Using a soft bristle brush with distilled water and detergent is sufficient to clean your solar panels. However, there are different ways to clean them and you should use various tips in the process.
How much damage can dirt do to a solar panel?
Dirt caused by dust, bird droppings, or rain and snow can accumulate on the surface of your modules and in the worst-case scenario, can cause up to 30% damage per year.
Typically, the annual loss due to this factor is between 2% and 5%. However, losses increase over time as dirt continues to accumulate. This is why it is important to know how often or when to clean your solar panels.
Must-know steps for cleaning solar panels.
- Disconnect all connections
The first step to take before cleaning your solar panels is to disconnect all connected devices. This is essential to keep you safe and ensure that the solar panel is not damaged by water in the junction box, exposed wires, or broken seals.
- Use a soft brush or sponge
When cleaning solar panels, it is important to use the correct cleaning equipment. Glass is strong, but using abrasive materials can scratch the surface of the glass, reduce its performance, and even damage the module.
Place your solar panel on the ground and you can choose to use a simple sponge to clean it, or you can also use a soft brush. Please try not to clean on high places (e.g. roofs).
- Avoid using water with high mineral content
We recommend using distilled or deionized water to clean solar panels. Mineral-rich water may leave particulate deposits over time and its chemical composition is not recommended for the glass of the modules.
- Use water of similar temperature
We also do not recommend using cold or hot water to clean the panels. Why? Sudden large changes in temperature may break the glass surface.
It is best to use water at about the same temperature as the ambient temperature to clean solar panels in the early morning. At this time its temperature will be low after cooling overnight and it has not yet started generating electricity.
- What is the best detergent to use?
What you really need is the soap and water that comes with washing dishes everywhere to clean them. Laundry detergents designed for other uses are not recommended because they will create moisture or delamination at the solar cell level, which will void the warranty on the panels and will inevitably damage them.
Now let's review these necessary steps.
Start early in the morning.
Disconnect all connections.
Collect some distilled water and mix it with a little detergent (just a little).
Get a soft brush or sponge and start cleaning your module solar panels with the water mixture.
Let it dry for 30-45 minutes, then reconnect the unit.
Isn't that easy? Hurry up and pay attention to the cleaning part!
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