Did you know that you can power an entire home with solar panels? Yup, they are that powerful.
Buying solar panels is arguably one of the most enviable aspects of a home. After all, what homeowner doesn’t want to save money and protect the environment at the same time?
But do you know how to clean solar panels so that they’re working at their best?
Solar panel cleaning can be a tricky thing since the last thing you want to do is get any bits of dirt or the cleaning solution onto the actual panels. Here are a few tips to make sure you can keep your panels clean at all times.
Safety should always be a priority when performing any kind of maintenance on solar panels. Before beginning any cleaning, inspect the area around the panels for overhead power lines, loose debris, and other dangerous conditions.
Make sure you have the proper safety equipment, such as:
- Rubber-soled shoes
- Protective goggles
Finish by disconnecting all power sources and placing a sign of “DANGER: High Voltage” in a visible area.
Check the Manual
Before beginning to clean your solar panels, the most important step is to check the manual that came with the panels. The manual will provide important information on the specific model of the panels and how to best clean and maintain them.
Additionally, the manual may specify how often the panels should be cleaned and the best time of day to do so for maximum efficiency. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep the manufacturer’s contact details in a safe place in case additional information is needed.
Assess the Condition
In some cases, a visual inspection will be sufficient, and in other cases, a professional inspection may be necessary. Once the condition is assessed, the next step involves cleaning the panels. One should use a gentle cleaning detergent and a soft sponge to remove all the dirt from the panels.
A gentle, yet concentrated, stream of water should then be used to rinse the panels, followed by a soft cloth to dry them. Finally, a protective coating can be applied to seal the panels and protect them against further dirt and dust accumulation.
Dust that remains on the panel can reduce the effectiveness of your solar startup. To begin, use a soft brush or microfiber cloth to gently remove the dust that has accumulated on the solar panels.
Second, you may need to use a mild soap and warm water solution to gently remove the dust from more difficult crevices and surfaces. Third, wipe the panels with a clean, soft dry cloth until the panels are dry. Finally, if there are any stubborn spots or streaks, use a professional solar panel cleaning product to safely remove them.
Cleaning solar panels with water rinse is a simple and important step in maintaining their efficiency. To start, start by spraying a gentle stream of water on the solar panel, being careful to not exert too much pressure on the panels. Do not use a pressure washer as this may damage the panels.
After a light rinse, use a squeegee to push debris off the panel. Be sure to move the squeegee in one direction, as streaks can reduce the panels’ efficiency. Finally, rinse off the panel with a light spray.
Mild Detergent Solution
To start cleaning a solar panel, you’ll need a mild detergent solution, such as dish soap and warm water. Mix one-quarter cup of the soap with a gallon of clean water in a bucket or container that won’t be harmed. Dip a sponge, soft cloth, or non-abrasive scrub brush in the solution and use it to lightly scrub the panels.
Avoid using any hard-bristled brushes or anything that is abrasive, as scratches can reduce the efficiency of the panel. Rinse off all of the detergent solutions with a hose and allow the solar panel to air dry. If you notice any hard water deposits, you can remove them with a cloth and vinegar solution.
Dry the Panels
This step is often overlooked, but it remains crucial to ensure that all residue, dirt, and grime are removed. To do this, start by wiping the panels with a soft, lint-free cloth, ensuring to go in circular motions but not to exert too much pressure. This will get rid of the dirt and residue on the surface of the panels.
Then, wipe the panels down with a dry, clean cloth and let them dry completely. Alternatively, you can use a leaf blower on a low setting, which will effectively clear off all dust without damaging the panels. To finish it off, apply silicon polish over the panels to protect them against dirt, dust, and any other elements.
In order to successfully clean solar panels and hard-to-reach areas, one must first assemble the appropriate gear. This includes a telescopic pole, brushes, squeegees, and extension poles for hard-to-reach areas. Be sure to attach the brushes and squeegees to the extension pole; this will give you the needed reach.
Before you begin the cleaning, ensure the area is free from any debris, dirt, and leaves that can stain the solar panels. Then, fill a bucket with a mild cleaning solution, such as mild liquid dish soap, and combine it with warm water. Dip the brushes or squeegees into the bucket, and begin wiping down the solar panels using a circular motion, covering the hard-to-reach areas.
Avoid Abrasive Materials
When cleaning solar panels, it is important to avoid using abrasive materials as they can scratch the surface and can cause permanent damage. A soft cloth or sponge is the best way to clean the panels. Start by using warm water to rinse the panels, then use soap or a vinegar solution to wipe away any dirt or residue. Rinse the panels with warm water again afterward.
It is recommended to use distilled water to avoid any water spots or residue. Additionally, keep the panels dry and avoid using any harsh detergents or any type of chemicals. If water is not enough, use a mild non-abrasive cleaner that is specially made for solar panels and rinse thoroughly afterward.
Consider Automatic Cleaning Systems
Consider automatic cleaning systems which can be connected to the solar panels. They are designed to clean solar panels of dirt, dust, and other particulate matter that can block light and decrease efficiency over time.
Some systems even utilize water, allowing the panels to be rinsed off safely. Regular visits by professionals or other personnel may still be necessary to clean the solar panels. While solar panel cleaning systems do not come cheap, they may be a good investment in the long run, as clean solar panels will make them last longer and produce more energy than dirty ones.
Cleaning the panels regularly helps to ensure that they are running as efficiently as possible. To do this, start by checking the panels for dirt, dust, and debris and remove any obstructions.
Next, use a garden hose with a nozzle on a low-pressure setting to gently rinse off the debris and excess dirt. Monitoring performance afterward can help you identify any areas that need more attention in the future.
Check for Warranty Requirements
The warranty requirements might include steps on cleaning the solar panels and what materials can be used. If the warranty is valid, any repair or maintenance services performed on the solar panels should be done following the requirements stated in the warranty. If done incorrectly, the warranty may be voided.
To clean the solar panels, start by turning off the electrical power connected to them. It is best to clean the solar panels in the morning when the sun is low.
Hire Professionals if Needed
Cleaning solar panels is necessary to ensure their optimal performance. If the panels become covered in dirt, dust, or debris, they won’t be able to collect sunlight as well. Homeowners can keep their solar panels clean by regularly spraying them with a garden hose and using a soft cloth to gently wipe away any build-up.
However, if the panels get too dirty or are located in hard-to-reach areas, then hiring a professional may be the best option. A professional cleaning service will have to answer these questions about solar about the right tools and equipment to access hard-to-reach places and give the panels a thorough cleaning.
Take The Preventative Steps Today On How to Clean Solar Panels
Regular maintenance of solar panels is essential, to keep them functioning efficiently. As well as picking the right cleaning method, using the correct tools, and wearing protective clothing, attention should be paid to the way the solar panels are situated to minimize dirt and clogging. By following how to clean solar panels, your solar panels will remain clean, and their power output will be maintained. If you are uncertain about the best cleaning method for your solar panels, contact a professional installation company for advice.
Looking for more helpful home improvement tips and tricks? Stick with our blog for updates.
Rosette has a knack for anything DIY. She spent her younger years learning about the different hardware tools, lighting, and equipment in the hopes of establishing a hardware business in the future. Her career options may have changed, but today, she continues to write so passionately about her first love.