Tag Archives: CEA

Cleaning Your Own Solar Panels? Pro Tips: Section 1.

We want to make sure you do it safely.

You have owned your solar investment for several years now and you may have realized, they do not clean themselves. You decide to do it yourself, as there is no better time than the present – but wait, there are some safety precautions you should take. 

Should you get your panels cleaned, YES!
So here are some things to keep in mind.

Figure 1: panels with dirt build up

What to Check Prior to Starting Your Solar Panel Cleaning

You have taken the first step to help protect your solar investment – wanting to clean your solar panels.

We must remember that safety is paramount! The solar panels are not going to be a concern for us if we get hurt, instead they will more likely be a nuisance.

We need to remember that these are pieces of electrical equipment, so the first thing you want to do is check your monitoring and make sure they are working. Is it a central or a micro inverter? Make sure you know the difference. 

If there is a problem within the system, find out what it is and get it corrected prior to any cleaning, as this can be an accident waiting to happen. Electricity is a sneaky beast. 

With any successful task, we need to have a plan. How are we going to get on and off the roof safely? Where am I going to be standing? How am I going to approach the cleaning? Think about all aspects beforehand. You want to make sure this is thought out prior to climbing up there. Look around for power lines. Know your roof edges and figure out where you are going to be standing. 

Cleaning Your Own Solar Panels? Pro Tips: Section 2.

 You Have Made It on The Roof! 

Congratulations on getting on the roof and having your plan routed out. 

Next Step: Assess the roof and the roof conditions.

Make sure you have a good walking path and know where the power lines are and are not. Remember the roof layout – we now need to look at areas around and underneath the panels.

Figure 2: Some not so happy kind friends under a solar panel.

There are sometimes (more often than you’d think) not so friendly pests under your solar panels. Prior to spraying, you want to make sure there are no creepy, crawly, flying things that may have you running as fast as you can in another direction. Not a very fun feeling to have while on the roof. 

Keep in mind that wasps, hornets, bees and other creatures like the warmth and protection of the PV panels just as much as we enjoy the energy they produce. 

A pre-inspection is crucial.

You need to look at the panels and make sure there’s no damage. You want to make sure you do not have a solar panel with a hole in it, and yes, if it has a hole in it, there is a good chance it is still producing energy. We want to avoid spraying water on the electricity making machine with a hole in it. Look at the conduit and make sure that your junction boxes do not have holes in them or cracks in them. 

Figure 3: junction box with a crack.Figure 4: box without a proper seal on it.

When you have made sure spraying water and washing your panels is not going to cause you any harm, go ahead and start to clean your panels and let that energy machine make more energy on a clean surface!

Pacific Panel Cleaners LLC is dedicated to helping protect solar investments. If you have any questions or comments, email us at: info@pacificpanelcleaners.com

 

Fred Brooks, CEM, CEA 
Certified Thermographer Pacific Panel Cleaners, LLC 
License C-34167