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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    It is not worth wasting water on this, so what if the batteries take 10 minutes longer to charge fully?
    Last edited by amilo2003; 2024/03/17 at 10:02 PM.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Interesting, this thread. Taking notes. I have never had my panels cleaned in +10 years.

    What I do find more important is for a systems check to be done once a year, especially ito the roof/panel connections, fastenings.

    Hot sun/cold days and rain, none are conducive to stuff lasting long-term without some maintenance checks.
    Last edited by the_terrible_triplett; 2024/03/18 at 08:38 AM.
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  4. #23
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Agree, also did this yesterday. Spent an hour cleaning and checking that all is good. Donít skimp on installation, use a quality installer who uses quality products.
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  5. #24
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    I'm with Fluffy and others here. Not worth the effort. The (too rare at this stage!) highveld thunderstorms do help to make them look a bit nicer. Biggest gains I see is on sunny and cold winter days.
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  6. #25
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    I've also not found cleaning the panels impacting on production. However I suspect on relatively flat installations there may well be an accumulation of dust/dirt over a biggish area, hadidas and monkey's messing on the panels may also result in a reduction in yield. In the latter situation cleaning may be worth it if not washed away by rain.

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  8. #26
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by bgbg View Post
    I've also not found cleaning the panels impacting on production. However I suspect on relatively flat installations there may well be an accumulation of dust/dirt over a biggish area, hadidas and monkey's messing on the panels may also result in a reduction in yield. In the latter situation cleaning may be worth it if not washed away by rain.
    X 100

    I think the angle of the panels could have an immense impact on whether cleaning is beneficial or not. The flatter they are, the more likely that dirt and dust can accumulate.

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  10. #27
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    [QUOTE=Fluffy;5207537]I have done extensive testing, both opportunistic and on purpose.

    I agree, my system is 5 years old, I have not noticed a discernable difference after each clean. Initially they were cleaned monthly. Now I just wait for rain....
    Last edited by TimT; 2024/03/18 at 05:04 PM.
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  12. #28
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Yes Agree if panels are at 20-30deg it makes no difference I wait for rain and all done (unless birds crap on them but has to be big like the Hardys) but I have flat panels that get much dirtier 5% I clean them 2x a year or more as sometimes a string stops working due to bird crap , never dust
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  14. #29
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Our tracking stands that pull some fancy angles on the morning and late afternoon gets a slight haze to them. The flat panels that are virtually at ground level get sand blown onto them which cakes with the next moisture that lands on it over night. We rinse them off regularly as the sand ends heaping up on the lower corners. But still we can't really tell if there is an improvement because there are just so many of them in all different configurations.
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  15. #30
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Also not many use their panels to their full power , so to test them properly with dust or no dust is difficult , perhaps if someone has a small system like a 300w panel running a small inverter for say a fridge only should be easier to see the difference
    I have recently installed a small system like that in my cottage , it runs a fridge and the lights/TV , its a 1000w pure sine wave hybrid inverter with a 120amh Lithium battery , its 4 months old now , only one panel 200w for now , when new was around 160w now after no cleaning its still around 160w
    I have never cleaned that panel but we did have 2 thunderstorms , so I will keep checking, the panel is relatively 10 deg flat facing North
    Last edited by 12richardk; 2024/03/20 at 05:55 PM.
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  16. #31
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    For me cleaning is a waste.
    The difference on my panels are very small.
    Tested it in summer and winter.

    The rain cleans it in summer (rainy season) and winter I just let it be.
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  17. #32
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Yes for us, small systems dont seem to affected too much but I suppose if its a big commercial solar plant then a 5% is a lot of energy wasted
    So dust no, bird crap yes
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  18. #33
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 12richardk View Post
    Yes for us, small systems dont seem to affected too much but I suppose if its a big commercial solar plant then a 5% is a lot of energy wasted
    So dust no, bird crap yes
    Yep, big commercial IPP'S even deploy automated cleaning systems, or cleaning department/teams.

    When you have a R500M solar farm, even 5% is going to bite serious into your bottom line.

    Me, doesn't matter much if my batteries are fully charged by 13h05 instead of 13h00 for a while. It's gonna rain sooner or later.

    EDIT - On reviewing my post I have to make a correction. Where I live - It's not going to rain sooner or later.
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2024/03/21 at 07:04 PM.
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  20. #34
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Once a year I ask the neighbors garden engineer to get onto the room and wash the solar panels and the solar geyser panel. Takes him 30 minutes and cost me R50.

    If it makes a difference it is not much but it is incredible how dirty they are. I use a mop and bucket and that water is very muddy afterwards.

  21. #35
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by HannesS View Post
    Once a year I ask the neighbors garden engineer to get onto the room and wash the solar panels and the solar geyser panel. Takes him 30 minutes and cost me R50.

    If it makes a difference it is not much but it is incredible how dirty they are. I use a mop and bucket and that water is very muddy afterwards.
    Yes we all think dirty is bad but it has to be really bad , watching with tap water is so so panels hot so it will dry quick and depending on the water it may be worse off
    I only clean if birds crap on it , which is more than 2x a Year
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  22. #36
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 12richardk View Post
    Also not many use their panels to their full power , so to test them properly with dust or no dust is difficult , perhaps if someone has a small system like a 300w panel
    As I run 2 strings via 2 x grid tied inverters my system is running at full tilt. After cleaning there is a slight improvement but put it down to the cooling effect of the Luke warm water. 5 min later the output is back to where it was before cleaning.

  23. #37
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    I have panels that have a very poor angle due to roof design and estetic restrictions from estate that I live in. I also feed back to the grid, so the system always work at full tilt so this makes it easier to compare. I stay in Gauteng, so very little rain in the winter. I only cleaned my panels once so far in the year of ownership, at the start of spring in 2023 and in my case it made about a 20%-30% difference in performance comparing to a few days before and few days after. But of course many factors can contribute, so it is difficult to do an accurate home test on it.

    In my case the panels was very dirty and it did seem to make a huge difference.

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  24. #38
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceHun View Post
    I tested this today, zero difference as mentioned. Maybe depending on amount of dust you may see a difference. Coastal areas typically not dusty although mine did look dusty.
    Common sense dictates that a clean panel will generate more power than a dirty one for the same reason that a cloud makes a noticeable difference. The degree of difference would be directly related to the extent of dust and grime on the surface.

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  26. #39
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Common sense dictates that a clean panel will generate more power than a dirty one for the same reason that a cloud makes a noticeable difference. The degree of difference would be directly related to the extent of dust and grime on the surface.

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  28. #40
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    Default Re: Is Solar panel cleaning worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Langjan View Post
    Common sense dictates that a clean panel will generate more power than a dirty one for the same reason that a cloud makes a noticeable difference. The degree of difference would be directly related to the extent of dust and grime on the surface.
    Ok, so my common sense did not agree as I had never cleaned my panels, so for my use and test I found it did not make a difference...glad my common sense prevailed...
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