Your simplified guide to cleaning solar panels in India

Hardik Dhanuka
 Hardik Dhanuka
Cleaning solar panels

The beauty of solar panels for your home is that once they are installed, there is almost no need for active management or maintenance. Owners can simply kick back and relax while the solar panel system does the heavy work of electricity generation and watch the savings roll in month after month. However, when a little occasion that needs some attention does arise, it typically requires little effort. One such occasion is cleaning of solar panels. Since they are not placed in some smoke-covered facility unlike traditional sources of power, the need for cleaning them is obviously minimal. In addition, the tilt of solar panels (needed for exposure to sunlight) allows for dirt like dust particles to simply slide off. 

However, if you live in an area with lots of dust, bird poop or traffic (which means pollution), the effect of the contaminants settling down on your  rooftop solar panels can be a reduction in electricity generation. Basically, your focus should be on clearing away anything that might be blocking your solar panels’ exposure to sunlight (that includes leaves).There is no need to hire a separate solar panel cleaning service. The solution is simple: a combination of clean water and a sponge or cloth. 

Cleaning of solar panels

First, remove any particles on the surface of the solar panel with a dry cloth. Then, take a wet cloth or sponge that has been dipped in clean water and give it a clean sweep across the surface of the panel. And with these 2 steps, your own little power plant is clean and good to go again. If by any chance you need to get rid of oily stains, a little iso-propyl alcohol (also called rubbing alcohol) will do the trick.

The most important thing to remember while cleaning your rooftop solar panels is to never use any sharp objects as they can damage the panel, affecting its ability to generate electricity. In addition, many solar panel installers provide some kind of complimentary solar panel maintenance service, sometimes up to 5 years. You could also ask your installer or your maintenance provider for an instruction manual that details how to go about cleaning your rooftop solar system, although it is a very simple job.

A potential concern for some owners might be the risk of getting an electric shock while cleaning their panels. Don’t worry. The most dangerous thing that can possibly happen during cleaning has nothing to do with the solar panel itself. Rather, it’s the cleaner losing their balance and hurting themselves (India’s mostly flat rooftops eliminate that problem too).

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