On this page you will find frequently asked questions regarding solar cleaning products.
If you have a question that is not mentioned here, make sure to contact us.
Do you really have to clean solar panels?
The answer is yes especially depending on where the solar panels are located. Yield losses due to soiling can be between 10 and 30%. We’ve come to the realization that nobody questions the need for cleaning. Depending on where the solar panels are located, an array might need 1, 2, 3 or more cleanings per year. We recommend once a year for residential cleaning, and 2-4 for commercial sites with little rainfall. Even areas with abundant rainfall (Hawaii, Florida), the array could experience loss from mildew, and organic buildup.
What causes soiling on a PV system?
Low roof pitch: due to a low roof pitch, regular rainfall doesn’t wash the dust and dirt from the modules. A dirt film accumulates, especially on the lower edge.
Farms: farms are severely affected through the use of heavy equipment, and poultry and feeding stalls also have to deal with soiling not to mention nut oils and fruit residue building up on the panels.
Bird droppings: bird droppings are pretty much the most stubborn type of soiling, which can even etch the modules.
Other environmental influences are, for example, pollen, soot, vehicle emissions, leaves, tree needles (resin), moss, algae, lichens, lime, and many others: in spring, pollen settles on the modules.
Is it worthwhile to clean solar modules on a regular basis?
Most definitely. In no other sector are profits so readily wasted as in the photovoltaic industry! You'll hardly find a sector in which profits and losses can be calculated so quickly and easily. Simply by measuring before and after cleaning. Some systems exhibit yield losses of up to 30%. These systems generate 30% less electricity, and therefore 30% less remuneration for feed-in. – only clean modules offer maximum performance & yield.
Can solar cleaning process damage the modules?
Yes and No. The answer is Yes if not done correctly with the proper tools and expertise. All our products are designed exclusively for this purpose and therefore do not cause any damage. Most panel manufacturers recommend regular service as a part of the maintenance of the life of your solar investment. The answer is No if you use the right tools and an experienced technician.
What kind of solvent, solution or water is used to clean solar modules?
All data collected through analysis has determined that deionized/demineralized water is essential. This purified water is all you need to thoroughly clean solar panels from all types of dirt. This "pure water" has an easier time absorbing the dirt. There’s no need to squeegee and dry the cleaned surface as it dries spotless and streakless. We only recommend to clean without any chemical detergents!
How frequently should a photovoltaic system be cleaned?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question except the once-a-year rule. It can, however, depend on the location of the system. In rural areas with heavy dust, farming activity and strong winds, twice a year might make sense from a financial point of view. Other situations might necessitate more frequent cleanings. Wineries and other seasonal harvesting situations should be cleaned in conjunction with the season.
How much water is used during the cleaning?
There are several factors used to determine water usage. In an effort to stay environmentally conscious, most systems use as little water as possible to achieve maximum cleaning effect. It could be ½ gallon per panel for normal soiling and up from there for extra difficult to remove particles.
What do I do if I need help operating or maintaining my product?
SolarCleanTechs are first and foremost panel cleaners themselves. We understand the urgency and complexity of each and every job. If we are available on the spot, we can help guide you through any technical issues via video chat or, if time permits, through email/text. SolarCleanTechs has the expertise and inventory to fix and maintain all equipment systems.
How many panels per hour can I clean?
For ground mounts, our manual brushes (Sola-Tecs C1000), with an experienced technician, can clean up to 300 panels per hour (*time is required for set up) and ROTAQLEEN up to 250 panels per hour. Roof mounts and carports take longer due to the nature of the array. Many factors can contribute to the panel per hour number, array configuration (ballast takes longer for hose management), carports require lifting techniques and the cleaner cannot move as swiftly through the array, high weeds on ground mounts can slow the worker down, and other scenarios affect the time it takes for each system. This will be determined by you through experience.
How long will my brush last?
It depends. If you use it properly, do not drop it, store it safely, etc…your brush can last for years. It will require some regular maintenance (replace transmission or parts thereof, clean filters) but the Transmission Body Housing can last many seasons. The bristles will see a reduction in size through usage especially when used heavily on standing bolts as the bolts can shred the bristles.