Residential solar arrays are virtually maintenance free. To be sure your system is working as expected an online portal such as LG’s EnerVu (which is included with every LG NeON® R ACe solar panel installation) allows you to monitor its performance.
However, sometimes things happen. The solar industry calls these things “soiling,” but you probably call them dust, bird droppings, pollen or snow. While you may be tempted to clean your solar array to boost its production, keep in mind that if you do it the wrong way you can potentially do more harm than good.
Assuming your array is installed at least a 10 degree tilt and you don’t live in a very arid climate, the best way to keep your array clean is to let Mother Nature clean it for you. Rain will wash dust, bird droppings, and other debris that might be obstructing the solar panels. If there’s no rain on the horizon or you have a particularly stubborn soiling situation, the best course of action is to contact a certified local contractor (such as the LG PRO installer that installed your system) to arrange a cleaning and do a preventative maintenance check on key components.
LG Electronics strongly discourages solar panel owners from cleaning their own arrays due to the potential dangers. Contracting a professional company is always the best and safest course of action. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer who insists on cleaning your array yourself, you can clean your panels, but avoid using abrasive brushes, cleaning agents, or tap water. A de-ionized water (to avoid mineral deposits) with a non-abrasive brush is generally all you need. You should not walk on your array, you should use proper safety equipment, and you should always remember that you’re operating near a live electrical system (with water!). Shut the array down before working on or near it (although voltage will still be present). Again, LG Electronics strongly discourages solar panel owners from cleaning arrays on their own.
Removing Snow from Solar Panel
Generally, the best way to remove snow from your array is again to let Mother Nature do her thing. Although it may not feel like it in the depths of winter, the weather will eventually get warmer and sunny enough to melt the snow off your panels. LG discourages using brushes or shovels on or near the array, as you might dislodge the panel-to-panel or home-run connections.
If you notice a snow or ice damn on the roof or gutters beneath, you can clear that using a brush or shovel, being careful not to make contact with any of the solar panels or racking elements.
If persistent snow or ice damns below your array are exposing your roof to damage, you should speak to your LG PRO installer about installing a heating element in the trouble areas.
Always remember basic safety precautions. Be careful when standing beneath an area where you’re working to dislodge a snow damn.
LG advises anyone who chooses to clean their solar panels without professional help to use caution if working on rooftops, in any raised areas, and near any electrical equipment, including the panels. If you have any questions about cleaning solar panels, contact a local professional.
When you go solar, ask for the brand you can trust: LG