What do the warranties of solar panel manufacturers say about solar panel cleaning? Clean Solar Solutions Ltd take great pride in giving correct and accurate information to clients about our solar panel cleaning service. There is much discussion as to whether solar panels are self-cleaning or not. Below, we quote directly from a number of the UK's best-selling solar panel manufacturers manuals. Please note their advice about solar panel cleaning, the frequency of solar panel cleaning, how to clean solar panels and how it may affect your warranty.
Panasonic: Some maintenance is recommended to maintain optimal output performance of the solar modules. If the module surface becomes dirty, it may reduce output power.
Yingli Solar: Over time dust and dirt can accumulate on the glass surface of a module, reducing its power output. Yingli Solar recommends periodic cleaning of PV modules to enable maximum power output. Water with high mineral content may leave deposits on the glass surface and is not recommended. In order to avoid module damage, do not clean PV modules with a power washer or pressure washer. Do not use steam or corrosive chemicals to facilitate the cleaning of modules. Failure to comply with these requirements may adversely affect the PV module performance. Failure to comply with the requirements listed in this manual will invalidate the Limited Warranty for PV Modules as provided by Yingli Solar at the time of sale to the direct customer.
Schott & Sharp: If dirt build up becomes excessive, clean the glass surface only...using water. Do not use high pressure spray or chemicals to clean the modules.
Axter: A grid connected General Solar PV system is a potentially dangerous, high voltage electrical generator and should be inspected at least every six months to ensure that all system components are working correctly. Appropriate maintenance should occur at least before the onset of both summer and winter. The amount of electricity produced by a solar cell is proportional to the amount of light falling on it. Cleaning should be performed on any modules that are excessively affected by a collection of bird droppings, dirt, or miscellaneous debris, such as fallen leaves. This cleaning should be performed at each maintenance visit. Pressurised power washers should not be used directly on the laminates. Use caution when cleaning PV modules, as the combination of water and electricity may present a shock hazard.
Solbian: Keep the panel clean. In a marine environment, wash the panel often with fresh water to avoid salt build up and reduce the possibility of damage.
Trina Solar: System performance and reliability can be improved by taking some simple steps. Maintenance should be carried out at least once a year. The amount of electricity generated by a solar module is proportional to the amount of light falling on it. A module with shaded cells will produce less energy and therefore it is important to keep modules clean. • It is particularly important to ensure that the solar modules are clean before onset of summer. Products installed at a tilt angle below 15° or which are located in particularly dusty areas, are installed in landscape orientation or in areas of high pollution or close to large bird populations will require more regular cleaning. Take care to avoid severe thermal shocks which might damage the module by cleaning modules with water which has a similar temperature to the modules being cleaned. Improper maintenance can cause lethal electric shock and/or burns.
Suntech: To ensure optimum module performance, Suntech recommends the following maintenance measures: Clean the glass surface of the module when required. Caution: observe solar manufacturers' maintenance instructions for all components.
Romag: As a minimum requirement PV modules should be inspected annually. Accumulated dust and dirt can be removed from the surface of the PV module by washing gently with water. Do not use solvents or abrasive cleaners on any part of the PV module.
In conclusion, we see that solar panel manufacturers:
1. Recommend cleaning solar panels, dirty panels do not produce as much electricity as clean solar panels.
2. Some solar panel manufacturers say that if your solar panels are not cleaned, it will invalidate your warranty.
3. They should be cleaned at least six-monthly, using water.
4. They should be cleaned by professionals due to the risks involved.
We hope you have found this information useful. If you have any further questions, please contact us.