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Solar Panel Test: Dirty vs. Clean

Quick experiment to see how much my panel output would increase before and after cleaning off my panels. All things equal, cleaning panels does increase output. It’s important to note that this experiment was performed on a cool day when panel temp was already low. Therefore, hosing down the panels did not “cool” off panels much as they were already cool.


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14 Comments on "Solar Panel Test: Dirty vs. Clean"

  1. how hot was the day ? cooling the panels with water also helps production. 

  2. Nice increase, Did you happened to rub the film of dirt off? But it still needs to be cleaned the old fashion way, LOL! I have dirt roads by my place and I have to clean mine once a month. But after I wet them down, a bottle of window cleaner and a towel gets that film off. Thanks for showing your good setup!!

  3. I have my pannels set at a 42 angle for my area, and I clean them once a month. to get off bird shit, dirt and so forth. O bought one of those sqeugies they used on high rises, to clean tall windows. it has a 30 foot reach. I first wash them with soap and watter then sqeuagy them clean. and let dry. I have heard you can spray them with rain x. and it will help keep the dirt off and lots easer to clean. because stuff like bird droppings dont stick. 

  4. good question. i thought about that too before i started the experiment but was cool crisp day here (about 68-70) and panels felt cool to touch, that said, it may have influenced the experiment a little..

  5. lol…yeah, when i went back up i saw the ugly film return and ran down and grabbed the windex. i should have known better my spray job wouldn't last for shit

  6. yeah, i need get me a squeegy with long arm too. wound up windexing them after i sprayed and realized the ugly film returned right away, and of course not a fan of reaching all way to the edge of roof as my roof is almost 40' off ground and fall from their would be lights out and not so sun-"sensationa"l for me. thanks for the good tip.

  7. you can get them at most home improvment stores. Or you can oder them. the spung part and squeegy are replaceable. the squeegy part I have can exstend up to 6 foot. then I bought two 10 aluminum exstetions for it they just screw in to the bottom and so on. I dont know if you see a video with my array in them but it defiantly makes life easy. it defiantly helps keep them clean and with rain nex all I have to do now for a while is hit it with water. 

  8. FYI Rain-X does not recommend their product for solar panels. Great Vid!

  9. Markhuntonio says:

    Facing the harsh reality of inefficiency,you are producing energy with about a 50% rate efficiency which is to low,mine is about the same between 50 and 60% tops,lowsy inverters,their specs states something like 80% efficiency…what a goddamn lie.

  10. butch kern says:

    i have done some tests and very little diff. don't know where you live but if you can tilt panels at least 15 degrees they will stay clean. i'm in the sw and we tilt panels from 15 to 25 degrees if your n. more and if your s. less. your panels almost flat. and are those 2 rails shading that one panel? that will pull that string down. as little as a overhead power line will kill a string. get your panels at right angle for your location you will see a noticeable increase…..if you guys are getting less than 60% sys is not set up right. depending on month my sys. is between 70 to 90% april is 95%. contact me i can help

  11. Thetreetroll says:

    just saying

  12. RVA III says:

    Anybody that considers that "cleaning" would be happy to wash their car and house windows the same way. They won't be clean and what's left behind from that tap water will be worse than the dirt that got rinsed off. The minerals dry, create a rough surface, and hold dirt better and better each time a new batch of mineral deposits is applied (tap water) This is how we do it in Arizona.

  13. Would have had a higher percentage increase, if the the panels were properly cleaned. Dirty blocks the surface of the panels and blurs out a percentage of light, granted you probably removed the loose dirt, but unless proper cleaning tools are used on the panel, just spaying them and adding rainX is not a proper clean. once cleaned and maintained it becomes easier and easier to keep clean, but rainX is just another thing that will attract and hold more dirt quicker, than if not used. With over 300 days of sunshine in Colorado Springs, we have lots of solar panels and dust.

  14. Hello I am From Brazil i am having almost the same problem when I test amper, My solar panel it is 95W and 5.5 amper when i test it shows only 1.6 amper, and i don't know how to solve it

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