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Everything You Need to Know About Solar Panels Cleaning to Keep Your Panels in Mint Condition

Sep 04, 2023

Installing solar panels for your home is an excellent way to save money on electricity bills and to reduce your carbon footprint by switching to a more sustainable and renewable energy source.  

The good news is that while the initial cost of installing solar panels may seem high for many, these solar panels last for around 25-30 years. This means there will be plenty of time to get a good return on your investment. In addition, solar panels require little maintenance to function; however, regular maintenance and solar panel cleaning are vital to maintain the performance and efficiency of the panels.  

Periodic solar panel cleaning ensures that nothing obstructs the sunlight from falling on the panels. If you are wondering how to clean solar panels, here are some ways in which you can maintain them. 

Keep an eye on solar panels and ensure that the inverters are flashing a green light: If they are not flashing green light, you might be losing money by not compensating for your electricity usage.  It can be helpful to document the performance of solar panels in your home daily. This will allow you to identify if your solar panels require cleaning or repair. You can also consistently keep track of the energy produced. Please note that this must be done at the same time every day to look for consistency in results.   Today, Wi-Fi dongles can also help track energy generation and the efficiency of the solar power system.  

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Now, if you are an owner of a residential solar panel system or are a seasoned solar panel cleaner, you know that the right tools are needed to clean the solar panels safely and efficiently. These tools must include: 

A ground-level water hose

When it comes to a solar panel cleaning system, rinsing rooftop solar panels with a hose from the ground level is the safest way to clean them. The water spray must fall on solar panels like rainfall to let gravity do the heavy lifting. A second or third pass of the water hose works by removing most of the gunk off the solar panels. Being on ground level also means that there is no risk of falling.  

Isopropyl alcohol to clean stubborn stains

If it is safe for you to climb up the roof for a wash, then you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean oil-based smudges without leaving any marks behind. It is recommended not to use soap or detergent to clean stubborn stains as it tends to leave residue on the solar panel glass, which can cause more dirt to be accumulated in the future. Make sure not to stand on the top of solar modules in any case. Any pressure on the solar panels creates micro tracks risk, reducing energy output.  

Use a plastic scourer or soft brushes to clean

Only the soft brushes designed for solar panels must be used with water to scrub the dirt off the panels. Unsuitable scrubbing equipment such as a steel brush can scratch the solar panel glass and harm the solar production process. A plastic scourer can also be used to remove the scum off the solar panel glass, but it may hamper the solar production process.  

Prevent water streaks

In the same way, a sponge helps finish off the cleaning of the windows and prevent streaks, a sponge must also be used to wipe solar panels dry and prevent streaks of water from shading solar panels. Solar monitoring systems also help recognize the extent to which the environmental benefits and the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.  

As a rule, solar panels must be cleaned at least once a year. However, in some locations, they may benefit from frequent cleaning. These locations include; 

  1. Polluted areas: Solar PV panels installed in areas with a high pollution level, especially near airports, highways and factories, experience frequent oil build-up and atmospheric grime.  
  2. Wooded areas: Solar installations that are surrounded by trees can have insufficient absorption of sunlight due to more than one factor, such as bird droppings.  

An annual inspection helps recognize whether the solar panels require cleaning or repair to help maintain their mint condition. This ensures that everything functions smoothly.  

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that solar panels come with a hefty price tag compared to other household appliances. However, the good news is that they require minimum maintenance and have a long lifespan. The only care needed for solar power is periodic cleaning. Luminous provides end-to-end solar solutions from quality products to installation to after sale services and maintenance.