How Are Solar Panels Cleaned?

How Are Solar Panels Cleaned?

If you want to know how solar panels are cleaned, you’ve found the right blog. Solar panels will look pristine and shiny when they’re first installed. But the shiniest objects will be the first to need cleaning. Solar panels must bear the weather when placed outside, typically on rooftops. They’re prone to gathering all sorts of debris and dirt over time. The frequency with which solar panels need to be cleaned depends on the location they’re in. Let’s delve into how often that can be, and how they can be cleaned.

How Often to Clean a Solar Panel

Solar panels should be cleaned once or twice a year on average. How often they’ll need to be cleaned will depend on the location they’re in. Solar panels will dirty faster in locations that receive frequent rainfall. The same will apply to locations constantly battered by intense weather. Tornadoes and dust storms will be even worse. Harsh weather events will leave plenty of dirt on solar panels afterward.

Solar panels also need more frequent cleaning in polluted environments. Pollution is higher during harsher winter months. This is when pollutants are closer to the ground. But solar panels will be too hot to clean during harsher summer months. This makes the spring season the best time of the year to clean the panels. The fall season marks the second-best time for cleaning. It’s best to clean them in the early morning or early evening hours. The solar panels won’t be as hot during these times, reducing the danger of being burned.

There are many methods to clean them. 

Garden Hose and Washers

Basic methods for cleaning solar panels involve using basic garden hoses and washers. These are the best and most inexpensive methods for cleaning solar panels in residential areas. Garden hoses have multiple pressure option settings. This will make sure that not too much pressure is applied to the panels to prevent damage. Water pressure machines can complete this cleaning task in an even quicker fashion. This will also ensure that not too much water is used for the task. 

Sponges and Brushes Without Soap

Deionized water works especially well with cleaning solar panels. This can be used with the combination of a rolling brush or can be mounted to a vehicle. This will clean the solar panel without the need to use soap. Too much soap isn’t recommended thanks to the potential for minerals to leave residue afterward. Soap can also act as a magnet for dirt and debris.

Several brands sell minerals specifically for use in washing solar panels. They’re made so they won’t leave any residue or grime behind. This is used with a combination of a garden hose and a soft sponge. It’s best not to use other cleaning agents primarily made for cleaning other objects.

Nanoparticle Coating

Nanoparticle coating is a good mineral to use on solar panels. This coating will prevent dirt and grime from remaining on solar panels. This is good to use in harsh environments, those battered by extreme weather and dust storms. It’s effective in locations that experience high humidity and have polluted environments. This also works in places where extremely hot temperatures make the panels too hot to touch.

For other locations, the coating is useful for how it can repel dust. All that’s required after the coating is applied is spraying the solar panels with water. Be careful not to use equipment with too much water pressure, however. Too much water pressure will risk damaging the panels. Equipment that helps the user control water pressure is efficient here. 

Vibration

It’s also possible to use waterless vibration to clean solar panels with a DC Motor. This will involve having the solar panels shake so that dirt and other debris will fall off. It is best to use these in combination with the above nanoparticle coating. The coating will prevent materials from resting on the solar panels themselves. The motor that initiates the vibration can be attached to the back sheet of the panels. They can be turned on or off by the user. 

This will make it easier to clean the solar panels when needed. The method is good for use multiple times of the year. There won’t be any need to touch and clean the panels during this process. But the best quality vibration devices are expensive. Different solar panels also require alternate vibration methods. Too much vibration will risk loosening the panels.

PRO TIP: Discover more about SolarCare Solutions and their services such as pest abatement, solar panel repairs, and EV charger installation in New Jersey. SolarCare Solutions is your go-to resource for all of your solar pest control needs!

Robots

There’s another more sophisticated method: Robots. Robotics are one of the best methods for cleaning a solar panel. Automatic and semi-automatic robots have been made specifically for cleaning the equipment. The robots can be attached to cranes, depending on how high they need to reach. They clean panels atop structures such as roofs, greenhouses, and carports. This is a great method for cleaning solar panels in environments where dust and debris gather frequently.

The robots can be trusted to clean the panels during the day or at night. They use a combination of soft microfiber cloths and sponges and airflow. They don’t tend to use water. The pressure can be difficult to control, and an overuse of water can damage the panels. The autonomous robots can be trusted to clean their own panels, and even recharge without help.

The robots are expensive, but they have their uses. They’re especially worthwhile for use on commercial properties.

How Are Solar Panels Cleaned?

The solar panels should be cleaned once or twice a year. Cleaning must be more frequent in environments where more dirt and debris can accumulate. There are a variety of methods that can be used to clean solar panels. Several options are more sophisticated. The use of robots is reliable and doesn’t require human labor. Vibration is also a good method to clean them when combined with nanoparticle coating. For more inexpensive methods, sponges and brushes without soap are useful. Normal garden hoses and water pressure machines work too. It’s good not to use too much water pressure on solar panels, or they could be damaged. This is how solar panels are cleaned.