Utilizing the correct solar panel cleaning tools can extend the lifespan of your solar system and save you a significant amount in repairs.
Accumulated dirt and debris on the surface lead to a decline in energy production.
Thus regular solar panel cleaning is crucial, particularly if you reside in a dusty area or have issues with bird droppings.
The Importance of Keeping Solar Panels Clean
Neglecting to clean solar panels may lead to dirt and pollution reducing the efficiency of your panels by up to 25%.
This is a noticeable difference that will manifest daily and in your monthly electric bill, especially if you utilize net metering.
While maintaining a 100% solar production output is challenging, carrying out routine cleaning with solar panel cleaning kits, mild cleaning agents, and pure water will assist in keeping your efficiency levels elevated.
Moreover, despite the significant decrease in rooftop solar installation costs over the past decade, the soft costs related to installation and repair labor remain high.
Hence, a regular cleaning regimen for your solar panels can result in solar panel problem prevention and minimal potential repair costs.
6 Tools for Cleaning Solar Panels
Ladder and Harness:
A sturdy ladder and harness system are essential safety equipment. Even if your system is ground-mounted, a step ladder might be needed to reach the far edges of the panel.
Also known as a handheld wiper, it’s an effective tool for removing water without harming the panel’s surface.
It’s advisable to use a mild soap or non-abrasive cleaner.
Soft-Bristled Cleaning Brushes:
Utilizing only soft-bristled cleaning brushes will help prevent scratching the panels during the cleaning process.
Follow-Through Washing Brush:
Typically used for cleaning transparent surfaces like solar panels from the ground, a follow-through washing brush merges water flow with soft-bristled brushes to remove solar panel debris (the most common cause of solar panel damage) more effectively.
Solar Panel Cleaning Kits (Branded):
If you lack any of the above-mentioned tools at home or in the office, you might consider trying solar panel cleaning kits.
Among the common solar panel cleaning products is a cleaning kit, usually a well-organized package containing multiple brushes, extension poles, carrying bags, hose connectors, clothes, and more.
Based on our experience, these kits provide all the necessary tools for thorough cleaning.
How to Use Cleaning Tools to Clean Solar Panels
Now that we’ve discussed various solar panel cleaning equipment, let’s delve into the common steps and essential information for cleaning and maintaining solar panels.
Review the Manufacturer Manual:
Prior to cleaning, ensure to review the manufacturer manual to understand how to:
- Safely power down and restart your solar system.
- Follow the recommended maintenance steps for cleaning your specific type of solar panels.
- Identify the right contact for professional maintenance or repairs, if needed.
Power Down the Solar System:
It’s crucial to power down the solar system before cleaning to avoid the risk of electrocution and potential damage to your solar panels.
Inspect Solar Panels:
Examine the solar panels for any cracks, damages, or irregularities on the surface.
Check connections to ensure they are secure and no faulty connections exist.
If electrical repairs are needed, contact your solar installers or a qualified solar electrician to address the issues safely and properly.
Exercise Caution while Cleaning:
If utilizing an extension pole, ensure not to knock it against the panel as it can cause scratches.
If using a garden hose, avoid high-pressure settings to prevent water from entering seals.
Cleaning Snow Off Solar Panels:
To clear snow, circulate warm indoor air through the panels. If unsuccessful, a snow rake can be used for manual snow removal.