Cleanliness means performance

Photovoltaics: Cleaning solar systems

Solar systems: check regularly for soiling

The rain will do that! That's basically true. Nevertheless, more stubborn deposits accumulate on a photovoltaic system over time. Dust, leaves, pollen, bird droppings and other impurities can reduce the efficiency of photovoltaics. can reduce the efficiency of the solar panels. Check for soil If it appears necessary to clean the photovoltaic system, it should be carried out by a specialised service. This will ensure that the cleaning is carried out professionally, safely and without damaging the sensitive panels.

How cleaning promotes the economic efficiency of your photovoltaic system

Reinigung und Wirtschaftlichkeit von Solaranlagen

Solar systems are constantly exposed to the weather. On the one hand, this means that rain can wash away light and superficial soiling such as dust and the PV system cleans itself, so to speak. On the other hand, the weather can cause deposits and incrustations that even the heaviest downpour cannot remove.

As a result, the solar cells absorb less sunlight in dirty areas, which can lead to a loss in yield of up to 20 per cent. In case of doubt, heavy soiling also has a negative financial impact in the long term - depending on the size of the system, there can be a significant drop in yield. This can be counteracted by cleaning the photovoltaic system. Ultimately, clean solar modules promote the economic efficiency of the PV system.

When and how often should solar modules be cleaned?

Solar modules must be cleaned occasionally, to maximise their efficiency and performance. Cleaning intervals often range from three to five years. The frequency of cleaning depends on various factors, including the location of the solar modules, the environment in which they are located and the weather conditions. The angle of inclination also plays a role.

  • The location: Solar modules in dusty or sandy environments generally require more frequent cleaning than solar modules in cleaner environments. Similarly, modules near industrial areas, intensive agriculture or busy roads can become dirty more quickly.
  • The weather conditions: Rain can help clean solar modules by washing away dust and dirt. In regions with frequent rain, less cleaning is therefore required than in drier areas.
  • The angle of inclination: The angle of inclination of the solar modules can influence how easily dirt flows off. Modules with shallower tilt angles are more likely to accumulate dirt than those with steeper tilt angles.

A indicator that cleaning is required may be a decrease in the performance of the solar system If you notice that the performance of your solar modules decreases over time, this may be due to technical defects or contamination. Inspect your modules and check whether cleaning may be necessary to restore performance.

Validate power losses

Are you already noticing power losses in your solar thermal system? Our flash test allows you to identify possible causes.

What causes contamination of PV systems?

Whether industrial exhaust fumes, abrasion from car tyres, pollen or agricultural operations - contamination of PV systems can result from various environmental influences. Particles from road traffic, for example, contribute to the soiling of solar installations, as do pollen, leaves and needles from trees and animal faeces. Moss and lichen can also form on the edges of solar panels in particular. The type of dirt therefore also determines how your photovoltaic systems should be cleaned.

How are photovoltaic systems cleaned?

Especially for systems on roofs, but also for solar modules on flat surfaces, safety first! This includes disconnecting the photovoltaic system from the power grid before cleaning. Safety measures such as personal protective clothing are also essential to avoid accidents. High-pressure cleaners should not be used for cleaning, as the pressure can damage the solar panels. Strong cleaning agents should also be avoided.

Ideally cleaning should be carried out with as little sunlight as possible, for example in the morning or when the sky is overcast. This avoids excessive temperature differences between the water and the surface of the solar modules. Exactly how and with what means (brushes, sponges, degree of hardness and temperature of the water, addition of chemical cleaning agents if necessary) cleaning is carried out depends on the size of your solar system, the degree of soiling and the type of soiling.

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