How to Clean Your Solar Panels for Maximum Efficiency?


As a solar panel owner, you understand the need to keep your panels spotless for optimal performance.

But unfortunately, solar panels lose efficiency as they collect dust, grime, and soil over time.

Solar panel cleaning is a simple technique that may boost efficiency and extend the life of your panels.

In this post, we’ll discuss all you need to know regarding cleaning your solar panels, from the elements that influence their effectiveness to the various cleaning procedures and the necessary safety precautions. So let’s jump right in.

Factors Affecting Solar Panel Efficiency


Are your solar panels being shaded by nearby trees or other obstructions? More than half of a solar panel’s efficiency might be lost due to shading.

In addition, your solar panels’ efficiency and effectiveness may suffer if they receive less sunshine than expected due to the shade.

If branches or other items are pressing against your roof, you should trim them back.

Expert solar installers can help you choose where the solar panels should go to maximise sunlight and minimise shadows on your property.

Climate & Weather 

Solar panel efficiency can be drastically reduced in extremely windy or snowy environments.

However, there’s a sweet spot for solar cell performance.

It’s commonly believed that solar panels perform better in hotter environments. But, this can cause problems and possibly a drop in speed for your computer.

The system could be buried in snow, reducing its overall production.

As long as solar panels are not obscured, snow can increase efficiency.

The high irradiance of snow increases the amount of sunlight that enters the system due to its reflective nature.

Direction and Aspect of the Roof

The roof should be oriented towards the south to get the most out of solar panels.

But your home’s layout and shading could make that impossible.

After inspecting your roof, the solar business should be able to determine the best spot to install the panels.

The optimum angle for a solar panel is between 35 and 45 degrees.

The brackets can be swivelled to this position by the installation for maximum efficiency on flat roofs.

However, solar panel installation is a long-term investment, so in some cases, it may make sense to revamp your roof instead.

Solar Panel Types

Up to 24% efficiency is achieved with monocrystalline solar panels.

However, thin-film solar panels are the least efficient technology available.

Neither option, however, is preferable to the other. Ultimately, everything comes down to personal preference and roof size.

Although polycrystalline solar panels outperform thin film in terms of efficiency, their blue crystalline appearance has turned off some homeowners. 

Both choices are viable depending on the available mounting space.

However, monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient option if your home has a small roof.

Consequently, you’ll need some solar panels.

Productivity of Solar Equipment

Your solar system’s efficiency is affected by its inverters, energy controllers, and wires. It’s important to use high-quality solar panel accessories.

It is best to keep your equipment safe at all costs. As a result, the project’s return on investment will be delayed.

To keep your appliances running efficiently, consider the cable sizes you use. For instance, a 48V solar panel system will have its efficiency lowered by a 220V appliance.

Solar Tracking

Single- and dual-axis solar panels track the sun’s arc throughout the day. The device aids in reorienting the solar panels to receive optimal sunlight.

Proper tracking allows the cells to be optimally exposed to the sun with minimal shading.

Materials for the Roof

Maximum exposure to sunshine is ideal for the performance of solar panels.

However, the irradiance of some materials, such as iron sheets, is greater than that of tiles. 

The effectiveness of solar panels can also be affected by the colour of the material used to make them.

Because of their effect on temperature, dark colours can reduce the efficiency of solar panels.

Preventive Maintenance

7.77 Jinko System

To prevent rapid degradation in performance, it is important to clean solar panels regularly, especially in places where it may be months before it rains or near roadways.

Also, make sure the snow isn’t obstructing anything. Low levels of maintenance for solar systems can shorten the useful life of the panels.

The payback time and self-sufficiency are both affected by the efficiency of solar panels. Therefore, you should guarantee the system is in perfect working order to prevent unnecessary interruptions. 

If your solar panels are in good condition, you should get about 25% of their total capacity, even on cloudy days. For example, a 9 kW solar array generates only 2 kW on a foggy day.

Critical Considerations for Solar Panel Evaluations

Performance of Solar Panels

The efficiency with which solar energy is transformed into usable electricity is measured by the photovoltaic (PV) cell’s conversion efficiency.

The panel’s efficiency should be as high as feasible to maximise output about its footprint.  

Which solar panel you choose will affect how efficient it is. Monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film are the three most common. 

You can save money by purchasing less expensive, less efficient panels, but there are a few other factors to remember. For example, more energy can be generated from a panel of the same size with better efficiency. So the next step is to do either.

Generate as much electricity as possible in the allotted area, or get the same result using fewer panels and less real estate.

Fewer panels equal less money spent on installation, and if your energy needs grow, you may always add more.

