March 14, 2018
Soft washing solar panels is a great market. Think of the acres of panels that are popping up in farmer's fields all over the country, as well those on the roofs of houses, factories and offices.
All need professional cleaning.
Well, it is true that the majority of solar panels are promoted as being self-cleaning, and so should require relatively little additional cleaning.
However, "self-cleaning" is a bit of a misnomer, like "self-cleaning" windows. For sure they don't need cleaning so frequently, but they do need regular cleaning to remain efficient producers of electricity.
Quick tip: Grime, bird poo and heavy dust don't need to cover an entire solar panel to have a negative effect on it's performance.
In certain situations, such as solar panels mounted in a particularly dry area (allowing dust and bird droppings to build up), or where the solar panel's tilt angle is less than five degrees, most manufacturers recommend regular cleaning to ensure the panels continue to work efficient as electricity generators.
Solar panel manufacturers suggest that using water devoid of detergents – ideally de-ionised – will be sufficient for cleaning most solar panels, most of the time.
Manufacturers strongly recommend not using detergents that can cause streaking and thus compromise the effectiveness of the panels.
Quick tip: Window Cleanze does not leave streaks and so is suitable for cleaning solar panels. Just add a few drops of Benz Window Cleanze to your de-ionised water.
A window cleaning WFP (water-fed pole) set-up using de-ionised water is the best way to clean solar panels. And adding a few drops of Window Cleanze to your de-ionised water will help to quickly remove bird droppings and spider poo.
What is "pure" water? This is a generic term used to describe de-ionised water and distilled water. Both could be called "pure" but are produced through different processes.
Distilled water is usually produced in large industrial settings, while de-ionised water is the water produced on a daily basis by us and by the vast majority of water-fed pole (WFP) window cleaners.
Can you use tap water to clean solar panels? We do not recommend using ordinary tap water because it is mostly anything but pure. It can leave deposits and smears on the solar panels that will reduce their efficiency.
Soft water will not cause as much of a problem, although we do not recommend using even that, and advise against using hard water whenever possible.
Quick tip: In hard water areas* it is crucial to wipe all such water, if used, from the solar panels before they dry, to prevent limescale/calcium building up.
* Ideally, don't use hard water on solar panels at all.
If you are in any doubt about the best way to clean solar panels we suggest contacting the manufacturers of the panels and asking for their advice.
Materials are continually evolving and it would be wise to check that they have not introduced some new substance into the construction of the panels that cleaning could inadvertently compromise.
Quick tip: Get hold of the manufacturer's Product Data Sheets (PDS) and Safety Data Sheets (SDS), which should suggest recommended ways to clean their products.
Benz Bio Cleanze diluted 30-50:1 is a good choice (after checking with the manufacturer of the solar panels that the product will be safe to use).
We hope this information is helpful and sincerely wish you great success in your soft washing business,
Ben, Leo, Fiona, Stevie & Anthony
How to find answers to most soft washing questions: Simply enter a relevant "keyword" or short phrase – e.g. keyword for the above link = "how to" – into our in-site Search Engine (magnifying glass icon on the main menu).
Click here to download our Product Documentation Pack (includes Application & Dilution guides, SDS, PDS, RAMS, PPE & Mask info, COSSH, sample Contract and more)
GB (England, Scotland, Wales)
Phone: 0800 70 74 222
Ireland and other countries
Phone: 00353 214 622 978
Lines open Monday - Friday, 9am – 5pm
Please note: The above numbers are for orders only (click here for tech support)
PS: Click here to set up your "Clean & Maintain" programme. After completing an initial soft wash treatment, put your customer on a "Clean & Maintain" ongoing maintenance programme. Your customers will enjoy a permanently clean property and you will enjoy a steady stream of repeat business.
This is clearly a win-win arrangement for you and your customers.
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Soft washing reduces, or even eliminates, the need to use high-pressure washing.
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