A clean solar panel is a working solar panel. Here’s our quick guide to help you make the most of your investment.
Weed out weeds. Weeds can cause big problems for your solar panels: They can become ensnared in between them or grow over them and create shade, which will dramatically reduce the output of your solar system. We suggest spraying to control weeds biannually, or as needed, and being especially diligent during good rain years — which means you should pay special attention to what’s happening around your panels this spring. If you choose to use a weed whacker, be very careful as rocks and debris thrown up during weed whacking can damage the panels. If spraying, be cautious and avoid spraying the panels.
Banish birds. Birds pose many threats to solar panels. Their droppings can obscure surfaces and their nests can create shade and wreak havoc on panels and the wiring underneath. Deter birds by installing plastic predators to frighten them, or use an outdoor, ultrasonic repeller. If you notice a birds nest on the backside frame of the array, please remove it immediately.
Give your panels a wash. We recommend washing panels three to four times a year under normal conditions, and even more frequently during dusty drought conditions. Only use water — no soap, no chemicals — and a brush and squeegee. It’s especially important to use a squeegee to remove water if you’re washing with hard water, which includes calcium that can build up on the panels. Also, make sure to wash your panels during cooler parts of the day to avoid thermal shock!