All you need is water and a microfiber cloth. It is important that you use a microfiber cloth (you can buy it at the local hardware store) so as not to damage the panels. Microfiber is known to have superior scrubbing power and can even be cleaned without the need for soap. Start by cleaning portable solar panels with a microfiber cloth to remove dust or dirt.
Then, with the microfiber cloth, clean the surface of the panels only with soap or water. Do not use abrasive tools or harsh chemicals, as they could damage the panels. Using a microfiber cloth is another excellent tool for cleaning solar panels without damaging their surface. Microfiber cloths are made of soft synthetic materials that effectively lift and trap dirt and dust particles, making them perfect for cleaning delicate surfaces such as solar panels.
In addition, these cloths are highly absorbent, which helps to remove excess water after rinsing the panels, thus preventing the formation of scratches and water stains. Use a small amount of dish soap, warm water, and a soft brush, cloth, or rag to clean the residue panels. Specifically, you should not use any type of coarse-grained brush or corrosive cleaning solution, such as bleach. An outdoor window cleaner that does not contain chemicals that could damage nearby plants or a cleaner made specifically for solar panels are usually safe options in this case.
You can also make your own cleaning solution with a combination of water and dish soap, or one part vinegar to eight parts water. Although solar panels don't need constant cleaning, eliminating build-up is part of their maintenance. Since solar panels are usually placed on roofs or high areas, cleaning them requires paying special attention to safety. A solar panel in a flat position will most likely need good cleaning, especially if it is in a place where it cannot rain directly.
In general, solar panels on roofs with steep slopes need to be cleaned less frequently than solar panels on roofs with low slopes. Learning how to clean solar panels will help you protect your investment and keep your energy costs low. Not all solar panels have the same maintenance tips, so it's important to consult the manufacturer's instructions before doing any cleaning work on your own. If the company offers guarantees on their labor, this means that they could return and reclean their panels for free in case they didn't do their job.
Using a gallon sprayer, apply a thin layer of the cleaning solution to a small section of a solar panel. It is recommended to clean solar panels in more populated areas that have a large amount of particles in the air. Starting with gentle brushing is the best way to clean solar panels, because if there is a lot of material on the solar panels, immediately mixing the waste with water can cause it to spread and stain. Some situations, such as when solar panels are placed in an apartment building, require the intervention of a professional and no one else should try it because of the risks involved in the event of an accident.
That said, to keep your solar panels as energy efficient as possible, it's wise to clean them regularly. The cost of cleaning solar panels varies depending on the size of your system and the location of the panels. In general, solar panels require little cleaning and maintenance in areas that receive regular rainfall. Research published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that dust, soot, and other particles can reduce the efficiency of solar panels by 7%.