Keeping Your Minnesota Solar Panels Clean

Posted on: November 10th, 2017 by admin

Minne”snow”ta and Solar Panels –
From city houses to lakeside cabins to country pole barns, rooftop solar systems are dotting the Minnesota landscape. With 4 seasons (5 with road construction) that range from swirling snowstorms to torrential rains, you may ponder the question “What season, if ever, should I clean my solar panels?” Well, most experts say to actually not worry about cleaning solar panels at all. Solar panels are basically “self-cleaning”. A general rule of thumb is to let nature take care of it. The sunlight getting through to convert the light to energy may be affected by a small amount of dirt on solar panels, but it is likely only 5% or less.
During non-winter months Minnesota gets enough rain to clean panels of most pollen, dirt and debris. During winter your solar panels gather sun and actually help melt the snow naturally causing it to slide off the solar system’s glass surface, and even more so with a south-facing tilted array. While accumulated snowfall can temporarily cover panels and reduce production – with your utilities net-metering…/ you store up credits with the power you make in the summer which you then draw from in the winter.
So, not to worry if you have snow temporarily on solar panels, you’ll catch up again when the sun shines brightly. And during those glorious Minnesota summers, if you can actually see dirt on your solar panels a simple morning or overcast day spraying when water and solar panels are at approximately the same temperature is best. This should generally be done from a distance while standing on the ground with a water nozzle that allows a steady stream to reach each panel. Tap water is fine. (Please note this is NOT a power wash which would damage panels). One sage advisor suggests if bird droppings dot the panels to wet these down with the sprayer and then come back in ten minutes when all is softened and will easily wash away. You can refer to your solar panel manufacturer instructions for more tips, and there are companies for hire to clean solar panels for any extreme situations.
And great news – Minnesotans have some solar-production-bragging-rights: solar panels actually produce better on cold days! This is because when sun energy is turned into electricity, the electrons move along wires creating current. As more electrons fly down the same wire, heat is created due to the resistance of the electrical flow. However, as air temperature lowers, so does the resistance of the material and the electrons can move more freely. Therefore as temperature decreases, solar electric production increases, don’tchaknow!
To chat about how much solar energy you can produce on your Minnesota property and your related cost savings give our Solar Energy Consultants a call at 612.888.9599 or contact us through
Ya, you betcha Minnesota, we’ve got dis here solar!! #Olieandlenagosolar #MinnesotaBasedTruNorthSolar