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How to clean solar panels? Details and recommendations

Claudia Pardo

2 min read


Regular cleaning of solar panels is essential to maintain their efficiency and prolong their life. Over time, the accumulation of dust, leaves, bird droppings and other debris can form a layer that blocks sunlight, reducing the performance of the panels.

This loss of efficiency not only affects the amount of electricity generated, but can also translate into a decrease in the economic benefits of investing in solar energy.

Therefore, maintenance that includes regular cleaning ensures that the panels operate at their maximum potential, thus contributing to energy savings.

How are solar panels cleaned?

Although it may seem like a complex task, the process of cleaning solar panels is simple. With the right solar panel cleaning equipment, you can perform this task safely and effectively. Here are the steps to consider when cleaning solar panels at home:

Preparation: Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary materials at hand: a hose or bucket with water, a sponge or soft cloth, and optionally, a brush or squeegee. It is also important to disconnect the solar system as a precaution.

Wet the panels: Use the hose or bucket to pour water over the panels. This will help loosen and remove dust, insects, and other surface dirt. If the panels are very dirty, let the water act for a few minutes to soften the most stubborn dirt.

Cleaning with a sponge or rag: Dampen the sponge or rag in the water and start wiping the panels in a zigzag motion, making sure to cover the entire surface. If you find more stubborn dirt, you can apply a little more pressure or use soapy water, making sure to rinse the sponge or cloth regularly.

Rinsing: Once you have cleaned the entire surface, it is important to rinse the panels with plenty of clean water to remove any remaining soap or dirt.

Removing excess water: Using the brush or squeegee, remove any excess water to prevent stains or mineral deposits from forming on drying.

How often should solar panels be cleaned?

The recommended frequency of cleaning solar panels varies depending on the environment and the specific conditions to which they are exposed. Normally, annual cleaning is sufficient for PV modules in areas with typical atmospheric soiling, such as dust and pollution.

However, in environments with more severe conditions-such as a high presence of birds, proximity to traffic, or wooded areas-it may be necessary to increase this frequency to three or four times a year, depending on the amount and intensity of accumulated dirt.

Weather conditions, such as rain and wind, can help to clean the panels. Therefore, those residing in areas with frequent rainfall may have less need for cleaning than those living in more arid areas.

Is it necessary to hire a cleaning service for the solar panels?

The decision to hire a professional solar panel cleaning service varies depending on the particular situation of each installation.

In many cases, especially in residential systems, the cleaning process can be simple and carried out personally, preferably with the support of another person for safety and efficiency.

However, for installations located on roofs that are difficult to access or in situations where the owner prefers not to take on the risk of carrying out the task, it is best to hire a specialised service.

This service, which we also offer at Sunhero, provides the necessary cleaning and maintenance under strict safety standards, ensuring both the integrity of the self-consumption system and the integrity of those involved in the process.

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