Your ZEN Energy system’s energy output may be reduced if the solar panels become dirty and cleaning is not carried out regularly. Natural rainfall will wash the panels and should remove accumulated dust and dirt, however, ZEN Energy recommend you clean your panels approximately every 6 months, to optimise system performance. The best time to clean the panels would be late spring and late autumn.
We recommend that panel cleaning should be performed more frequently in high traffic areas where pollutants or bird debris tend to build up quicker. This would include areas with construction and/or regional/farming areas as there will be higher levels of dust in these regions.
Before you start cleaning your panels
Your system should be completely shutdown prior to cleaning as per the Shutdown Procedure listed in your ZEN Energy User Manual and/or your inverter manufacturer’s operating manual
We recommend that DC Systems will need to be completely shutdown. AC Systems, while safe, should be shutdown via the Solar Supply Main Switch. If you cannot find your user manual, please search for a copy from our Knowledge Centre or contact our customer support team on 1300 936 466 for more information.
Cleaning your panels
- For safety reasons, it’s wise to clean your panels from the ground if possible. A good quality soft brush and squeegee with a plastic blade on one side and a cloth covered sponge on the other coupled with a long extension can make for the perfect tools allowing you to stay on the ground. Use a hose with a suitable nozzle to allow the stream of water to reach the panels.
- Use a hose to direct water onto your panels. ZEN recommends that you direct water onto the panels from the ground level. This should sufficiently clean most systems however where there is built up debris the system may require further maintenance.
- Make sure that you only direct water onto the top of your solar panels. Whilst it is ok for some water to touch the back or your panels, you should not intentionally direct water onto the back of your panels or into the gap between your panels and your roof.
- Do not wash your solar panels while they are hot. The combination of hot glass on the panels and cool water from your hose may increase the chances of your panels cracking due to the sudden change in temperature.
- It is suggested that an overcast day, early in the morning or in the evening are ideal times to clean your solar panels. If the sun is beating down on the panels, any water used can quickly evaporate and dirt will become smeared.
- Early morning can be a particularly good time for cleaning as dew that has settled on the panels overnight will likely have softened grime; meaning you’ll need to use less water and less energy to clean your solar panels.
- If trying to clean built up debris, use a non-abrasive cloth or sponge (e.g. microfibre cloth).
- Where rainwater tanks are installed and connected to the guttering system please ensure they are disconnected and/or shut off from the gutters to ensure no run off of cleaning water goes into your tanks.
Please be aware of the risks of working at heights and that this risk is increased by using water. A roof can become quite slippery when water is used for cleaning. If cleaning your panels from the ground is not possible, do not attempt to access your rooftop unless you have the appropriate safety equipment and training. If you don’t, hire a suitably qualified professional instead.