If you want to clean your own solar panels, you can also use a soap-free method. Just use a garden hose and a soft, clean sponge to do the job. DO NOT use anything abrasive or metallic to clean the panels, as you run the risk of scratching or otherwise damaging them. The scratches will create shadows that will reduce the performance of the panels.
All you need is a soft cloth or sponge, a soft-bristled brush, and a spatula. How do I clean my solar panels? As a general rule, you don't need to clean your solar panels more than once a year, as rain usually removes most of the dirt, especially if they are installed with a slope. Applying dish soap and clean water with a soft sponge or cloth is the safest and easiest cleaning method. For floor-mounted units, it might not be worth paying for the service, as you can safely and effectively clean your own panels with a water hose, some dish soap, and a soft rag.
In the Middle East, Ecoppia uses autonomous robots powered by solar energy to clean photovoltaic panels every night with soft microfiber and air flow instead of water, since washing at high pressure can damage the panels. The most obvious way to know when solar panels need to be cleaned is when the system's efficiency starts to decline. In addition, if you have trees near your solar panels, especially deciduous ones, they will drop leaves on the panels and attract birds. In most cases, the occasional rain will be enough to keep your solar panels clean and free of debris in a natural and safe way, which could reduce production.
The larger the size of the installation, the more electricity generation will be obstructed when the panels are dirty, so large commercial solar installations require more frequent cleaning than residential systems. While it's not absolutely necessary to clean solar panels, you might be losing value and efficiency if you don't. As some solar installers only focus on new installations, not all of them offer services such as solar panel cleaning. These water leaks can cause fine cables to corrode, leading to the failure of the solar panel and its photovoltaic cells.
It is essential that you avoid the use of strong cleaning detergents, as they can scratch and damage the glass and affect the efficiency of the panel. In addition, panels in houses near airports, factories, highways, and other sources of pollution will need more frequent cleaning. The EnergySage marketplace connects you to solar energy companies in your area, which compete for your business with customized solar quotes that fit your needs.