Solar Panel Cleaning - Get More from the Sun!

Solar panel cleaning
Solar Panel Cleaning Image by Brian Kusler

Solar Panel cleaning is the only thing that you will need to do, in order to obtain the most solar electricity from the sunshine incident on the panels.

Is it Important to have clean solar panels?

A solar panel is designed in such a way so that it receives the maximum amount of sunlight during the daytime. The top surface of solar panels converts the incident sunlight into electricity. Now anything that reduces the panel’s light trapping ability will reduce the amount of electricity generated.

The net result of this, your savings will take a hit or your system may take more time to payoff itself. My friend it really doesn’t matter if you don’t clean your bike or your car, heck they’ll still work, but your solar panels need to be cleaned.

Solar panel cleaning
Picture shows Effect of Dust on Solar Panel

How do solar panels get dirty?

Mostly solar power panels are installed on the rooftops or are installed on huge mounting structures if they are installed on ground. These panels are most affected by the natural elements and the ever changing weather. Dust, dirt and other particulate matter are always present in our surrounding air.

Some of this dust and dirt will eventually settle on your prized solar panel as the movement in the air reduces. Moisture adds up to the woes caused by the settled dust. As moisture gets accumulated dust gets attracted on the moist surface of the panel. The occasional bird bombs and insects are some of the unseen reasons as to why your solar panels need maintenance.

Solar Panel Cleaning Guidelines

The best option is the cheapest, but get ready to dirty your hands, arms or even your clothes. Roll up your sleeves get hold of a solar panel cleaning kit which will surely help you clean your solar panels easily and effectively. Even the accessibility of the solar panels will determine your solar panel cleaning frequency.

My friend if you wish to do the cleaning yourself here’s the list of the stuff necessary to clean your photovoltaic panels

  • Water – A Bucket may be enough or Spray it on the panels using a hose

  • Cleaning Soap (Liquid Soap can be ideal) – Use this if you find bird droppings on your panels

  • A Soft Cloth or Sponge

  • Drying Cloth, just make sure that it will not scratch your solar panel

You may make your own eco-friendly cleaning solution, you can use it for your solar panels cleaning exercise. Take ½ Cup of Vinegar, 1 teaspoon of liquid soap or washing detergent. Mix the contents in a spray on bottle in 3 - 4 cups of water and Viola! Your cleaning solution is ready. You can increase or decrease the concentration by adding or subtracting the liquid soap & vinegar.

Don’t want to do anything of the above? Get an automated panel cleaning system. You can clean your solar panels at a set interval of time, keep the cleaning interval as each day or a week this is one of the best advantage they offer.

Many of such automatic solar panel cleaning systems has water jets and wipers similar to a car wind shield which clean the panels. Installing an automated cleaning system will thereby add to the overall cost of your installed solar power system.

Finally if you wish to take a middle path and want a human touch for your solar panels contact a local cleaning service provider and get your panels cleaned.

Final Word of Advice!

Taking the decision of using any particular method for cleaning your solar panels will influence the solar electricity generated. If your solar panels tend to get dirty periodically then an automated cleaning system will suit your purpose. However if your installation is in an area of less dust then manual cleaning too can be worthwhile to consider.

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