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Why Clean Solar Panels?

Mar 17/21

Airborne dust particles, sticky tree and plant sap, lichen, soot and bird droppings are just a few of the things that can contribute to a build-up of dirt on your panels.

Accumulation creates shading and will prevent sunlight reaching the cells. This results in poor system perfomance, loss of efficiency and a loss of financial return for the owner and investor of solar energy. 

Dirty solar panels 

  • Lose efficiency and lifespan 

  • Reduce overall system performance

  • May cause permanent module staining
  • See a loss of return on investment

  • Affect your limited warranty

Regular cleaning

  • Ensures a maximum output

  • Maintains your warranty

  • Saves you money

  • Extends the life of your investment

  • Prevents permanent module staining
  • Gives you peace of mind 

Click here to find out more...

"My panels are self cleaning and maintenance free"

This is a myth! When a panel is called self cleaning, it tends to mean that the surface is hydrophobic; meaning water droplets cannot stick to the surface. In essence, these surfaces aren’t exactly self-cleaning and maintenance free. They do reduce mineral residue that can block the sun reaching the cells, however, in a dusty environment a single solar cell within the panel can become inefficient and this will affect the performance of the rest of the cells within the panel. As they are wired in series, if one cell is shaded, then the output of the entire panel is lower as a result.

Rain alone is not enough to ensure solar panels remain free from a build-up of dirt throughout one year, let alone a lifetime.

How do we clean solar panels?

What the experts say...

Manufacturers state that dirty solar panels will result in a loss of output and may also affect your warranty.

Trina Solar, one of the worlds leading manufacturers of solar panels, include the following in a maintenance and care manual... " The amount of electricity generated by a solar module is proportional to the amount of light falling on it. A module with shaded cells will produce less energy and therefore it is important to keep the module clean."

Panasonic, Renowned global corporation and manufacturers of solar photovoltaics advise in their frequently asked questions, What maintenance is required for my solar panels? "Wash dust and dirt off your solar panels twice per year". Some of Panasonics limited warranty exclusions are; "Inadaquate maintenance", "damage or corrosion resulting from environmental pollution such as soot and mold". 

8.33 Solar, serving the European solar industry since 2006 say, " Over time, dirt and dust can accumulate on the glass surface of the module, reducing its power output. Solar 8.33 recommends periodic cleaning of PV modules to ensure maximum power output."

Canadian Solar, leading manufacturers in solar pv modules say, "Clean the panels if a significant amount of material builds up on the panels" They also recommend "water with a low mineral content and near neutral PH is best".

First Solar say " In locations with heavy soiling, properly timed module cleaning can improve energy yields." They also say "RO water provides the best results."