ramps to Tesla. Suffice to say, my car gets dirty. On occasion, I have noticed that a gentle but persistent rain, unaccompanied by wind and thus Rapid evaporation, practically leaves my car and the windshield, streak free. My car is 20 years old, the paint has signs of bossing from the car wash and yet a gentle, persistent rain leaves it pristine.
I measured before and after cleaning my panels at the end of a dry summer in Portland and found 1% or less output increase only. Very dusty locations probably more.
Seven years after installing PV on my Chandler, AZ home, I have concluded that cleaning PV modules is unnecessary. After a full year of operation I cleaned my modules and compared before and after kWh production. The day before cleaning and the day after were identical cloudless days at the exact same temperature. I discovered there was absolutely no change in kWh performance. While cleaning modules may be worthwhile in heavy bird dropping area or Fresno with heavy soiling from agricultural activity, in my firm opinion, it does not pay to do this in the vast majority of residential PV applications.
Car windscreen cleaner solution would seem to fit the task. It removes road film, bird effluvia and squashed bugs….
Use SWP Solar Wash Protect a concentrate Bio degradable solution mixed with water for better wash for long period. It is dust repellent cleaning solution for Solar Panels only.
Depends on the tilt of the modules as well. Panels at 30 degrees get cleaner with rain water better that 10 degrees tilt or less
Getting it soaked with ordinary water (without soap) for a few minutes before washing is sufficient to remove it.
I tried Rainx it works fine with rain, but in the winter snow tends to hang up more than on plain panels.
Must taste pretty good I’d say…you’re drinking everything else that LEACHES off your roofing materials.
I would have to imagine that he runs it through some kind of filter, most people don’t drink rainwater directly
This article seems to be using the word “soap” rather broadly. Of course you aren’t going to rub your panels with a bar of Dial soap! Detergents and surfactants are another story. They really help to remove surface contaminants, rinse easily, and don’t leave a sticky film. You need to avoid consumer products that have other junk in them like skin softeners, and the final rinse should be D.I. water. D.I. water by itself is fine, but sometimes an oily contaminant needs more.
The best way to clean solar panels is with rotating brushes or robots that have rotating brushes mounted on them. In our extensive cleaning experience (our machines have cleaned 100s of GW) soap is not necessary, just de-ionized water!
I’ve had my 5KWh system for about 6yrs now and I’ve been keeping a detailed log on its energy production, I’ve never had a service done and never had anyone wash the panels, I let the rain clean the panels and to this day it’s producing the same it was when installed, when I say same I mean no great reduction in power, very happy with mine.
Long ago, when Sanyo made the HIT solar PV panels, their product sheet called out “cheap” dish washing liquid, not the stuff with skin softening aloe Vera or something like that. Warm water dish soap and a (towel) to wash down the panels. First step was spray down all the panels and let the water drain, second step wash down panels with dish soap, then spray off and squeegee with a soft rubber blade. I’d say most solar PV manufacturers will absolutely say not to use harsh chemicals like Windex or cleaners with any kind of cleaning “grit”. Panels can last for many years using this method. I have noticed that some bugs like to lay their egg cases on solar PV panels, these leave a waxy blob on the panel that is not always easy to remove. In those cases, warm soapy water, squeegee with a soft rubber blade, repeat until gone.
What Homeowners Should Know About Solar Panel Cleaning
The appearance of any unknown substance on your solar panels can be a cause for concern. One of our customers recently contacted us about a dusting of white powder they saw on their panels. Our examination revealed that the culprit was pollen that had accumulated on the solar panels, so there was no reason to panic, as the panels were still producing energy, they just needed a good cleaning.
We suggested that they could start by spraying the pollen off using a water hose to clean the panels. Then we recommended that they sign up for a thorough panel cleaning service at least once per year. It would prevent build-up in the future and ensure maximum efficiency and savings from their solar power system.
This homeowner’s concerns got us thinking about the sort of solar panel cleaning questions that most homeowners have:
- Do solar panels need cleaning?
- What solar power cleaning tasks can you do on your own?
