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Ryan Cash: Solar Panel Cleaning?

Ryan Cash

UAMCC Associate Member
With solar panels becoming more and more popular today it’s important to know how to clean them while managing liability.

A few basics: Solar panels are expensive. They have lots of wiring/electrical components and (usually) aluminum frames. Knowing that, you should know to not use any caustics on or around them. This includes SH and soaps/surfactants with high alkalinity. These can cause damage to electronics but also discolor and damage the aluminum framing. To figure out what the pH of your soaps are, check out the manufacturer's SDS's. They should all list the pH on there. Anything with a high pH can cause damage to the frames.

For cleaning, instead, use pH neutral glass cleaning soaps and specialized aluminum cleaners. There are lots of great companies out there that make products specifically for cleaning solar panels but there's no magic, spray on-rinse off solution.

For normal maintenance cleaning, I recommend a pure water setup and waterfed pole.

For more difficult cleaning, use Rooftec’s Oxitec to clean solar panel frames and help with some of the tougher stains before going back and cleaning with the WFP.