Cleaning and Maintenance of PV Solar Modules
This guide is intended for qualified individuals. Damage or injury to persons or property can occur when working with live electrical components. Del Sol Energy recommends that cleaning and maintenance services be performed by qualified individuals.
With limited maintenance, your solar system will operate at peak performance for many years. Cleaning intervals will vary depending on site-specific factors, such as annual rainfall, roof tilt, and proximity of airborne dust and debris (e.g. from trees, or a frequently traveled dirt road). The solar module installation guide notes that arrays with > 15 degree tilt will self-clean by rain. However, sites will vary so it is best to consult your Del Sol Energy for a recommended cleaning schedule.
In the case of heavy soiling, modules may be cleaned with plenty of water (tap water or deionized water) without any cleaning agents. If necessary, a soft cleaning device (i.e. a sponge) may be used. In the case of soiling by dust or sand, modules may be cleaned with a soft brush without water. Never scrape or rub off dirt, as this may result in micro-scratches and can damage the anti-reflective coating on the module glass.
Do not use a pressure washer or walk on the solar modules. Pressure washing or walking on the solar modules can damage (from cold water contacting hot module glass), clean modules early in the morning or during mild days.
Sites with substantial snowfall must be designed to support additional loads. While snowfall on a solar array can impact power production, in instances where safety and access are a concern, it may be best to leave ice and snow alone until they melt naturally and fall away. Sites will vary and it is best to consult your solar installer for proper service.
Use caution when cleaning snow or accessing areas near ice or snow-covered solar arrays. Large masses of ice or snow may move suddenly, causing personal injury or damaging equipment. When removing snow, we suggest a foam-typed head on an extension pole. Never use snow removal tools such as a snow rake or shovel, as these tools can damage the modules or compromise the mounting hardware.
Del Sol Energy recommends regular annual inspections of the PV system to ensure that:
- All Fixtures are securely tightened and corrosion-free
- Wiring is securely connected, properly arranged, and free of corrosion;
- Cables are free of damage