Proper care of your solar panel system can aid in ensuring longer life and better performance. To do that, you need to know the best method to clean solar panels. In every situation, the best solution to clean solar panels is the one recommended by the manufacturer. Be sure you verify that before you invest in any of these steps.
How to Clean Solar Panels
Most often, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels do not require a lot of support or maintenance from homeowners. Once they are installed, they work reliably on a consistent basis for 25 to 30 years, but to achieve the best outcome and performance with power generation, you need to keep them clean. Learning the best method to clean solar panels does not have to be challenging, though.
Over time, solar panels will develop debris on them that can lead to a loss of energy efficiency.
The Best 5 Ways to Clean Your Solar Panels
There are several methods to help you keep your panels clean. Keep in mind that rain is going to help you because it will wash debris off the panels. However, it can still accumulate at the base of the panel, which can interfere with performance. Take a look at the following more effective solutions to find the best way to clean your solar panels.
Manual cleaning work
The best way to clean rooftop solar panels is to do so manually. Most often, that means obtaining the proper cleaning brushes that allow for an easy way to clean the surface. Remember to only choose products specifically designed for solar panel use. Brushes like those used for car windshields tend to be effective. You may also use a low-pressure power wash if the manufacturer approves. No soap is always the preferred method to minimize residue buildup, so you do not need to worry about the best soap to clean solar panels.
Soap-less brushes and sponges
Some companies offer a soap-less, brush-like method for cleaning solar panels. Instead of soap, they use deionized water and a rolling system that brushes away the debris. Without soap use, it is less likely any residue will be left behind, which often attracts more dirt to it. These products are excellent because they can use natural solutions, like diluted vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, to strip away the debris without causing damage to the system. This is the best product to clean solar panels when you want a more natural solution to pull film from the surface.
If you want to clean your own solar panels, you can use a soap-less method as well. Just use a garden hose and a soft, clean sponge to do the work.
You may be looking for the best way to clean solar panels on your roof, but what if you did not have to do so? There are some companies producing a solar panel coating that is applied to the surface of the panel. Once on, it does not allow for dirt to build up on the surface, protecting it from scratches from dust and sand. This nanoparticle technology just works to repel the debris instead. It still may be necessary to rinse the panel off from time to time, but all you need to use is a hose to do so.
Companies with robotics solutions, both automated and semi-automated, can handle the work for you. This is the best option for solar panels on larger systems, such as on a greenhouse, parking structure, or large shed. It provides a robotic system that glides over the solar panels safely removing dust and debris from them. There are companies that come to your location to provide this service. Though best for larger solar panel systems, this is also the best way to clean solar panels on the roof of large structures.
What if the best thing to clean solar panels is a bit of vibration? There are organizations that have developed a method to clean solar panels that uses vibration. It simply vibrates just slightly to help to shake off any dirt, dust, and other debris that accumulates on the surface. In this method, the company attaches a direct current motor to the device. Once in place, it is turned on and creates vertical vibrations that do all of the work for you. No worries about ladders or soap in this case!
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How Location Affects How You Clean Your Solar Panels
Some areas are more likely to need cleaning on a more consistent basis, including in areas with the following:
- High pollution levels
- Wooded areas
If you have a lot of dust and debris in your area, it’s often necessary to clean your panels more often.
How to Know When It Is Time to Clean Your Solar Panels
When is the best time to clean solar panels? There’s no real recommendation for this, but rather it should occur when there’s any type of buildup on the surface. In some situations, you may want to clean them if there is any material on the surface. The best way to clean snow off solar panels, for example, is to use a soft brush to push it off. You never want to apply pressure or scratch the surface.
Maintain Your Solar Panels
If you are thinking about the best way to clean a solar panel and wondering if it is time to get your own solar panel system, let our team help you. Contact us now to learn more about the installation process and how Solar Energy World can support you.