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How to Clean Solar Panels Safely: Dos and Don’ts



How to Clean Solar Panels Safely: Dos and Don'ts

Solar energy is a clean and sustainable power source, and solar panels are a significant investment that can help reduce electricity bills and contribute to a greener planet. To maintain their efficiency and maximise energy production, regular cleaning is essential. However, cleaning solar panels requires proper techniques and safety measures to avoid damaging the panels or putting yourself at risk. In this blog post, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of solar panel cleaning.


The Dos of Cleaning Solar Panels:


Schedule Regular Cleaning

Setting a cleaning schedule for your solar panels is crucial. The frequency of cleaning depends on your local weather conditions, the surrounding environment, and the amount of dust or debris accumulation. In most cases, cleaning every three to six months is sufficient, but you may need to adjust the frequency based on your situation.


Choose the Right Time

Solar panels are most effective during sunny days, and regular cleaning can enhance their efficiency. However, cleaning them during peak sunlight hours is not advisable, as the water may evaporate quickly, leaving behind streaks and water spots. Instead, opt for solar panel cleaning in the early morning or late afternoon when the temperature is cooler.


Use Soft Cleaning Materials

Abrasive materials can scratch or damage the surface of solar panels, reducing their efficiency. To avoid this, use soft, non-abrasive cleaning materials such as microfiber cloths, soft sponges, or soft-bristled brushes. These materials effectively remove dirt and grime without causing harm.


Utilise Distilled Water

In many cases, plain water is sufficient for cleaning solar panels. However, if your water is hard or contains minerals, it may leave behind streaks or spots. Using distilled water can help prevent these issues and ensure a clean, spotless surface.


Inspect for Damage

Before you start cleaning your solar panels, inspect them for any visible damage. Look for cracks, chips, or any signs of wear. Cleaning damaged panels can worsen the problem, or it may void the warranty. If you notice any issues, contact the manufacturer or a professional for assistance.


Turn Off the System

Safety is paramount when cleaning solar panels. Before you begin cleaning, turn off the solar panel system to avoid the risk of electrical shock or injury. Additionally, this prevents the system from producing electricity while you’re cleaning, making the process safer.


Consult Manufacturer’s Guidelines

Solar panels may have specific cleaning recommendations from the manufacturer. Reading and following these guidelines is essential to avoid damaging the panels or voiding the warranty. The manufacturer knows their product best and can provide valuable insights into proper maintenance.


The Don’ts of Cleaning Solar Panels:


Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

While it may be tempting to use strong chemicals to remove tough stains, it’s best to avoid them. Harsh chemicals, ammonia-based cleaners, or abrasive materials can damage the anti-reflective coating on solar panels, reducing their efficiency over time.


Don’t Use High-Pressure Water

High-pressure washers are great for concrete cleaning, but they should not be used on solar panels. The intense pressure can crack or dislodge delicate parts of the panels, causing irreparable damage.


Steer Clear of Walking on Panels

Under no circumstances should you walk or step on the surface of solar panels. They are not designed to bear weight, and doing so can lead to breakage or microcracks, which may reduce their efficiency.


Avoid Cleaning Hot Panels

Solar panel cleaning during peak sunlight hours when they are hot is not recommended. Rapid temperature changes caused by cold water can damage the panels. Instead, choose cooler times of the day for cleaning.


Don’t Spray Water Upward

When cleaning solar panels from the ground, avoid spraying water upward directly onto the panels. This can cause water seepage into the electrical components, leading to malfunctions or safety hazards.


Don’t Forget Safety Gear

If your solar panels are on a rooftop and you need to access them, prioritise safety. Wear appropriate safety gear, such as a harness or personal protective equipment, to prevent falls and injuries.


Consider Professional Cleaning

While cleaning solar panels can be a DIY task, some homeowners may prefer to leave it to the professionals. Professional solar panel cleaning services have the experience, tools, and knowledge to clean panels safely and effectively. They can also inspect the panels for any issues that may need attention.

With access to specialised equipment, such as soft brushes and deionised water systems, they can clean the panels effectively without causing damage. Safety is a top priority for professional cleaners, and they come equipped with proper safety gear and knowledge to prevent accidents.

Moreover, outsourcing the cleaning task saves homeowners time and effort, allowing them to focus on other priorities. By entrusting the job to professionals, homeowners can be confident that their solar panels will be maintained at their best, leading to optimal energy production and prolonged lifespan.


In Conclusion:

Cleaning your solar panels is essential for maintaining their efficiency and maximising energy production. By following the dos and don’ts outlined in this blog post, you can safely clean your solar panels and ensure they continue to serve you well for years to come. Regular maintenance and proper care will not only increase their lifespan but also contribute to a cleaner, greener future for all. Whether you choose to clean them yourself or hire a professional service for solar or concrete cleaning, the effort is undoubtedly worth it for the long-term benefits of solar energy.