- When should you hire a professional cleaning company to clean your solar panels?
- Will cleaning your solar panels improve their performance?
This article will answer all your concerns regarding these and other questions.
What are the Causes of Dirty Solar Panels?
You need to oil, maintain, and clean your car so it runs more efficiently. Others want their house Windows to be crystal-clear and grime-free so they can enjoy the view of their property. For many of the same reasons, your solar panels also need cleaning. Accumulated leaves, bird droppings, and other debris can block a significant amount of the sun’s rays, reducing your system’s efficiency.
We all love trees, as they beautify and freshen up our property. But birds also love them for nesting or chilling spots. If branches hang over your solar panel array, you should be prepared to do some extra cleaning.
Bird droppings tend to be more notorious than dust, leaves, and pollen, especially if they harden and stick on the panels. The accumulated debris from birds can block significant light from the sun, and it’s more difficult to remove just by spraying your panels with water.
Thankfully, products and services exist that can indicate if bird droppings affect the current flow in your solar energy system. Microinverters help with this, as the technology allows you to see when a single panel is generating less electricity because of blockage or debris.
Pollen and Leaves
Pollen has evolved into a sticky material that doesn’t dissolve in water. As a result, it can be harder to clean since it doesn’t just blow away in the wind. If you live near farmlands or areas with a lot of vegitation, expect pollination agents like wind, insects, and birds carrying pollen to pass over your panels and drop some of it on them. In fact, windy weather is more likely to blow pollen onto your panels in the first place instead of blowing it away.
You may also need to deal with leaves falling on your panels, especially if your trees are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves each year in the fall. While dry leaves just blow away in the wind, wet leaves typically stick to panels as heavy rain can act like glue.
Dust and Dirt
Dust and dirt is a common enemy of solar power systems, and its effects go beyond the accumulation of grime. It’s true that sun rays may still pass through a thin layer of dust, and wind or rainwater can quickly sweep most of it off. But if your PV array is located near dustier areas such as farmlands, main roads, cement factories, and quarries, the story changes. Your solar panels will need special attention and frequent cleaning as they have to contend with far more dust and dirt.
Now, you may be thinking, “Wait. You told that customer to use water to clean their panels. Why is it on the list?”
Fair question! The issue has to do with the pooling of cleaning or rainwater on horizontal solar arrays. Apart from simply reducing your solar energy generation, the water layer can leave a muddy residue after evaporation, necessitating more frequent cleaning.
Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?
Like anything that stays outside every day and night, solar panels will eventually accumulate dirt. But how frequently you may have to wash your panels depends on several factors, including:
- System design
- Installation angle(s)
- Size/number of panels
- Types of dirt
- Duration between thorough cleanings
So, do solar panels need cleaning? Our definitive answer comes in three parts:
Answer #1: Yes, and You Can Do It Yourself
Bird droppings and other dirt agents can affect your solar panel‘s performance, especially if your panels lie truly horizontal on the roof. That’s where washing the panels becomes important, though it doesn’t have to be a thorough or routine cleaning in many cases.
As we suggested to the customer with the white powder on their panels, cleaning your solar panels is usually a relatively easy task. All you need to do is to spray the panels with average-pressure water from a well-angled garden hose while standing on the ground.
If you want extra cleaning power, a long-handled squeegee or soft brush plus a medium-pressure hose nozzle can work wonders. With the nozzle, directing the spray will become easier. You’ll then wipe off the water using the squeegee for maximum electricity production. This approach provides even more cleaning power, but it does depend on the angle of your roof, roof height, and panel placement, because not everyone will be able to reach their roof, even with a long handle.
Answer #2: Yes, but You Don’t Need to Do Anything
Maintaining your panels is essential, but you don’t need to clean them as often as most people think. You may need to remove the occasional buildup of leaves, bird droppings, and other debris to maximize the amount of sunlight exposure your panels receive. Any regular wind and rain will typically sweep off most of the dirt, so it’s better to let nature take its course and only do one thorough cleaning every year to maximize energy production.
