Using proper solar panel cleaning equipment can add years to your solar system and save you thousands in repairs.
How well solar panels work depends on clean they are. The more dirt and debris that accumulates on the surface, the lower the energy production. Regular cleaning, especially if you live in a dusty environment or are prone to bird droppings is vital.
In this article, we’ll tell you how you can maximize solar energy production easily, and the solar panel cleaning tools you should have. Of course, if you
To help guide your solar panel cleaning efforts, our article today covers:
- Importance of keeping solar panels clean
- 5 Common solar panel cleaning supplies
- Solar panel equipment and cleaning solutions
- How to use solar panel cleaning equipment
- Why you should rely on solar professionals to maintain your solar system
Why Solar Panels Should Be Kept Clean
Failing to keep solar panels clean means dirt and pollution could reduce the efficiency of your solar panels by up to 25%. That’s the kind of difference you will feel day-to-day (and in your monthly electric bill, if you have net metering).
While it’s difficult to maintain 100% solar production output, performing routine cleaning with solar panel cleaning kits, mild cleaning solutions, and pure water will help keep your efficiency levels high.
Additionally, while rooftop solar installations have dropped dramatically over the past decade, soft costs remain high for installation and repair labor. Therefore, cleaning solar panels on a routine basis can save you thousands in energy production and potential repairs.
Save Yourself the Time and Effort of Cleaning Solar Panels
At Airis, we carry out routine cleaning and maintenance of your solar system – and you don’t have to pay anything extra for it.
5 Essential Pieces of Solar Panel Cleaning Equipment
To clean the panels properly, there are a few solar panel cleaning tools required. It’s possible you already have some lying around your home or office; others are slightly more specialized and many need to source them.
The tools most commonly used and required include:
- Ladder and harness – This may seem like a no-brainer but a sturdy ladder and harness system are essential safety gear. Even if your system is ground-mounted, you may need a step ladder to reach the far edges of the panel.
- Squeegee – Also called a handheld wiper, it’s an extremely effective tool for removing water without damaging the surface of the panel.
- Non-Abrasive Solar Panel Cleaner – Using a mild soap or non-abrasive cleaner is recommended.
- Soft-Bristled Solar Panel Cleaning Brushes – Using only soft-bristled cleaning brushes will help ensure your solar panels aren’t scratched during the cleaning process.
- Follow-Through Solar Panel Washing Brush – Generally used for cleaning solar panels from the ground, a follow-through washing brush integrates an irrigation integration with soft-bristled washing brushes to more effectively remove solar panel debris.
Found an inexpensive all-in-one solar panel cleaning kit online? Beware corrosive liquids can permanently damage the glass sheet, while poor quality bristles can cause scratches. Check with your installer to ensure the kit will be safe for your solar system.
How to Use Solar Panel Cleaning Equipment
Now that we’ve covered the common solar panel cleaning equipment, let’s look at common steps and need-to-knows for cleaning and maintaining solar panels.
Review the Manufacturer Manual
Even if you have the best solar cleaning brush in the world, you should always check the manufacturer manual to learn:
- How to properly power down and up your solar system
- Recommended maintenance steps for cleaning your type of solar panels
- Who to contact should professional solar panel maintenance or repairs be required
Power Off the Solar System
Before cleaning solar panels, it’s essential to power down the solar system.
Should you fail to power down your system, you put yourself at risk of electrocution while potentially causing irreparable damage to your solar panels.
Inspect Solar Panels
Check the surface of your solar panels for cracks, damages, or any irregularities.
From there, look at your connections to ensure snugness and that no faulty connections exist. Should you notice electrical repairs are required, it’s ideal to contact your solar installers or qualified solar electricians to safely and properly fix any issues you may be facing.
Care While Cleaning Solar Panels
If you’re using an extension pole to clean the panels, be careful not to knock it into the panel (the plastic or metal handle can cause scratches). If you are using a garden hose, avoid using too high a pressure setting because that can force water into seals.
Cleaning Snow Off Solar Panels
To remove snow off solar panels, circulate warm indoor air through the panels. Should this fail, consider investing in a snow rake to manually remove snow.
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Steps for Cleaning Solar Panels
Assuming that you’ve powered down your solar system, here are the four main steps for cleaning solar panels:
- Carefully Remove Loose Materials From Panels – Use the brush head of the solar panel washing brush to remove debris, bird droppings, and buildup from solar panels.
- Spray Clean Water and Gentle Scrub With a Non-Abrasive Cleaner – Some chemicals have the potential to damage solar panels, therefore, you should use mild or non-abrasive cleaning solutions and pure water to clean solar panels.
- Rinse and Squeegee Panels Dry – After you’ve washed your panels, rinse and squeegee the panel dry.
- Use a Lint-Free Cloth and Dry Panel Edges – Solar panel edges are known to be sensitive so gently dry the edges and remove any cleaning streaks that may reside on the panels using a lint-free cloth.
Professional Solar Panel Cleaning Tools and Experts
Accidentally damaging your solar panels while trying to clean them can void your warranty and cost you thousands.
From having to replace and install new equipment to losing the loss of energy production from damaged panels, it’s best to leave your solar panel design, installation, and maintenance to professionals.
At Airis Energy, we take pride in knowing we enable the self-sufficiency of our clients. Established in 1996, we’ve completed more than 2,000 projects and have teams in over 40 countries worldwide. For solar energy experts that will be there with you from start to finish, you can trust Airis Energy for all your solar needs.
Find out more information by connecting with one of our solar experts today.