Cleaning and Maintenance of Photovoltaic Panels

Technical Solutions — The meeco Group on February 17, 2015 at 12:50

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The cleaning of a solar panels plant

Photovoltaic solar panels are a way to generate electricity thanks to an endless energy source that is the sun. This energy source  is available and at our disposal without any action required, in both remote and populated areas, while respecting the environment. New owners of a photovoltaic installations or potential future owners may wonder how to maintain their photovoltaic installation to maximise generation capacity.

 

First of all, the maintenance process of a photovoltaic system is quite easy to do, knowing that the unique action of rain contributes to the cleaning of panels and that there are also photovoltaic panels equipped with the lotus effect, referring to a self-cleaning process that is the result of a very high water repellence, which also contributes to the cleaning of fine particles. However, in particularly dry areas or where panel’s tilt is minimal, dust and other substances such as birds droppings or materials blown by the wind can settle on the panels and influence the energy generation.

For small- or mid-scale photovoltaic installations, the solution to avoid these troubles that could reduce the efficiency of the photovoltaic panels by more than 15% and diminish their longevity, is to rinse / clean them regularly.

In case of snow, it has to be cleared from photovoltaic panels as soon as the weather allows it, because the longer the snow remains, the longer no energy will be generated by the panels. Moreover, it is also important to make sure that panels are not even partially in the shade because it would also lower their generation capacity.

 

The required equipment to clean small- or mid-scale photovoltaic installations is water and a soft sponge. This cleaning should be done once or twice a year and preferably when the sun is down, best in the early morning. To guarantee its benefits, do not use :

• neither hard water that tends to whiten the panels and prevent them from receiving solar radiation

• nor cold water on warm panels which could lead to a thermal shock resulting in the glass panel getting cracked

• nor solvent, detergent

• very high pressure water that are more likely to damage the panels

 

Do not try to clean off the wiring beneath the panels or their backside either.

Oily stains can occur in some installations scenarios, such as if sites are near an airport and are under a flight path, or if it is adjacent to and downwind of a major roadway frequented by trucks.

Pollen can also be oily and sticky. If one or both of these stains appear on the panels, isopropyl alcohol can be used as a spot-cleaning substance but the risk of fire due to the use of such a gas evaporated product must not be forgotten.

In general, to remove something that sticks on the panels, moisten it for a while and thereafter, it could be removed easily.

 

To ensure a long longevity to photovoltaic panels, it is advised to establish a maintenance contract with the firm that has installed your photovoltaic panels or with another one, that consists in a once a year control with an electrician before the beginning of the period of strong sunshine. The meeco Group with its national subsidiaries has a long experience in operating and maintaining PV installations. Being one of the world’s leading companies in the clean energy sector and specialised in particular in solar energy, The meeco Group has turned into an expert in solar energy installations. That is why, The meeco Group can and will provide you with the best service to guarantee your maintenance.

 

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11 Comments »

  1. Congratulations on your excellent article, because the lack of information of how to service is one of the most common problems for those who have a PV system.
    One question is whether could use the detergent Ph Neutral in dirty solar panels oily.

    Comment by Roseli Doreto — 22. March 2015 @ 14:21
  2. Thank you for this great compliment! We appreciate that a lot! Our meeco-expert suggests to try and not to rub the panels with anything as even the smallest of scratching on the surface can cause losses in the long run. It is always suggested to just rinse the panels and not rub them BUT in cases where dirt or anything else is sticking to the surface it should be soaked properly and cleaned gently. Best Regards!

    Comment by The meeco Group — 24. March 2015 @ 11:40
  3. Thanks for sharing this advice on getting your solar panels cleaned! I agree that it is important to have them cleaned, especially if they can reduce the panel’s efficiency by 15%! That is a lot of energy wasted on dirt that can be removed! However, it is nice that the panels can be cleaned fairly easily with water and a sponge.

    Comment by Delores Lyon — 21. May 2015 @ 23:29
  4. Indeed Delores, the more we take care of our solar panels and the more they work for us and generate energy. We really hope that this post provided you with new tips to do the maintenance of your panels. And we thank you for your comment.

    Comment by The meeco Group — 26. May 2015 @ 10:53
  5. You’ve made some good points there. I looked onn the web for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

    Comment by Solar PanelsSolar Panel InstallationSolar PanelsSolar Panel InstallersSolar PanelsSolar PanelsSolar Panels UkSolar Pv InstallersSolar Panel InstallationsSolar InstallersInstallation of Solar PanelsSolar Panel InstallerSolar Panels for Your HomeHome Solar — 27. June 2015 @ 17:12
  6. My neighbors have solar panels and I can only imagine how important it is to keep up on maintaining and cleaning the panels. That way they can work at full capacity and the way that they are suppose to. Pretty sure that they get cleaning and maintenance services on a regular basis to do just that. Good thing too, because then they do not have to worry about them not working properly.

    Comment by Chris White — 11. August 2015 @ 21:43
  7. The worth to share article especially to the people who have solar panels, for they can have the good working solar’s. Thank you for sharing this ideas, you did the great job!

    Comment by Jeff Chenault — 16. March 2018 @ 08:52
  8. I have the solar panel that needs to clean and I don’t know how to clean it properly. Thank you for the great and detailed information.

    Comment by Jeff Chenault — 28. March 2018 @ 08:48
  9. The great article to read on how the proper cleaning in solar panels that is planted. This is many panel’s and it takes time to clean all of them, especially when the panel’s are being home by the birds. Thank you for the great ideas you shared and I hope to read more interesting topic soon. Good job!

    Comment by Jeff Chenault — 13. April 2018 @ 02:04
  10. Definitely an essential chore. Cleaning Solar Panels can be a Dangerous job that most people should leave to a proffesional. Great Article thank you.

    Comment by Michael Getter — 3. June 2018 @ 16:01
  11. this blog is so informative. this can help anyone in finding the best way of cleaning the solar panels. thanks for sharing this with all..

    Comment by Unrivaled Solar — 9. March 2019 @ 08:05

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