The overall amount of energy needed for the application, the amount of space available for the PV panels, and the size of the panels themselves are all factors that must be considered.

A higher per-unit price can make sense if you’re only buying a small quantity.

Consider any size restrictions imposed by your local power company on solar installations. It is feasible to get near the utility’s limit by adjusting the panels’ efficiency and wattage.

However, modifying your solar array even little can have far-reaching effects, so getting an expert’s opinion is important before making any adjustments. 

Loss of Quality

It is known in the solar business as “degradation” when a solar panel’s output decreases over time. While solar panel degradation is inevitable, panel degradation rates vary.

Short-term deterioration of panels is typically between 1% and 3% in the first year of operation. After that point, annual performance loss for solar panels averages between 0.8% and 0.9%. 

The next logical enquiry could be, “How long do solar panels last?”

A solar panel can last anywhere from 25 to 40 years, depending on the quality and durability of the manufacturer.

This indicates that the panel has been tested and found to produce the necessary amount of energy for that time.

After the solar panel’s expected lifespan has passed, it will continue to produce electricity, albeit at a diminished rate.

For example, if the short-term degradation of a panel is 2% in the first year, it will function at 100% efficiency during the first year and at 98% efficiency in the second year.

In year 25, it would still operate at 78.8% efficiency, assuming it degrades at 0.8% each year. 

Even a difference of a few tenths of a percentage point in annual deterioration rates between panels can significantly impact the system’s lifetime output.

So think about the scale of your system and simulate the anticipated output over time to get an accurate sense of its performance.  


Dormana solar panel installation

Different environments call for different levels of durability; the coast experiences high winds with salt water, whereas a mountaintop may have more snow and cold temperatures.

See if the panels you’re considering can withstand severe winds, dramatic temperature changes, and dampness.

On the other hand, panel durability may be a minor consideration if the construction site is in a mild climate with average precipitation.

Solar installations rely on components that can withstand being left out in the elements. Thus their durability is paramount.

If a photovoltaic (PV) panel cannot function in a certain environment, it will either not function or generate significantly less energy than expected. 

In either case, you should expect the system’s performance to suffer, leading to decreased reliability and an inability to meet your energy demands. 

Real-World Performance

Understanding how solar panel efficiency varies between ideal laboratory conditions and actual outdoor use is crucial. 

Depending on your location, the typical amount of sunlight received, and the frequency of rain and snow, a solar panel installation company can estimate how well their panels will work.

In addition, if they have put panels in your general area, you can enquire about their real performance.

The panels’ predicted performance in extreme heat is another important consideration. Like other electrical systems, solar panels become less effective as the ambient temperature rises. 

This is a problem for construction projects in regions where temperatures routinely soar above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Therefore, a more reliable estimate of energy generation and a more precise payback estimate can be obtained by including performance changes in the production estimates.

Service Contracts

Ideally, your panels will function reliably over their entire expected lifespan. However, no product is flawless, and imperfections are inevitable. 

As a result, there are two common types of warranties for solar panels: a product warranty protects you from faulty goods, and a power warranty protects you from falling short of the specified output.

Either of these warranties does not necessarily cover panel replacement service. After verifying the duration of the warranty, the following step is to verify the scope of the coverage. 

How do we handle weather-related damage claims under warranty? Suppose some animal chews up the panel. Finally, enquire how a warranty is handled.

When placing a warranty order, how long can I expect it to take until I hear back from the company? 

When working with this company, what will your responsibilities be, and what will they be? Is there a fee associated with shipping or the exchange service?

Does it include help from a technical team? If a solar panel needs to be replaced, being prepared with this information beforehand will make filing a warranty claim much easier.

Putting money into a commercial solar installation can save and reduce emissions by producing renewable energy on-site.

When assessing your project, carefully examine which PV panel is ideal for your installation. 

The significance of the panel’s effectiveness, durability, achievement, and warranty coverage should be considered. If you research before purchasing solar panels, you can rest assured that your system will function as intended for its entire lifespan. 

Tips for Keeping Your Solar Panels Safe, Especially on the Roof

Extra care should be taken when cleaning

Solar panels are very low maintenance but still require cleaning twice a year.

When cleaning solar panels, having the right gear to get up to and down from the roof is important.

Cleaning the roof requires a ladder, scaffolding, safety harness, and helmet.

Be careful when washing the panels, especially if water is on them, and avoid operating in inclement weather.

It’s not a good idea to try cleaning your solar panels on your own, you are instead better off hiring a professional service. They are best equipped to maintain your panels because they will have the essential safety clothing and cleaning equipment.

