We know that going solar can save you money on your energy bills on day one. However, just like with any purchase, it’s important to know what extra costs will show up down the line. In the case of solar, the primary maintenance required is cleaning the solar panels. In this short article, we will teach you how to clean your solar panels easily and cheaply. We will be following the advice of Philip Stoddard, who taught us a couple of years ago. You can watch his tutorial at the bottom of this post.
Why Clean Solar Panels?
Cleaning your solar panels allows more light to hit them and can increase their efficiency. This means your panels will produce more energy. Using the SolarEdge monitoring system, you can calculate exactly how much more energy your panels produce after cleaning. Phil calculated that his panels produced 12% more energy after cleaning.
When to Clean Solar Panels?
In Florida, we suggest cleaning your solar panels once a year. This will help remove grime that has built up over time. Seasonal rains do a good job of cleaning solar panels, so a mid-winter clean when it hasn’t rained for a couple of months is a great time. You can also monitor your solar panel’s performance with SolarEdge to determine when the panels are underproducing and clean them then.
In desert climates, you may want to clean the panels more frequently if they get covered with dust.
You can clean solar panels with only five supplies:
- Extendable window squeegee
- Simple Green
- Ladder (or other method of reaching the roof)
How to Clean Solar Panels
Phil cleans his entire array in about 90 minutes, including set up. All you need to do is add some Simple Green with water to your bucket, use the squeegee to scrub each panel, rinse with water, and then let the panels air-dry. It’s that easy!
If your roof has a particularly steep pitch or is otherwise dangerous to access, you can always hire a professional crew to clean the panels. The average cost of hiring a solar panel cleaning crew is $350.