Why clean solar panels? - High-clean.com
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solar panels cleaning with telescopic handle High-clean

Cleaning solar panels

It is best to clean your solar panels as soon as they get dirty. By cleaning your solar panels, you get a better performance out of your installation. This can translate to a return of up to 20%.

Why clean?

Solar panels work by capturing sunlight and transferring it to the solar cells. Stained solar panels capture less sunlight, producing less solar energy. Fallen leaves, bird droppings, pollen and dust are the main causes of solar panels becoming dirty. By cleaning your solar panels regularly, you get the maximum performance out of your solar panels.

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solar panel cleaning with telescopic handle

Telescopic poles for
cleaning solar panels

Cleaning solar panels yourself

You can easily clean solar panels yourself with the right tools: a telescopic extension pole and telescopic brush. Doing it yourself means you don’t have to hire a cleaning company, which saves you a lot of money.

Example:

Hiring a professional cleaning company will easily cost €100 a time. You can buy a telescopic pole ranging from €109.95. This allows you to clean your solar panels for years to come. So if you use a cleaning company twice, it already costs you a lot more than if you buy a telescopic pole yourself.

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When to Wash

It’s best to clean your solar panels in April. This way you are prepared for the six sunniest months of the year and get the most out of your solar panels. In the autumn period, make sure that you regularly check your solar panels for loose leaves. The leaves block the sunlight, reducing the efficiency of your panels. Also, in the winter period, it pays to check your solar panels: just like leaves, snow can block out the sunlight and negatively impact the performance.

Optimal efficiency

With traditional solar panels without Optimizers, the weakest solar panel has a major impact on the performance of the other panels. Even if one panel contains bird droppings or other stains, it reduces the performance of the other panels. By regularly cleaning and removing the dirt, you avoid a drop in performance of your panels.

Cleaning solar panels: useful tools

If you plan to clean your solar panels yourself, you’re going to need tools. The two most important tools are:

  • A telescopic extension pole
  • A telescopic brush

Solar panels are usually located on the roof, so the recommended option is to choose an extendable telescopic pole. This allows you to reach any part of the roof, while standing at ground level. Telescopic cleaning poles are available in different sizes and types. Always choose an extension that matches the height you need to reach. All our telescopic poles are sold as a complete set, including telescopic brush, high-power water hose and angle adapter. Telescopic brushes are also sold separately and are often sold with a window cleaner set for washing high windows.

Cleaning tips for cleaning solar panels

  • Check your solar panels 2 to 3 times a year.
  • Working safely: switch off your power system and do not touch the wiring.
  • Get rid of hard-to-remove stains: First remove dry leaves and then remove stubborn stains with a cloth or soft brush.
  • Use an extendable telescope.

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solar panel cleaning with telescopic handle

Our tip

Our advice is to clean your solar panels when it rains. The rainwater loosens the dirt, which makes cleaning your solar panels easy. Rainwater is lime-free and rinses your solar panels completely, without leaving any streaks. This means that you don’t have to buy an expensive osmosis system. For solar panels, use Super Solar Cleaner, which must be rinsed thoroughly with water after use so that no soap residue remains on your panels.

Caution: Do not use a high-pressure sprayer: this will damage the solar panels.

solar panel cleaning agent

Why clean solar panels?

Suppliers and manufacturers of solar panels often indicate that solar panels are self-cleaning. But over time, panels can still gather dirt. Cleaning the solar panels is a smart thing to do. A haze of dust/sand, bird droppings, and possibly materials resulting from carbon emissions from nearby industrial centres, can all have a negative impact on the system’s performance, along with the return on your investment, which would be a waste. It is difficult to measure the effect this has in terms of efficiency, as dirt buildup increases very gradually. Due to a variety of different influences floating around in the open air outdoors, such as fine dust, desert sand, bird droppings and even acid rain, solar panels always build up a layer of dirt. Obviously, this has a direct effect on the power of the sun’s rays reaching the solar cells. Research has shown that cleaning your solar panels regularly ensures that the sun’s rays work better on the system and increase efficiency. Dirty solar panels can lead to a decline in performance of up to 20%. Often, the cleaning of the solar panels is neglected and the owners fail to notice the diminishing performance. A drop in performance is often put down to there simply being less sunshine, while some of the solar energy isn’t even reaching the solar collectors. The efficiency of solar panels can easily fall by 20% due to dirt buildup.

No need to clean solar panels?

It’s a common myth that cleaning solar panels is not necessary because the rain rinses the panels at an angle. This is indeed true for some of the dirt, much like with your car windows, solar panels also need to be cleaned. A study of more than 10 years on the results of installations and dirt buildup showed that drops in efficiency of 12% are no exception and can even amount to up to 20%. For example, in the image above, you can see the effects of bird droppings on your solar panel. It is not the case that the dirt only affects the solar cell underneath, this has consequences for the entire string because they are connected to each other. The image below is the result of dirt washing down. Because the dirt is on all strings, the result is that the entire solar panel generates less power.

Tips for cleaning your solar panels

To give you a hand, here are some useful tips for cleaning your solar panels:

  1. Check regularly – Inspect the solar panels regularly, about two to three times a year. This way you can be sure that they stay clean.
  2. Work safely – Switch off the installation completely before starting cleaning. And do not touch the wiring, to make sure you work safely.
  3. Leaves – Remove all dry parts before working with water
  4. Wet – First spray the dirt thoroughly with water using the telescopic pole, let the water soak in for a few minutes and then start cleaning with the brush. The dirt will come right off.
  5. Cloudy days – Clean the solar panels at a time when there is less sunlight, for example on cloudy days, early in the morning or late in the evening. This prevents the cleaning water from drying up too quickly and leaving behind stains or residue.
  6. Check the temperature – Make sure the solar panels are at a normal temperature. The temperature can reach up to 80 degrees Celsius and if you use cold water, the glass may crack. This can also be dangerous for you.
  7. Allow to dry – Do not dry the solar panels, as this may cause abrasion and scratches.
  8. Keep the brush clean – Keep the brush(es) in optimal condition by rinsing thoroughly in hot water regularly. This keeps the bristles in their original shape, and removes any remaining dirt from the brush.

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