Don’t Touch Them While They’re On!

Never touch active solar panels, which should go without saying but bears repeating.

When solar panels are turned on, hundreds of volts of electricity flow through them to be distributed to the power grid.

Suppose you want to avoid serious injury or death and the risk of starting a fire in your home. In that case, you should always turn off the power before cleaning or examining electrical appliances.

Likewise, your solar panels should be turned off before stepping on your roof.

Do Not Interfere with Electrical Equipment

Turning on and off solar panels is easy, but that’s the extent of your involvement with the grid.

Next, ensure you know how to convert them on or off; this should be obvious from a clearly labelled box, but if you need help, call the installation service.

Beyond this, refrain from ever interfering with the electricity supply. In the event of an issue, installers should be contacted so that a technician may be dispatched.

Only touch the system in turning it on and off because you have no idea where loose wires or malfunctions might be.

Precautions Should Be Taken During Severe Weather

If a severe storm were to hit your neighbourhood, the solar panels on your roof could be in danger. Turning off the system is necessary to protect the panels and electrical infrastructure from severe weather.


Simple solar panel cleaning can increase efficiency and lifespan.

Shade, climate, roof orientation, and solar panel type affect solar panel efficiency.

Snow irradiance increases efficiency, whereas shading reduces it by half. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient and work best around 35–45 degrees. Thin-film solar panels are the least efficient.

Polycrystalline solar panels exceed thin film in efficiency, but homeowners dislike their blue crystalline appearance.

For tiny roofs, monocrystalline solar panels are best. Inverters, energy controllers, and cables affect solar equipment productivity.

Tracking the sun throughout the day requires solar tracking. Roof materials should be sun-exposed.

Preventive maintenance slows performance decline. PV cell efficiency determines solar panel performance.

To maximum production per square foot, the panel should be efficient. This text’s solar panel buying tips are highly crucial. These include the application’s energy needs, PV panel space, and panel size.

Consider local power company size constraints on solar installations. Finally, before adjusting panel efficiency and wattage, consult an expert.

This essay emphasises solar panel durability, performance, and service contracts.

Durability is essential for solar installations, as it can withstand severe winds, dramatic temperature changes, and dampness. Real-world performance differs from lab performance.

Service contracts cover broken goods and underperformance, but not panel replacement. Ask about animal damage warranties.

Shipping and exchange fees should be considered when ordering a warranty. Before buying solar panels, examine their performance, durability, and warranty coverage. Clean solar panels carefully, especially on the roof.

Professional cleaning is better than DIY. Before walking on the roof or cleaning electrical appliances, turn off solar panels.

Touch the system solely to switch it on and off. During extreme weather, protect panels and electrical infrastructure.