When it comes to doing any thorough cleaning and maintenance, it’s best to hire a professional with the knowledge and tools to get the job done safely and correctly the first time.
Answer #3: No, Unless Something Really Bad Happens
Researchers at the University of California left solar panels on a roof for 145 days without cleaning. Their findings? The panels’ energy generation efficiency dropped by 7.4%.
It may surprise you that the efficiency of your solar panels can remain intact over a long period, considering all that exposure to debris, dust, heat, and rainwater. But you can trust your panels to withstand the regular wear and tear of the elements.
Solar companies employ only the leading technologies and engineering skills when manufacturing their products. Their design processes usually account for the effects of dirt, water, and pollen from everyday use.
You still need to be on the lookout for any obvious structural issues with the panels, supports, and roofing.
Can Cleaning Solar Panels Improve the Performance of PV Systems?
As we’ve seen so far, the short answer is, The impact of dirty solar panels on solar power production depends on various factors. But we’re interested in the long answer, right? Let’s dig into the science and math a bit:
An experiment involving solar panels on a low-slope roof sought out the difference in energy output before and after a thorough cleaning.
The researchers found an average 3.5% boost in energy production (the amount of power produced over time) after cleaning the panels using a soft rag and water. The implication here is that the energy yield increase was low, despite the high amount of dirt accumulation.
Things became interesting when heavy rain did the cleaning job. The average performance increased by only 1.9% after rainwater pounded on the dirty panels. What does that mean? A good shower from the skies can take care of some cleanup, but it’s not as effective as the proper equipment and some elbow grease.
You may want to check how much your dirty solar panels are costing you in terms of energy generation. Here’s a simple formula for determining the value of solar panel cleaning:
Yearly Energy Production (kWh) × Production Loss From Dirty Panels × Electricity Cost per kWh
For example, if your residential solar energy system can produce 10,000 kWh of electricity per year, and you assume a 5% loss of production due to panels being dirty, and you pay 20 cents per kWh for electricity from your utility, your yearly cost of electricity loss from dirty panels is as follows:
A 5% electricity production loss might not sound like a lot, but it can definitely add up, and suddenly you’re paying way more to your utility company on your electricity bill than you need to be.
The Science of Cleaning Your Solar Panels
Yes, rain helps wash solar panels and keep dirt at bay, but it comes with several downsides, which can lead to noticeable performance problems on panels set at low angles:
- Rainwater comes laden with pollen and dirt
- It can pool on the surface of your panels, especially if the glass surface sits lower than the frame
- Once the rainwater evaporates, it can leave behind a muddy residue
So, should we rule out the need for cleaning solar panels? Not yet. Researchers at Google’s solar farm have a different story.
In one set of their experiments, they studied 1.6MW of horizontal solar panels on flat carports in Mountain View, California. These panels operated untouched for 15 months.
After cleaning them, they realized that the energy production from their carport solar panels had doubled overnight! Eight months later, they cleaned those same solar panels and learned that the output had gone up by 36%.
So, what’s our conclusion? All solar panels still need frequent cleaning, especially if they’re horizontal or almost horizontal on your roof. If yours are tilted appropriately, a reasonable amount of rainfall will get them mostly clean, but a scheduled annual visit from cleaning professionals may further help your overall renewable energy output.
How Can I Clean My Solar Panels?
Cleaning your solar panels doesn’t have to be extensive or risky work. If you’ve decided to clean your panels yourself, what matters is that you follow these cleaning tips to keep both you and the solar system safe.
When in doubt, just remember that you can always call in the professionals to get the job done safely and efficiently. Because some solar installers are only focused on new installations, they don’t all offer services like solar panel cleaning. If that’s the case, rest assured that Palmetto can still provide any of your solar service and maintenance needs.
Tips for Cleaning My Solar Panels
Before setting out to clean your panels, you must keep in mind one crucial point: Avoid scratching or damaging the glass at all costs. You don’t want your energy production to plummet.
When cleaning solar panels, you will always be gentle with them by using these solar panel cleaning tips and tricks:
- Solar panel models are not all created the same. It’s prudent to check with your product’s manufacturer to see if they have specific instructions for cleaning.
