The importance of regular cleaning and inspection of rooftop solar panels

Solar panels are a significant investment for both residential homes as commercial and industrial facilities, providing a reliable and sustainable energy source. However, to ensure maximum efficiency and longevity of these systems, it is crucial to clean and regularly inspect them. Here’s why:


Maximizing efficiency and energy output

Dust, dirt, bird droppings, leaves, and other debris can accumulate on the surface of solar panels, blocking sunlight and reducing their efficiency. Even a small amount of shading can significantly decrease energy output. With optimizers installed under your solar panels, you ensure maximum efficiency from the sunlight hitting your solar system. This technology ensures that shading or other obstructions on one panel do not affect the performance of the other panels. But if your system is not effected by natural shading (from surrounding trees or buildings), a regular cleaning ensures that panels receive maximum sunlight, thus optimizing their energy production.


Preventing long-term damage

Accumulated debris can cause physical damage to solar panels over time. Moisture can get trapped under dirt layers, leading to corrosion and potential electrical issues. Regular cleaning helps prevent such damage, extending the lifespan of your solar investment.


Ensuring safety

Debris buildup can create hotspots on the panels, which are areas where the panel gets excessively hot. These hotspots can cause the glass to crack or, in extreme cases, result in fires. Regular inspections can identify and mitigate these risks before they become severe problems.


Maintaining warranty and insurance compliance

Many warranties and insurance policies require proof of regular maintenance, including cleaning and inspections. Neglecting these tasks can void warranties and complicate insurance claims, leading to significant financial losses in case of panel failure or damage.


Best practices for cleaning solar panels

While cleaning is essential, it's equally important to do it correctly to avoid damage:

  • Use Soft Materials: Always use soft cloths or sponges to avoid scratching the panel surface.
  • Use Mild Soapy Water: Clean panels with a solution of mild soap and water. Harsh chemicals can damage the panel's anti-reflective coating, which is designed to enhance light absorption.
  • Avoid High-Pressure Water: High-pressure washers can cause cracks or dislodge connections. Use a low-pressure hose instead.
  • Clean in the Morning or Evening: Cleaning during cooler parts of the day prevents rapid evaporation of water, which can leave streaks or spots.


Inspection tips

Regular inspections are as critical as cleaning. Here’s how to perform them effectively:

  • Visual Inspection: Check for visible signs of dirt, debris, or physical damage such as cracks, chips, or hotspots.
  • Electrical Testing: Use a multimeter to ensure that panels are producing expected voltage and current. Significant deviations may indicate underlying issues.
  • Thermal Imaging: This can help identify hotspots or faulty connections not visible to the naked eye.
  • Inspect Mounting Systems: Ensure that all bolts, brackets, and mounting structures are secure and free from rust or other forms of degradation.


Warning about cleaning

While cleaning is essential, it's crucial to follow safety protocols:

  1. Turn Off the System: Always shut down the solar power system before cleaning or inspecting to prevent electric shock or damage.
  2. Safety Gear: Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, non-slip shoes, and safety harnesses if working at heights.
  3. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Solar panels typically have an anti-reflective coating to enhance efficiency. Using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials can damage this coating, reducing the panel's performance.
  4. Professional Help: For large-scale systems or if unsure about the cleaning process, hiring professional cleaning services is advisable.


In conclusion, regular cleaning and inspection of rooftop solar panels are indispensable for commercial and industrial owners. These practices ensure optimal performance, enhance safety, and protect your investment, ultimately leading to more efficient and cost-effective energy production.



Our dealers have vast experience in working with our software and our products. Interested how an Autarco system would look like and perform on your roof? Request a free quote today!

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