5 Solar Panel Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid
Many regions throughout California provide plenty of sunlight, especially in San Diego, so it’s important to make solar panel cleaning a priority for your home.
Investing in solar energy is a great way to produce electrical power and lower your bills. There are different types of solar panels and all of them can help you produce your own electricity.
But what happens once you get them? How does one maintain and clean the solar panels to get the best results? What could go wrong with cleaning them? Here we will take a closer look at some of the most common solar panel cleaning mistakes to avoid:
1. Aggressive power washing methods
The first thing to know about cleaning solar panels is that not all solar panels are made the same and have the same maintenance suggestions; therefore, it is really important that you check your manufacturer’s instructions regarding cleaning.
Different manufacturers and different types of solar panels need to be cleaned with different equipment. Using the wrong tools or methods can result in permanent damage to your solar panels.
2. Avoiding safety considerations
Considering that the solar panels are electrical equipment, they should not be cleaned while still active. If your solar panels allow DIY cleaning, the first step you need to take is to check your manufacturer’s instructions and specifications as to how to turn off the electrical currents.
There should be detailed instructions for cleaning and turning off the solar panels.
3. Bad timing
It is easy for solar panels to quickly dry on a sunny day before you get a chance to clean them properly, which may further results in stains that could even damage the panels and increase the risk of cracking the glass as the water dries.
It is always best that you do the cleaning on cooler days that will allow you more time to properly clean and dry them out.
4. Using cheap cleaning supplies
When it comes to cleaning solar panels, abrasive, heavy-duty detergents will destroy your panels and their efficiency. Dish soap is another bad idea since it has grease-cutting properties that could lead to streaking and damage to delicate glass panels.
You shouldn’t use harsh materials or squeegee either. Most solar panels come with cleaning instructions with suggestions for appropriate methods and cleaning supplies. Usually, a soft rag or piece of cloth and water are recommended.
For stubborn stains, typically it is recommended that you use a biodegradable, gentle soap.
5. Not drying your solar panels
Pushing grime into the solar panels instead of removing it will result in water stains on your panels which are hard to remove once they dry on the surface.
You should first wipe away any debris, then using water and a gentle cloth, wipe away the debris and clean your panels. Then dry the solar panels with another soft towel. If you don’t dry the water properly, it will leave spots as it evaporates and will further decrease the light output.
Quick and proper drying is another important step in successfully cleaning your solar panels.
Solar panels should be washed with mild soap and rinsed with deionized water.
Annual cleaning is recommended to ensure you’re earning as much energy as possible to support your home and lifestyle.
Per the Department of Energy, regular cleaning is necessary for solar panels to operate at full capacity.
We charge $15 per solar panel with a $200 minimum.