Why Solar Panels Need to Be Cleaned

solar panel cleaning

As we enter the dry season on the Central Coast, it is important to remember to rid the dust and grime that built up on your photovoltaic panels. Dirty panels can reduce your solar system’s energy yields by up to 25 percent, which dramatically affects energy bill savings.Learn more about getting a discount on your next solar panel cleaning!

When was the last time you manually cleaned your solar panels?  Solar professionals find that rain is not a satisfying way of cleaning solar panels. Solar panels that are manually cleaned have  a 10 to 15 percent higher output of electricity compared to those cleaned by rain. When manually cleaning your solar panels, it is important to wash them in the morning, afternoon, or a relatively cool day. Solar panels can become incredibly hot in sunshine and can crack when cool water is applied. Your average garden hose may be able to complete the  job, but if a lot of dust and dirt has accumulated, you might need to clean more thoroughly. To do so, fill a bucket or spray bottle with warm water and soap and clean the surface of the solar panels with a soft cloth or sponge. You do not have to clean the wiring underneath. While the steps to cleaning your solar system are straight-forward, it is important to check with your solar panel manufacturer for specific recommendations for cleaning and show extra caution if cleaning your solar panels requires you to climb up on the roof.  

Do-it-Yourself solar cleaning may seem straight forward, however, tap water and chemicals can leave a residue on your panels that can actually increase the rate of dirt accumulation. Professional services have the ability to use a deionized water system; this ensures a spot free finish that is more resistant to becoming dirty. Another essential part of having a trained professional do the job is that they can check other aspects that can affect the health and performance of your system. Professional panel cleaners are well versed at detecting issues like crazing (ie. webs of small cracks) and delamination (i.e. peeling off of laminate layer).  These also include potential fire safety issues, and nests from uninvited guests like birds, rats, bees and possums.  The absence of these defects and creatures are essential to ensure your PV system is running at its full potential.  

Clean solar panels are a must. If you feel comfortable and able to manually clean your PV Solar system,  make sure you are doing it consistently to ensure maximum energy yield.  However, when in doubt, call a professional and increase your solar system’s output by as much as 25 percent.

For those interested in getting their solar panels professionally cleaned, local professionals such as ProSolarClean can safely eliminate build-up of dirt and debris without damage to solar panels. 

Current residential customers of A.M. Sun Solar are eligible to receive 20 percent off their next solar panel cleaning with ProSolarClean, while new residential customers receive their first panel cleaning free! Contact us today to learn more.