Beyond the shadow of a doubt, solar panels are an incredible and useful invention. It is getting better per year, but one thing remains the same. They are exposed to sun rays to make electricity.
The solar panels face numerous weather conditions, dust, birds dropping, ice, pollen, and so on. Cleanliness is an essential step for the proper working of anything, the same as in solar panels.
Most masses installed the solar panels on the terrace of their house. However, they are not concerned about the cleaning of solar panels. They think that they must install the solar panels. That’s it.
However, their responsibility will be enhanced too. They have to maintain solar panels appropriately. However, a soft brush with distilled water and dish soap is enough for cleaning the solar panels.
Tips before cleaning your portable solar panel
- Turn off the PV System
Initially, what you need to do before cleaning the solar panels is turn off the PVC system. The DC switches are located in the combine box. This step ensures your safety, and by this, the solar panels will not be damaged. Henceforth, first and foremost, is to turn off the DC switches.
● Location Matters
Solar panels can be installed in different places. There are numerous solar panels installed at the ground level, while some are located on the buildings’ side.
However, the majority of the solar panels are attached to roofs. During the cleaning, the greatest challenge is reaching the panel safely because sometimes it can damage.
● Material and panel type
If you think that all the solar panels are equally created, you have a wrong myth because they are not made equally. Some of them are accurately and properly sealed rectangle of glass.
On the other hand, others have the fabric back, which is folded for storage. Therefore, different panels have different cleaning methods.
● Use a sponge or soft brush.
As you use the right gadget for washing the clothes, you must use the appropriate cleaning equipment for the cleaning solar panels. No doubt the solar panels carry strong glasses, but the wrong types of equipment can lead to scratches on the glass surface. It can drastically affect the performance of the solar panel.
Moving further, if the solar panels’ location is on the ground, you can prefer either the soft brush or sponge. On the other side, if installed on the roof, using the soft brush with a long extension will be wise. The brush with the ling extension makes your work easier.
● Use water with a similar temperature.
According to the solar panel manufacturer’s perception, avoid using cold or hot water for cleaning the solar panels. The reason is differences in water temperature lead to cracking of the glass. Moreover, it is preferable to use ambient temperature water.
Buy a solar panel cleaner to easily do this
● Do not use water with high mineral content.
It is preferable to use deionized or distilled water to clean the solar panels. The disadvantage of using the high mineral content water is that it leaves the particles.
To avoid the deposit of particles, it is recommendable to avoid water with high mineral content.
● Avoid using an abrasive material.
The majority of people do not have sufficient knowledge to clean the solar panels. The result is, they use abrasive material. In other words, they use laundry detergents.
Keep the one thing in your mind that laundry detergent is not suitable for cleaning the solar panels. The reason is it can lead to moisture at a solar cell to damage it.
● Do not walk over the modules.
Solar panels are designed in a particular way. If the heavyweight or your weight is loaded on it, then it causes micro-cracking. Apart from it, if you use soap and water to clean the solar panels, it causes slipperiness. It enhances the chances of falling.
Therefore, to avoid this risk, it is advisable to avoid walking over the modules; otherwise, the mixture of water and soap causes numerous accidents.
● Read all the solar panel manufacturer instructions.
There is no precise information which guides you properly, like the information about the manufacturer. Search for the installation manuals. These are available on the internet.
You can carefully read the instructions of manufacturers. By reading the instructions, you will get an idea about how to clean the solar panel.
When it is the right time to clean the solar panel?
The cleanliness of the solar panel depends upon the location to location and to some extent on the season too. For instance, in the dusty weather, you will have to clean the solar panel often.
In addition to it, in the snowy weather, you will have to brush off the ice. So, you will have to clean the solar panel by keeping the weather conditions in your mind.
Apart from it, you can either clean the solar panel in the early morning or late afternoons after the panel cools down. If you use the cold water on the hot glass, it can cause the breaking of panels.
Things to avoid when cleaning solar panels
There are numerous things that you will have to consider while cleaning the solar panels. It is essential to keep all the important points in your mind. Here is the list of things you will have to avoid or ignore when you clean the solar panels.
● Do not use hard water for cleaning the solar panel because it can become the reason for water spots. Even, it can also create the film on the panel. This added film can affect the efficiency of the solar panel.
● Avoid immersing in the portable solar panels and clean them with a soft cloth.
● Before storing them, check that either they are completely dry or not.
What equipment do you need for cleaning the portable solar panels?
You will have to purchase no unique equipment from the market or the online store to clean the solar panels. All of the types of equipment may be available at your home. Here is the list of some essential things which you required the most for cleaning the solar panels.
● Sponge, soft mop, or squeegee
● Ladder (if you are cleaning the portable solar panels, then it is not required.)
List of Maintenance steps for cleaning the solar panels
● The first step is to hose down the solar panels which you want to clean.
● After that, for removing the debris, use the soft mop, sponge with water. When you use the soft mop for cleaning, it will remove any other dust particles.
● Next, hose the solar panels done to remove the residues of the soap.
● Check below and above the solar panels for cleaning the debris.
Keep an eagle eye on the solar panels and clean the solar panels. After that, the whole system will be cooled. In addition to it, you can also look for the cleaning tips that are given by the manufacturers.
In this instruction, you will get the details of what you will have to use to clean the solar panels or what kind of precaution you will have to take while cleaning. These instructions will reduce the risks while removing the debris.
It is not a big deal to clean the solar panels. However, with the proper guidance, you can easily clean the solar panels and remove the debris from them.
This article is updated for August 2022
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as an electrical and electronic engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.