- Consider using a garden hose first. But if grime and dirt have built up on your equipment, it’s time for a thorough cleaning.
- Most likely, the only equipment you need is a bucket with clean, warm water, a soft cloth, dish soap, and a soft brush or squeegee.
- Pick an evening, a morning, or a cool day to do the cleaning. You don’t want to get burned by hot panels on a sunny day. If it’s too sunny, the soapy water can evaporate before you get time to wipe it away, which can leave a smear or residue that can reduce your panels’ efficiency.
- Avoid splashing cold water on a hot glass surface. It can lead to cracks due to sudden contraction.
- Apply the warm water and dish soap on the panels’ surfaces using a soft cloth or sponge. Do NOT clean the wiring underneath.
- Use a squeegee to get rid of dirty water.
- Never step on your panels, as this can damage them and cause premature failure.
- Avoid brushes with sharp bristles that can scratch your solar glass surface.
If you live near an airport or a route frequented by trucks, expect to find a few oily stains on your panels. In this case, you can use a rag and a little isopropyl alcohol to remove them.
Pro Tip: Strong cleaning fluids should not touch your expensive investment at all. Harsh chemicals and liquids like laundry detergents, ammonia, and acids can react with or streak the glass surface, leading to damages and a loss of energy production.
How Often Should I Clean My Solar Panels?
In most cases, you only need to clean your solar panels once or twice per year. We recommend scheduling your annual cleaning routine during the spring. That avoids the heat of summer and harsh elements of winter.
However, your solar panels might need extra attention in some locations. For example, the Southwest US experiences more significant dirt accumulation because of limited rainfall. Also, panels in homes near airports, factories, freeways, and other sources of pollution will need more frequent cleaning.
Winter and autumn are other special cases. Removing heavier-than-average snowfall and leaves can boost your solar performance significantly.
Do I Clean Off Snow?
We get it. heavy snowfall days can make anyone nervous about their system not generating enough energy. However, snow on your solar power panels usually melts away quickly, thanks to the heat created by the solar panels, and their slick surface. Snow on a panel melts faster than on an empty roof due to the high difference in heat between the two surfaces.
But if the snow is taking longer to melt and your battery storage is running low, you don’t have to wait. You can brush the snow off your panels to get them back to producing power right away.
Make sure you use the right equipment to avoid damaging your investment and compromising its warranty. Thus, shovels, standard brooms, and other non-specialized tools should not come anywhere near your panels. A suitable snow roof rake created for the task will come in handy here. They typically cost around 30 to 150.
Can I Use a Pressure Washer When Cleaning My Solar Panels?
No. Not at all. High-pressure water is among the biggest enemies of your solar equipment.
First, high-speed moisture can quickly force its way through the seals around the frames and get into vulnerable technology. These water leakages can promote corrosion of the fine wires, which leads to the failure of the solar panel and its photovoltaic cells.
Also, the glass surface can break under high water pressure. We hear you asking, Why then don’t we see damage resulting from continuous rainfall pounding on the glass? That’s because panels are designed to resist hours of heavy rain falling across a wide surface area. But washing the panels with high pressure directs a focused beam of water in a highly concentrated spot, which creates an increased chance of stressed areas that can crack.
What is Localized Soiling?
Localized soiling of solar panels is when material like bird poop, leaves, and any other heavy blockages get stuck on your panels, but only cover part of the panel. Compare that to general soiling, where material like dirt and dust covers the entire panel surface.
When rain and wind fail to remove localized soiling, this sort of debris may block some parts of the equipment, leading to hot spots.
Your panel is made of several individual cells (60 in most cases). When localized soiling blocks sunlight from reaching one of the cells, its energy production drops. However, full current flowing from the adjacent cells may pass through the affected one. The result is overheating at that cell, a phenomenon that can cause damage to the panel.
Yes, modern solar panels come with multiple built-in bypass diodes to keep hot spots at bay. But those extra-dirty areas can still lead to damage over time that can increase your solar panel maintenance cost.