Do you need to clean your solar panels in Florida?

Living in Florida, we get a lot of rain that does a good job of keeping our solar panels mostly clean. To see if extra scrubbing was needed, I cleaned 1/2 of my solar panels after they had been installed for 11 months using a scrubbing brush and dish detergent.

The panels that I cleaned went up in power production by an average of 0.11 kWh/month. [0.11 kWh * 36 panels * 12 months = 47.52 kWh of extra power over an entire year…assuming the cleaning effect persists after the first month.] So this is a very small amount of power (about $6 worth at 13 cents per kWh.) in return for an hour of scrubbing. [And this assumes that the cleaning benefit lasts for a full year, which may not be the case.]

 

I would suggest only scrubbing your (Florida) panels every few years unless you notice a drop in performance.

 

You can download my data and simplistic analysis in the attached open document spreadsheet: SolarPanelCleaningExperiment

 

2 thoughts on “Do you need to clean your solar panels in Florida?

  1. Thanks for letting us know about that. I have my installation on a Spanish Tiled slanted roof scheduled for Feb 10, 2020. Twenty-one panels. I was told not to worry about washing at tilted roof. HOWEVER, since you suggest every few (3 or 4?) years, I wonder whom to hire as I am not in posture to climb or work roof being ‘of age’ (71). Further since I am in a townhouse with four units, our community have roofs washed every so often. What do I say to those workers that are washing ALL the roofs when they arrive at my solar paneled roof? ALL LOVE!

    • If you have people who already clean the roofs, just tell them to not stand on the solar panels. (They probably use a pressure washer on the tiles, which should also be safe on the solar panels as long as they treat them like skylights.)

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