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Cleaning solar panels?

Cleaning solar panels?

Just got my new solar panels turned on.

What cleaning products do you use to clean the panels? Dish soap? Microfiber cleaning cloth? Squeegee?

I'm in a dusty high desert location. How often is cleaning recommended?

Thanks.

Passion2Fly | 5 November, 2019

It turns out that the financial gain of cleaning the panels is not worth the effort. The rain cleans the panels well enough and the dust accumulation during 6 moths of drought is not substantial...
https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/cleaning_solar_panels_often_not_w...

jeffreyharvey | 5 November, 2019

I'd be cleaning them myself. The water is free (effectively) since the HOA pays for water. I have plenty of free time since I'm retired. So my cost to clean them is very close to zero. Any experience or information what tools and cleaning products to use or not use?

Thanks.

Tesla-David | 5 November, 2019

We installed our 13.2 kWh solar system 7 years ago and generally only have them cleaned once a year (water and wiped with non abrasive cloth only, no chemicals) after pollen season has abated (April-May). We did not clean this year because we had a heavy rainfall spring, which cleaned them nicely.

rlwrw | 5 November, 2019

If rain cleans the panels, great.
Otherwise, hose off first with water only to remove any abrasive particles.
I found window washing supplies at big box hardware stores with extendable handles, soft mop heads, and various sizes of squeegee heads. Do not allow plastic or metal parts to drag on the panels. Keep them scratch free.

charlesj | 5 November, 2019

I clean mine about twice a year. Initially I used car washing soapy water with a mop head and squeegee. Now I just use water and mop, no squeegee.

jrweiss98020 | 6 November, 2019

My installer recommended Simple Green and a soft brush on a wand. He said it works well and doesn't hurt the roof. Apparently some soaps/detergents can leave residues that mess with the inherent moss control in new roofing products.

trixiew | 6 November, 2019

I’ve had my panels for about 4 years. I was told not to bother cleaning them, the rain takes care of it. I’m in No. Cal and the only time I have seen decreased production is during our fires from the ash. A hose takes care of it.

lilbean | 6 November, 2019

My husband used to clean them with a glass cleaner that attached to a house and he also used a microfiber glass cleaner. We finally hired a guy to clean them. He said our panels were very clean. If I had to clean them, I would used Optimum no rinse with a microfiber cloth.

lilbean | 6 November, 2019

As far as frequency goes, I would just inspect them and clean them as needed. In a dusty environment, I would think that would be at least once every other month. The efficiency improves after we clean ours.

smaches | 7 November, 2019

From the TESLA Support Site:
Solar panels can accumulate dust, pollen, leaves and bird droppings, which can limit sunlight absorption. Rain will help rinse panels clean, but we recommend additional methods for the drier summer to fall months of the year, which also tend to be the sunniest. Cleaning your solar panels ensures you maximize your energy production and savings, and also contributes to Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.
Also recommended to perform this during overcast or prior to full sun to avoid damaging the glass with a cold water spray on a hot surface. And using anything abrasive is NOT recommended as it can cause micro scratches in the surface and refract your photons from the silicon matrix within the solar cell.

https://www.tesla.com/support/energy/solar-panels/own/maintenance