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How to clean solar panels?

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,625
9,740
United States
How is everyone cleaning the panels and how often? Couldn’t find much online. Got mix opinions on using soap. Ended up just using glass cleaner today.

I've found that it's generally not worth my time to clean the panels. Any performance increase from cleaning is short lived and the loss of production tapers quickly. The panels can only get so dirty...
 

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
691
771
SF Bay Area
I pay someone to clean my panels every couple of years or so. The team that does it are solar people and use deionized water and I get an inspection as side effect. It feels like a wash (pun not originally intended but I'm going with it) money/value wise.
 
Mar 15, 2021
66
30
California
I just rinse mine with a hose connect to my soft water line. During Santa Ana wind season in the fall I may sometimes to do it every week, especially if there are a lot of fires. During the rainy winter season, never. During our dry the summer, about once a month
 

Merrill

Merrill
Jan 23, 2013
3,706
1,260
Sonoma, California
I use a DI system, comes with a fiberglass extension pole and brush does a decent job. I usually do it a couple of times during the summer depending upon Fire’s in the area which drop lots of ash.
 

kindofblue

Member
Mar 14, 2021
35
19
Pismo Beach CA
We have our outside window cleaner clean them with his de-ionized water set up when he does the windows. It's not too much more than just the windows and skylights themselves.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,762
8,575
Riverside Co. CA
I get mine cleaned, in general, once a year, when I get my windows cleaned (same company does both for me). For me, its basically a wash (the amount I pay for cleaning doesnt quite balance out the value of the increased solar production), but its close enough to not bother me too much and I like seeing the slightly increased production.
 

Carbonfiber

Member
Aug 2, 2020
157
37
Los Angeles
It wasn’t that bad for me. Roof is easily accessible with a ladder and it’s a one level house. I just used a window cleaner chemical similar to windex. Took about 20mins. The solar panels were a bit dusty. I could see it from the ground level.

I’m just not sure what the proper cleaning chemical is to use for solar panels.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,762
8,575
Riverside Co. CA
It wasn’t that bad for me. Roof is easily accessible with a ladder and it’s a one level house. I just used a window cleaner chemical similar to windex. Took about 20mins. The solar panels were a bit dusty. I could see it from the ground level.

I’m just not sure what the proper cleaning chemical is to use for solar panels.

My window cleaning person just uses deionized water and a brush (no chemicals). My home is two stories, with a cement tile roof. I am not going up there, lol.
 

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,408
3,554
NE Tennessee
How is everyone cleaning the panels and how often? Couldn’t find much online. Got mix opinions on using soap. Ended up just using glass cleaner today.
In TN we get enough rain that there is no need to clean them. After 7 years, when cleaning some skylights, I did a good job of cleaning my panels. When I then compared against another solar install I found out that after cleaning my system did slightly less. I am sure it is just random error, but bottom line no gain for the time spent.
 

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