Solar panel installer

Content Summary

  • As a solar panel owner, are aware of the need of keeping your panels clean for maximum output.
  • However, over time, solar panels lose efficiency as they accumulate dirt, dust, and grime.
  • A simple method that could increase efficiency and prolong the life of your solar panels is cleaning them.
  • Here, we’ll go over everything you need to know about keeping your solar panels clean, including the factors that affect their efficiency, the numerous cleaning methods, and the essential safety precautions.
  • Shading can reduce a solar panel’s efficiency by as much as 50%.
  • Professional solar panel installers can advise you on the best placement of your panels to optimise sunshine exposure and prevent shading issues.
  • However, optimal performance for solar cells exists.
  • As long as sunlight can still reach the solar panels, snow can actually improve their performance.
  • To maximise the efficiency of solar panels, the roof should face south.
  • The solar company should be able to find the optimal location for the panels after doing an inspection of your roof.
  • Solar panels work best at an angle of 35 degrees to 45 degrees.
  • Some homeowners have been put off by polycrystalline solar panels because of their blue crystalline appearance, despite the fact that they are more efficient than thin film panels.
  • If your home has a low-sloped roof, however, monocrystalline solar panels will produce the best results.
  • Therefore, solar panels are required.
  • The inverters, energy controllers, and wiring in your system all have an impact on how well it performs.
  • High-quality solar panel accessories should be used.
  • Always take precautions to ensure the security of your equipment.
  • Solar panels function best when exposed to the sun for as long as possible.
  • It has been shown that the colour of the material used to construct solar panels can have an effect on their efficiency.
  • The lifespan of solar panels can be shortened by insufficient maintenance.
  • The efficiency of solar panels impacts both the payback period and the degree to which they can provide for themselves.
  • Buying cheaper, less efficient panels can help you save money, but you should keep a few things in mind.
  • A more efficient panel, for instance, can produce more energy despite its smaller size.
  • Produce as much power as feasible in the allocated space, or achieve the same outcome with a smaller number of panels and a smaller footprint.
  • Installing fewer panels can save you money, and if your power needs increase, you may easily add more.
  • The size of the PV panels, the amount of space they will occupy, and the total energy requirements of the application are all important considerations.
  • Take into account any solar installation size limits imposed by your utility.
  • The gradual decline in solar panel efficiency over time is known as “degradation” in the solar industry.
  • Although ageing solar panels are unavoidable, their rates of ageing degrade at different rates.
  • Depending on the quality and durability of the manufacturer, the lifespan of a solar panel might be anywhere from 25 to 40 years.
  • To gain a realistic feel for your system’s performance, consider the scope of the project and run a simulation of the expected output over time.
  • Evaluate the panels’ resistance to high winds, low temperatures, and moisture.
  • Photovoltaic (PV) panels either won’t work at all or will produce much less energy than predicted in conditions where they can’t thrive.
  • You might anticipate diminished performance, decreased reliability, and an inability to meet your energy needs in either scenario.
  • The effectiveness of solar panels can be estimated by the firm installing them, and it will vary depending on factors such as your geographic location, the average quantity of sunlight received, and the frequency of rain and snow.
  • The expected performance of the panels in extremely high temperatures is another factor to think about.
  • Including performance changes in the production estimations leads to a more accurate estimate of energy generation and a more precise payback estimate.
  • Your panels should perform as expected for their entire projected lifespan.
  • Therefore, you should look for a product guarantee that covers defective goods and a power warranty that covers output that falls short of expectations when purchasing solar panels.
  • Having this data on hand will simplify the process of making a warranty claim in the event that a solar panel needs to be replaced.
  • Investing in a business solar installation can save money and cut down on pollution because it generates clean energy right there on the property.
  • To determine which PV panel is best for your setup, you must first thoroughly evaluate the project.
  • It’s important to think about the panel’s performance, longevity, accomplishments, and warranty coverage.
  • Additional caution is warranted while cleaning solar panels located on the roof.
  • Even though solar panels require almost no upkeep, they should be cleaned twice a year at the absolute least.
  • Having the proper equipment to safely ascend and descend the roof is crucial when cleaning solar panels.
  • A ladder, some scaffolding, a safety belt, and a helmet are all necessities for roof cleaning.
  • Wash the panels with caution if water is present, and don’t work when the weather is bad.
  • If you want clean solar panels, don’t do it yourself. Instead, hire a professional service.
  • Because they will have the proper protective gear and cleaning supplies, they will be the ideal option for maintaining your panels.
  • If that’s the case, you should never clean or inspect an electrical equipment without first turning off the power.
  • The same goes for your solar panels; make sure they’re turned off before you climb up there.
  • You may easily interact with the grid by turning on and off solar panels.
  • The next step is to make sure you know how to turn them on or off; this should be obvious from the box, but if you need help, you can always contact the installation service.
  • Besides this, you should never mess with the power grid.
  • Because you have no idea where loose wires or faults may be, you should only touch the system while turning it on and off.
  • Your solar panels can be damaged in a major storm if it were to hit your area.
  • To prevent damage to the panels and electrical infrastructure during a storm, it is necessary to turn off the system.

FAQs About Cleaning Solar Panels

Why Do Solar Panels Need To Be Cleaned?

Solar panels need to be cleaned regularly to maintain their efficiency and ensure they are generating as much electricity as possible. Dust, debris, and other contaminants can accumulate on the surface of the panels, reducing their ability to absorb sunlight.

How Often Should Solar Panels Be Cleaned?

The frequency of cleaning solar panels can vary depending on a range of factors, such as the location and the amount of rainfall in the area. In general, it is recommended to clean solar panels at least twice a year, or more frequently if there is a lot of dust or debris in the area.

What Is The Best Way To Clean Solar Panels?

The best way to clean solar panels is to use a soft brush or cloth and a gentle cleaning solution. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing too hard, as this can damage the surface of the panels.

Can I Clean My Solar Panels Myself Or Should I Hire A Professional?

You can clean your solar panels yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. However, if you are not confident in your ability to safely clean the panels or if they are located in a hard-to-reach area, it may be best to hire a professional to do the job.

What Are The Risks Of Not Cleaning My Solar Panels?

If you do not clean your solar panels regularly, they may become less efficient and generate less electricity. This can lead to higher energy bills and a longer payback period for your investment in solar energy. In addition, if debris is left on the panels for a long time, it can cause damage or corrosion to the surface of the panels.

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