Can I clean my own solar panels?

Yes you can. A certain amount of care and planning should occur before you do. While we do not recommend manual cleaning if you are not trained or experienced walking around on a rooftop or around solar panels, you should consider the following if you do wish to do so.
For sake of discussion, we will assume that your solar panels are on the roof of a residence or building and that they cannot be reached from the ground.

Before you start, you should have a plan for cleaning. Assemble the tools that you will need.

1. First determine the sequence in how you want to wash the panels. We recommend starting at the top and working your way down.
2. You will need to connect a hose to a water connection point (most likely on the ground). You will probably want to have a rope and a spray nozzle. Turn on the water and the nozzle should be off. Connect a rope to the hose trigger nozzle at one end.
3. Have an empty bucket (fill when on the rooftop).
4. Put the correct amount of soap concentrate in the bucket before you go up.
5. Have an extendible pole with a soft window pad attachment.
6. Squeegee
7. Take the pole, squeegee, bucket and the other end of the rope up to the rooftop. When you arrive, pull the hose up and ensure that it is secure on the rooftop (will not slip off).

1. Make sure that the ladder is properly placed and is secure.
2. Consider using safety harnesses and safety ropes if you are on a roof with a steep pitch.
3. Do NOT touch any of the electrical connections. If you see a loose connection, or pull one loose when cleaning, contact your solar electric integrator.
4. Do not spray water directly onto the electrical connection boxes. Do not spray water under the panels.
5. Ensure that the pad on your brush pad is in good condition and will not scratch the glass on the solar panel. Be careful not to snag the fastening bolts when pushing the pole and pad over the glass.

1. Fill the bucket with water to achieve the correct mix level with your soap concentrate. Make sure that you do not use a harsh detergent or one that has a color or odor. Any cleaning product that has a color or odor leaves a film.
2. Wet down the solar panels with the hose. Then dip you cleaning pad into the bucket and clean the panels one at a time. Do not allow the soap to dry on the panels.
3. Only clean an area small enough at any one time to allow you to rise off before the soap dries.
4. Continue from top to bottom. When completed, use a squeegee to remove any remaining water. IMPORTANT Make sure to remove any water if you have hard water as you do not want any hard water metals, such as magnesium and calcium to dry and spot the panels. If you do not have a water softener, you can always take a water sample into a pool supply store and have them test it for hardness.
5. We recommend that cleaning be done early in the morning at first light so as to avoid the panels heating up and soap drying prematurely on the panels.
6. When finished, safely remove all materials from the roof top and secure the ladder.

If you have trouble finding a cleaning product that is safe, will not void your warranties and will not damage the environment, contact Heliotex. We sell our soap concentrate which can be diluted for manual use. By the way, it also works well on window cleaning.

How often you clean your panels will be determined by how dirty they get in your local area. The more frequently they are cleaned, the better your production will be.