An Introduction to Maintaining Solar Panels
January 5, 2022

Once installed, photovoltaic solar (PV) panels require little to no maintenance and are expected to last 25-30 years. However, it is still necessary to keep it clean to continue generating the best possible amount of power. Below are the best way of cleaning Photovoltaic panels and a few things to keep in mind when cleaning and maintaining them.

Manual Washing

You can wash solar panels manually or use automated systems to maintain them clean. Despite precipitation being able to clear some of the dust that accumulates on panels over time, it isn’t enough to eliminate significant pollution.


Robotics technology enables automatic and semi-automatic cleaning robots. Semi-automatic robotic panels can be erected in parking lots and shed roofs using this system. Furthermore, huge installations in dusty conditions that necessitate routine cleaning can benefit from permanent roof robots. In addition, the robots maintain and clean solar panels, which allow them to recharge batteries in between missions.

Soap-Less Sponges and Brushes

Deionized water with a vehicle-mounted or rolling brush has been an effective alternative to soap when cleaning solar panels. Solar Panel Cleaners assist water in removing dirt without leaving behind any residue. To get rid of filth, you can use hydrogen peroxide and diluted vinegar solutions. Using a soft sponge or a garden hose may also clean panels without cleaning products.

Waterless Vibration

NASA-funded researchers and Heriot-Watt University have found techniques to vibrate panels to shake off surface dust. In the Heriot-Watt system, a DC motor is located on the rear of a panel and maybe tweaked to create vibration.

How Solar Panel Cleaning Is Affected By Location

When it comes to cleaning solar panels, the location of the panels has an impact on how frequently you should clean them. A good rule of thumb is to clean them either once or twice yearly minimally. However, they may profit from more regular cleaning in specific locations.

Polluted Areas

Photovoltaic systems installed near highways, factories, or airports will accumulate a lot of atmospheric oil and grime, which will make them less efficient.

Wooded Terrain

More leaves will fall on the panels with many trees around, reducing the amount of sunshine that can reach the panels. There is a risk of bird droppings accumulating on the Photovoltaic cell and damaging them owing to acidity, lowering their effectiveness.


Dusty and dry climates can cause PV panels to collect more sand, reducing light output and damaging the panels’ surface. Huge clumps of ash from forest fires can also settle on panels.

Solar Panel Inspecting Methods

Checking to see if panels need cleaning can be done in several ways:

Physical Inspection

Regular inspections of panels are vital if you live in a location with poor weather or a lot of dust. You should also check connections to make sure you’re updated on their state.

Use a Surveillance System

These devices can constantly monitor the condition and status of the panels. This act prevents damage and may even extend the life of the solar panels.