Do not use any cleaning product other than soap and water if you are cleaning yourself. Although sturdy, they can be damaged by cleaners or abrasive materials. Otherwise, call an expert. The best thing to do when washing panels is to hire an expert.
Maintaining the panels is essential, but you don't need to clean them as often as most people think. You may need to remove the occasional buildup of leaves, bird droppings, and other debris to maximize the amount of sunlight exposure the panels receive. The usual wind and rain usually sweep away most of the dirt, so it's best to let nature take its course and do only thorough cleaning each year to maximize energy production. You might notice that our solar panels have a lot of dust and dirt.
This can happen over time in some areas, especially where there is a lot of dust or where air pollution is low. It's not always necessary to clean solar panels, but if you decide to do it, it's always a good idea to learn more about how to do it properly. Cleaning solar panels comes with risks; it could damage them or make them less efficient overall. If you need to clean them, you might have a lot of questions.
Do I need to turn off solar panels to clean them? How do they clean well enough to see an improvement in their functioning? The first question is whether you really need to clean the solar panels. Most of the time, rain will remove dirt and dust, which are the most common problems associated with solar panels. However, there are some situations where you might have to put in a little more effort in the cleaning process. No, you shouldn't use a pressure washer to clean your solar panels.
Pressure washers are good for a lot of things, but cleaning solar panels isn't one of them. Pressure washers are too powerful to safely clean solar panels and can end up causing scratches or other damage. If the solar panels are dirty, it is best to use a non-abrasive sponge and soapy water. Better yet, call a professional who can ensure that the work is completed properly and safely.
Your solar panels will need special attention and frequent cleaning, as they have to withstand much more dust and dirt. In a series of experiments, they studied 1.6 MW of horizontal solar panels in flat garages in Mountain View, California. If you can't get up early in the morning, a cloudy day or a cool, warm afternoon are also ideal times to clean your solar panels. However, snow from solar panels usually melts quickly, thanks to the heat generated by solar panels and their slippery surface.
Localized soiling from solar panels occurs when materials such as bird droppings, leaves, and any other heavy obstructions get stuck in the panels, but only cover part of the panel. Rough cleaning instruments, such as abrasive cloths and sponges, or brooms with very thick teeth, can scratch the surface of the panels. Researchers at the University of California left solar panels on a roof for 145 days without cleaning them. Turning off solar panels helps minimize the risk of electric shock if the connections get too wet.
Researchers discovered an average increase of 3.5% in energy production (the amount of energy produced over time) after cleaning the panels with a soft cloth and water. In addition, if you have a significant amount of build-up, especially in areas with a lot of smog, you may need deeper, higher-quality cleaning of the solar panels. An experiment in which solar panels were used on a roof with little slope sought to determine the difference in energy production before and after thorough cleaning.