How To Clean Solar Panels From The Ground

A well-manicured lawn or garden thrives, even increasing curb appeal. Your solar panels in Tampa are no exception to upkeep. It would be best if you took care of your solar panels like you cleaned your windows or gutters. Taking care of your solar panels will ensure they are free of safety hazards, function optimally, and power your household or business for generations to come. The following article addresses the most pressing solar panel maintenance issues. It covers the primary sources of dirt, the procedure for adequately cleaning solar panels, and scenarios that may require expert care.

Typical Solar Blockers

The most common sunblocks include leaves, moisture, and dust. Module maintenance is necessary because dust buildup affects performance. How often you should clean your solar panels depends on several factors. You may be wondering if dust has an impact on your solar modules. And it most certainly does. Your location and neighboring elements contaminate your system and are the two main aspects that lead to dust accumulation.

Some research suggests that heavy rains can help clean and remove dirt or other contaminants from your solar panel; further studies show that dust accumulation reduces your system’s effectiveness in as little as a minute – about 5% or less. In addition, other studies suggest that well-maintained solar panels perform 3.5% better. If you don’t clean your panels properly, they lose about 30% of their energy effectiveness.

It’s also worth noting that dust accumulation reduces the effectiveness of solar cells and panels by up to 60%. In addition, the same study concluded that the average daily energy loss due to dust accumulation on PV panel surfaces over a year is about 4.4%. While dust is a common problem, foliage can also affect the performance of your solar panels. Fortunately, studies show that clear panels can quadruple their energy output overnight, even after 15 months of use.

Therefore, solar panels in dusty environments, such as near major roads and agricultural fields, require more regular and extensive maintenance. Failure to remove dust from solar panels in these locations will negatively impact solar production.

Bird Droppings Are A Big Problem

Bird droppings affect the efficiency of solar panels more than dust accumulation. When bird droppings cover all or part of a single solar module, the typical photovoltaic system with string inverters may provide little or no power. In micro-inverter systems, the infested modules may provide little or no power. Remember that vegetation near your home not only throws leaves and twigs at the solar panels but also attracts birds that, over time, produce bird droppings and debris that you should clean and remove as they pose a safety hazard. Therefore, it is essential to clean your gutters annually or monthly.

To ensure your panels function optimally, you must also consider their angles. Solar systems in apartments are more maintenance-intensive because water can accumulate and dry out, leading to muddy messes. Conversely, well-angled panels benefit from the rain without leaving muddy deposits, as rain can easily slide through them and remain free of debris and dust.

Here’s how to safely and effectively clean your solar panel;

1. Shut Down The System Completely

When planning to clean, ensure you completely shut down your system by following the appropriate procedures outlined in the inverter manufacturer’s user manual or instruction manual. Don’t forget to shut down DC systems completely. If you are using AC systems, you should use the main switch on your solar power grid to shut down the system.

2. Remove Or Block Any Rainwater Collection Systems Or Gutters

Do you have rainwater tanks connected to your gutters? If so, you should temporarily remove or seal them from the gutter to prevent unclean water from entering the tank.

3. Perform The Cleaning On A Mild And Cool Day

Cleaning hot glass with cold water increases the likelihood of the glass cracking due to the rapid temperature change. Also, the water you use evaporates quickly in the blazing sun, leaving behind ugly streaks that will ruin your efforts. The cool morning hours are ideal for cleaning. The dew that accumulates on the solar panels overnight can soften the dirt and grime, leaving you with little water and effort to clean. Assuming you can not clean the solar panels in the morning, a cloudy day or a lovely cool evening is an equally good time.

4. It’s Best To Clean The Panels From The Ground

It is much safer to clean your solar panels from the ground. Use a hose to direct water onto the solar panels. When doing so, let the water jet hit the panels using a hose with a suitable nozzle.

Ensure you only direct water to the top of the solar panel. Although some water should reach the back of the panels, it is not advisable to direct the water to the back of your solar panel or into the space between the roof and the panel.

5. Use Soft Clothing And Mild Detergents Against Stubborn Dirt

You don’t need expensive cleaning products; a mild detergent and water will do. High-quality soft brushes and scrapers with plastic blades on one side and fabric-covered sponges on the other, as well as a long extension, are the ideal tools to clean safely from the ground.

6. Don’t Climb On The Roof Without Necessary Protective Gear

Cleaning your solar system with water makes the roof slippery, increasing your exposure to accidents from the rooftop. If cleaning your solar panels from the ground isn’t possible, don’t climb on the roof without the necessary safety tools and training. Instead, hire a trained professional to do the cleaning.

Many property owners choose to maintain their solar panels themselves. It is imperative, however, to follow safety regulations when cleaning solar panels and downspouts. While self-cleaning is cost-effective, solar panel cleaning companies provide unmatched professional service while adhering to safety standards. At West Bay Energy Solar Installers, we understand that solar panel cleaning has some challenges. We believe you should enjoy the benefits of your solar panels without putting yourself at risk. Want to learn more about how we can help you? Please visit or call us at (727) 288-6744, and we’ll address all your concerns.

Name, Address, and Phone

West Bay Energy Solar Installers,

6260 39th St N STE I, 

Pinellas Park, Florida 33781, 

(727) 288-6744

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