Clean solar and photovoltaic system

Originally it was said that cleaning and care of the photovoltaic systems was not necessary, but it has now turned out that the weather and air pollution do leave their mark. In order to use solar power as efficiently as possible and to keep the electricity yield at the highest possible level, regular professional cleaning with the right equipment is recommended.

Solar- und Photovoltaikanlagen reinigen

Cleaning and maintenance of photovoltaic systems

All types of photovoltaic systems should capture sunlight for as many hours as possible and withstand external influences. These include snowstorms, rain, storms and hail as well as, depending on the location, soot, pollen, dust from traffic, leaves, needles or bird droppings. In areas used for agriculture, dirt films containing fat and oil also form as a result of particle emissions from the ventilation of poultry houses.

Reinigung von Photovoltaikanlagen

Why clean solar systems?

The systems should be cleaned regularly, and not just because of their appearance. The impurities can reduce the electricity yield by up to 30 percent. A thorough, professional cleaning is necessary, and this does not only apply to the surfaces of the solar collectors. Deposits settle at the transitions between glass and frame, which over time can lead to widespread moss and lichen formation.

Due to the heavy soiling, the professional cleaning of the solar system requires the right cleaning technology on the one hand. On the other hand, the modules are often mounted on roofs at a steep angle of 45°, so that the safety of the user must be taken into account.

When should photovoltaic systems be cleaned?

Solar systems should be cleaned using the right technology and, depending on the location, by professional service providers.

In the agricultural sector, it is advisable to carry out the work two to four times a year, for example after flowering or after harvest when pollution is very heavy.

Facilities exposed to lesser environmental stresses are cleaned once a year or every two to three years. If this is the case, the green electricity can be generated even more sustainably - a topic that will become increasingly important in the future.

Reinigung von Solaranlagen auf Dächern

The right technology for cleaning photovoltaics

A professional high-pressure cleaner in combination with a brush attachment or a roller brush and a telescopic lance enables efficient and ergonomic work on photovoltaic systems.

With the right cleaning technology, a surface performance of up to 1,500 square meters per day can be achieved with solar modules.

Bürstenaufsatz mit zwei Scheibenbürsten

Brush Attachment

An attachment with two disc brushes that achieve a working width of 800 millimeters is recommended. The effort required by the user is reduced because the system neutralizes the drift movement with the help of the counter-rotating movements of the two brushes. In addition, the large working width ensures a high area coverage, which reduces the amount of work involved in cleaning the solar panel. The disc brushes have ball bearings and are driven by the water from the high-pressure cleaner. Operation in the low-pressure range with cold water and a flow rate of 700 to 1000 liters per hour is sufficient.

Nylon bristles ensure scratch-free cleaning to protect the sensitive surfaces of the solar panels when cleaning. Models that have harder bristles on the outside of the plate also ensure very good cleaning results on the module frames.

The amount of water should be easy to control using a lever on the lance, while the brushes are guided in tracks over the solar modules. If you turn the water up a little at the beginning, a sliding layer is created that makes it easier for the brushes to move on the surface. A self-adjusting articulated joint to which the brush head is attached can help to compensate for different working angles.

Telescopic Lance

The length of the telescopic lance should be chosen to match the size of the system, or an infinitely extendable lance is used. Longer lances made of carbon or carbon composite are lighter and therefore more comfortable to use.

Users who value more flexibility and, in addition to photovoltaic systems, also have large facades to clean, for example, need a variable system. There are rod systems available on the market for this that are suitable for vertical and horizontal surfaces and can be combined with various attachments. To clean the photovoltaic, a high-pressure nozzle can be used for spot cleaning, an attachment with disc brushes for working on horizontal PV elements, or a rotating high-pressure roller brush, which is also suitable for vertical facades.

Reinigung von Solaranlagen mit einer Teleskoplanze
Reinigung von Photovoltaikanlagen mit einer Walzenbürste

Roller Brushes

The advantage of roller brushes is that they are driven by high pressure and thus work themselves upwards - the user therefore has to apply significantly less holding force. You can work with water flow rates from 350 liters per hour. There are brushes with soft or hard bristles for different surfaces. Soft brushes are recommended for cleaning photovoltaic systems.

For a Harmonious Result: Detergent and Water Softening System

Einsatz von Reinigungsmittel bei der Solarreinigung

Cleaning Supplies

If cleaning agents are used, they should be suitable for removing stubborn, greasy dirt and mineral residues.

If the water film breaks up quickly, streak-free drying without limescale is possible. Exposure time and rinsing should not be necessary to make work easier. In order to clean the photovoltaic in the long term, a cleaning agent that reduces re-soiling is recommended.

Photovoltaikanlagen reinigen

Water Softening System

If the water hardness range is greater than medium-hard, the use of a water softening system is also recommended. In this way, staining can be avoided despite the high lime and mineral content of the tap water. The water softener contains a resin filter with ion exchanger that retains limescale and minerals.

Working on solar systems: safety precautions when cleaning

Reinigung von Photovoltaikanlagen mit einem Hubsteiger

The position of a system determines from where and with which tools the solar panels are best cleaned - so that the safety of the employees is guaranteed.

A cherry picker must be used for roofs that are difficult to access; if it is easy to access, a user can work from the ridge of the roof or with the help of a fall protection system attached to the roof. The prerequisite for this: the necessary safety hooks are located on the roof ridge.


Absturzsicherung bei der Solarreinigung

The fall arrest system consists of a harness around the pelvis and shoulders connected to a kernmantle rope. In an emergency, the accompanying device hooks in immediately and catches the user safely. Some safety systems also include a shock absorber strap to reduce the impact of a fall.


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