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Old 04-02-2024, 06:17 PM   #1
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Solar Panel Cleaning Tips

Since our solar panels are on the roof and ladders are dangerous for folks in a certain age group , has anyone invented any unique cleaning procedures not requiring a ladder?

Trying to stay grounded.
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Old 04-02-2024, 07:13 PM   #2
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I havenít, but hanging flower basket wands for a gentle rinse or a gutter cleaning wand for a stronger blast come to mind. Not sure if either would reach the middle, but a piece of PVC pipe with small holes, a 90 degree elbow, and a garden hose adapter should be quick to fashion if needed.
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Old 04-02-2024, 07:22 PM   #3
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I use an O'Cedar mop for the trailer and the solar panels. Then spry down with fresh water. It is not a bad reach to get the top.
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Old 04-03-2024, 08:07 AM   #4
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When I need to clean the top of our 21 I pull the truck as close as possible to the trailer, put a 3/4 inch thick sheet of plywood over the tonneau cover. Then use a safety ladder to get on top of the plywood. It’s a perfect height and a large platform to stand on for washing n waxing chores and safer than standing on a ladder
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Old 04-03-2024, 09:33 AM   #5
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I drive through heavy rain every once in a while and that keeps mine clean. Seriously though, I have looked at them when polishing the roof and they are never very dirty at all.

I am only 66 so of a young enough age to scamper up a ladder.
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Old 04-03-2024, 09:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by WillyB View Post
Since our solar panels are on the roof and ladders are dangerous for folks in a certain age group , has anyone invented any unique cleaning procedures not requiring a ladder?

Trying to stay grounded.
Best I can say is to upgrade to a little giant ladder. The new ones are so much more stable than all my other ladders. I bought three different sizes to cover most circumstances, then gave away most of my other ones. Iíve fell off a ladder, it kicked out on me so Iím big on ladder safety.

Be careful with them at first, itís easy to get yourself caught up in it when adjustments are being made.
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Old 04-03-2024, 11:07 AM   #7
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Best I can say is to upgrade to a little giant ladder. The new ones are so much more stable than all my other ladders.
I agree, very stable and solid. I made a padded platform for the top and can kneel and reach to the center of the roof.

Ron
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Old 04-03-2024, 11:59 AM   #8
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I picked up one of these in order to scrub the side walls/roof prior to waxing. It works great to clean the solar panels as well. The telescopic handle is about 40" long when fully extended and 20" when retracted....making it easy to store. All you need is a step ladder tall enough to safely access the roof. It provides sufficient reach to clean the panels without need to overextend yourself on the ladder.

https://www.princessauto.com/en/swiv...t/PA0008907339

In winter, I use a brush with a pivoting head to keep the panels clean of snow ....similar to the one below:

https://www.princessauto.com/en/62-i...t/PA0009133059
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Old 04-03-2024, 12:01 PM   #9
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I have a nice ladder at home an a F150 with a hard tonneau cover but I'm more looking at how to clean them on long trips. I really don't want ship a ladder around the country nor find a way to park a truck to reach in a campground.

I'm thinking of some type long pole with a 90 degrees sweeper/cleaner to be able to stand on planet Earth. Something simple and easy to transport to wipe the dust off.

Never even considered this when I decided the roof mounted solar panels the best.
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Old 04-03-2024, 12:22 PM   #10
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... I'm more looking at how to clean them on long trips. ...
I'd forego the worry on even long trips, absent an attack of bird droppings, in which case I'd spot-treat those.

Attached just FYI / FWIW. According to that source, hard water (which might be what's available at any given campground), with attendant difficult to remove spotting, might be a worse situation than dust etc. in the long run. A concluding comment from that article:
The last thing to remember is that shade is always more of an issue for panel production than dirt or dust. Only clean when needed with minimal maintenance, or let nature do the work when it rains.

Just for your consideration, YMMV.

PS - I'm another fan of the Little Giant ladders after buying one on recommendation by Perry Butler on this forum long ago. Little Giant M-26 with levelers
Attached Files
File Type: pdf AM Solar - Tips for Cleaning Solar Panels.pdf (134.1 KB, 2 views)
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Old 04-03-2024, 12:24 PM   #11
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Rough concept. Just need to find/design a solid 90 degree connection
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Old 04-03-2024, 12:29 PM   #12
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Regarding solar panel cleaning: Rather than dusting, which can scratch the glass, just use water, or water with a tiny bit of detergent, and a soft brush (like Selkirk's recommendation).
I also squeegee the water off afterward, since we have hard water that will leave mineral deposits.
We have had solar on our home for many years, and have found that during non-rain months the dirt accumulation reduces solar output by over 10% over a 1Ĺ month period, which is how often I clean the panels.
So, I always try to clean our trailer panels before each trip.
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Old 04-03-2024, 01:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
Regarding solar panel cleaning: Rather than dusting, which can scratch the glass, just use water, or water with a tiny bit of detergent, and a soft brush (like Selkirk's recommendation).
I also squeegee the water off afterward, since we have hard water that will leave mineral deposits.
We have had solar on our home for many years, and have found that during non-rain months the dirt accumulation reduces solar output by over 10% over a 1Ĺ month period, which is how often I clean the panels.
So, I always try to clean our trailer panels before each trip.
For this quick trip I simply climbed the ladder and used my long adjustable pole with a water soaked soft brush rinsed a few times and then squeezed it off dry.

Simple to do just looking for an on road solution.
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