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Tips On Cleaning Your Solar Panels

Published: November 28, 2018 Last Updated: March 18, 2019

One of the first things we get asked after installing solar panels is how and when to clean them. Typically, most solar panels can be regarded as self cleaning, but in certain areas where it is especially dry and dusty, or the tilt is minimal, you may experience a build up of bird droppings and other substances, which could impact on the amount of electricity generated by the panel. It’s also worth noting that the entire surface of the panel doesn’t need to be covered with grime, for it to have a negative effect.

Tips for cleaning your solar panels

  1. Safety first – always shut down your system as detailed in the manual before commencing any sort of cleaning.
  1. To ensure your safety always try to clean your solar panels from a safe position on the ground. Arm yourself with a decent soft bristled brush and a squeegee that has a cloth covered sponge on one side and a plastic blade on the other. This combined with a long handled extension makes the perfect tool so you can stay on the ground. Use a cost fitted with an appropriate nozzle to allow a stream of water to reach the panels. If it’s not possible to access the panels from the ground then never attempt to access the rooftop yourself. Instead call on the professional who have the right equipment and training.
  1. Choose an overcast day wherever possible to clean your solar panels, either early in the morning or in the evening. If you try and clean them when the sun is beating down, any water will quickly evaporate and your panels will appear smeary. Early morning is a good time since any grime that has occurred over night will have been softened with an early morning dew, making cleaning that much easier so you’ll expend less energy and use less water.
  1. If your panels are dry, then brush off any debris before cleaning them to make the job easier.
  1. Don’t be tempted to use sharp tools or abrasive cleaners to remove any stubborn grime as this may scratch the glass which can cast shadows and affect the panel’s performance. Try to avoid using detergents too, as these can cause streaks on the glass.
  1. Providing you’ve installed solar panels with good quality glass you should be able to scrub any stubborn glass with nothing other than clean water and a cloth covered coarse sponge or soft brush. You could also try a plastic scourer as these work just as well.
  1. If at all possible use rainwater for the final rinse as hard tap water can leave mineral deposits on the glass as it dries,so be sure to squeegee well.

In all honesty cleaning your solar panels in a residential area isn’t worth the bother or the potential risk to your safety if scaling the rooftop. Unless you can clearly see a build up of dirt or your solar panel isn’t performing as well as it might, then just let nature take its course and do the work for you.

If you’ve got particularly dirty solar panels or for whatever reason your panels are under performing then give Static Electrics solar power specialists a call on {{ context.constants.company_info | parse_json | dig: 'secondary_phone' }} and we’ll send one of our technicians to take a look.

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