Solar Panels

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Wild Fire Ash on Solar Panels

Ash from nearby wildfires have fallen on us for several days now. I noticed the output from the panels had reduced. I tried to hose it off with normal sprayer but very little of the ash came off.

What is the best way to clean the panels and remove the stuck ash, without scratching them?

Panels are less than two months old.

Thank you


  • Been there, done that. Wash in the morning while the morning dew is still on the panels. That will have softened the ash a bit. Use a simple hose with nozzle control and systematically spray back and forth to wash as much excess as possible using just a modest water pressure (do not use a power washer). Using a *SOFT* brush and additional water, gently brush off any remaining ash and then follow this whole bit with another rinse.
    I have a 23 foot fiberglass extension handle and a 24 inch soft broom head that I use. The light weight of the handle is more than enough pressure to loosen the ash.
    I have had significant ash falls from fires for several years - this has always worked.
  • I found that an "RV brush" at the local big-box retailer is nice and soft. I rinse mine from the ground, with a nozzle, four or five times a year, and get up on the roof with a brush and extension pole once a year. (*Much* more often lately, because of the ash fall here.)

    During a remodel, I had my plumber put a hose bib on the roof, next to my array. He thought I was nuts, but it has served me well.
  • Thank you.
  • Results from this week due to ash fall in the SFBay area.
    I clean my panels regularly and as above - get single digit improvements in production.
    Cleaned them this morning (16 Sept, 2020) after several weeks of smoke and ash accumulation.

    Peak production (as max kW) increased 25% from yesterday.
    Totals production (as kWHrs) increased 26% from yesterday.

    Same weather pattern for both days. Cleaning method as described above - plain water and a soft bristled broom/brush.
  • I typically get about 5% improvement from my quarterly rinse. I got something North of 10% when I rinsed them last week. I'm in Huntington Beach.
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