The Ultimate Guide To Cleaning Solar Panels

Posted on 12 September 2017

The Ultimate Guide To Cleaning Solar Panels

When you step outside and look at your roof, what do you see?

Hopefully, the first thing you notice is your solar panels. Now ask yourself: Are they sparkling and clean? If the answer is no you may have a slight problem on your hands.

Do I need to clean my solar panels?

It has been proven that the number one way to maximise the energy your solar panels produce is to make sure they are clean!

In a study conducted by Google, panels that were just 15 months old doubled their energy output overnight, just by being cleaned! And lets face it, Google knows a thing or two about technology.

So yes, apart from just making your roof look spectacular, there are considerable energy benefits to cleaning your solar panels.

When should I clean my solar panels?

Doing a clean of your solar panels once a year is a good way to improve efficiency, however with our drastic changes in climate in South Australia, twice annually may be a better idea.

More pollution is carried through the winter period, meaning Spring is a great time to give your solar panels a quick clean. Having said this, with our state being so dusty and dry the residue built up over Summer could also affect your energy efficiency.

Therefore a quick clean in the Autumn months could also do your solar panels a world of good.

How do I clean my solar panels?

Don’t worry this bit isn’t too tricky. Just follow our handy hints and tips below.

  • Make sure you’re comfortable climbing on a roof. It seems like a simple statement but it can be a very different scenario once you’re up there. Safety is your priority, we don’t want any accidents. If you don’t have sufficient experience in this field we strongly recommend cleaning your panels from the ground, or hiring a professional solar panel cleaner.
  • Check the weather. If it’s going to be a hot Adelaide day, it’s best to clean your solar panels first thing in the morning. Needless to say if it’s raining, perhaps choose a different day.
  • Spray down the panels with your garden hose, focussing on the corners. This is where the majority of dirt and grime will collect over winter.
  • If hosing alone doesn’t do the trick you may have to scrub a little harder.
  • Rainwater is best for the job as it doesn’t contain the minerals that can leave residue on your panels. Avoid using detergents as this can cause the same problem.
  • Using a sponge or cloth to wipe down each panel is sufficient but using a floor mop or extendable sponge mop is probably easier and more effective. Especially if your feet are placed firmly on the ground.
  • Do not use harsh abrasive scrubbing products or metal scourers, even if the build up is hard to remove. Creating scratches on the surface of your solar panels can reduce their efficiency.
  • Squeegee dry your panels, especially if using hard water. The mineral residue left behind could impact your panel’s efficiency.
  • Avoid cleaning the wiring underneath. Cleaning this has little impact on the efficiency of your panels and could dislodge important mechanisms.

See? That wasn’t too hard! Cleaning your solar panels is one of the quickest and most effective ways to make the most of your solar panels and maximise your solar output, reducing your energy bills.

Making the most of your solar panels

It’s all well and good having this fantastic product, but it’s best to make sure you’re using it to its full potential.

As we know, solar panels are a great way to save you money and the better they run, the more you save! Give your panels a quick and easy clean and really make sure they’re doing the best job possible for you.

Solar Power Direct is a proud member of the Smart Energy Council, working towards a safe climate and a strong renewable economy.