Keeping solar panels clean

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by peterc10, May 9, 2016.

  1. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    I have noticed that my solar panels seem to get dirty and dusty very quickly and I assume that will effect their efficiency. How do you all manage to keep yours clean? Or do you not bother?

    In the previous motorhome the panels were either side of a wind up rooflight so I could pop my head out and wipe them them with a wet cloth. It is the similar with the new motorhome BUT the rooflight is one of those new type which open horizontally and there is simply not enough gap to get your arms out to clean the panels.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,327
    Likes Received:
    25,009
    Location:
    Planet Zog
    Get @Dawn B up on the roof to clean it for you...... Job done. (y)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    She would have to stand on my shoulders and I don't want that :D
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    4,454
    Likes Received:
    4,700
    Location:
    Guisborough
    I cleaned ours once as they looked dirty/dusty I tried to do it on a sunny day to see the difference but the experiment was inconclusive so I have not worried too much since.

    If it do though it's a climb up with a bucket and brush and do the roof as well at the same time.

    Martin
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    6,272
    Likes Received:
    12,099
    Location:
    Bolsover, Derbyshire
    Good question, I am with you on the presume it must do something, or take away something, but I wonder just how much difference it makes

    I might have a go at mine today and monitor the output change, I can reach mine on a ladder at the side of my MH, up to now have only done roof twice in three years, but I can see it from my bedroom so can see if really bad
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Cal54

    Cal54 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,270
    Likes Received:
    6,259
    Location:
    Lancaster
    Have recently done mine with a window cleaning mop thing bought from Aldi last year. There is a knuckle approx 18" from the top which allowed me to angle the head to 90 degrees and the cloth head is nice and soft. It was easy to do and the mop thingy was cheap to buy, but as with all things non food from Aldi they are not always available.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    Sorry, I should have made clearer that I mean cleaning when we are out on the road on our travels. At home I can use a ladder but that is too big and heavy to carry in the motorhome.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    How long is the handle? Is it telescopic? 18" might not be enough (oooo matron) to reach all of the panel I suspect, but I could try it.
     
  9. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,327
    Likes Received:
    25,009
    Location:
    Planet Zog
    Don't worry too much about it, Peter. Just clean it at home when you are there. Life is too short........
     
    • Like Like x 3
  10. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    6,272
    Likes Received:
    12,099
    Location:
    Bolsover, Derbyshire
    Take the whole lot to Scotland a couple of times a year, pretty much guaranteed a good wash (y)

    See you at Falkirk :):)
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Funny Funny x 2
  11. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    Rain just makes it worse because of it is often dirty rain. We have ordered brilliant sunshine for Falkirk :LOL:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    6,272
    Likes Received:
    12,099
    Location:
    Bolsover, Derbyshire
    It gets much cleaner the further north you come :LOL:
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    Must be all that dirty European rain we get down South then. Much better if we leave the EU.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    2,616
    Likes Received:
    3,612
    Location:
    Corby, Northants
    I cleaned ours twice when in Morocco and found no real difference in the result. Even when we were in the Western Sahara and being exposed to a lot of dust storms the output from the panel did not drop by that much. Like others, I either access mine through the roof panel with a long mop or borrow a ladder and clean it from the side.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  15. Cal54

    Cal54 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,270
    Likes Received:
    6,259
    Location:
    Lancaster
    @peterc10 - yes the whole thing is telescopic must be at least 10' And was original,y purchased by my mum for cleaning the conservatory roof.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,483
    Likes Received:
    8,213
    Location:
    NW England
    When the roof gets its annual clean I'll give the panel a dab with the mop, otherwise I don't bother.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    Phil, I thought you got Mena to do it :D

    Can't use rooflight as per original post. Don't know anybody with a ladder in their motorhome. :D Only time we could borrow one was at a really nice Sosta in Modena, Italy. Run by the local camperclub and had a motorhome washing facility included in the price including large industrial working platform you could push around on wheels.

    Seriously though I was wondering whether to get a telescopic ali ladder for the motorhome. One on lightening deal at Amazon later today - 3.75m maximum height and only (!!) weighs 11kg. Will see how much it is reduced to. Anybody uses one?
     
  18. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    Do you carry it about in the motorhome? How do you protect the side of the motorhome when you lean it against it?

    Sorry @Cal54 ignore that, I was thinking you were referring to a ladder ..... doh
     
  19. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    8,563
    Likes Received:
    11,535
    Location:
    Plympton, Devon
    How will you clean the panels with your leg in plaster after falling off the ladder? Just leave it to the British weather to clean it when out and about. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  20. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells
    Dirty rain doesn't clean it, especially not after a long drive on the motorway in wet weather.
     
Loading...

Share This Page