Solar energy systems are a dream investment for many - there is low to no maintenance and your electric bill drops to nothing. However, for customers living in areas close to canyons or places where dust tends to build on the panels, it may be a good idea to explore cleaning the panels to ensure maximum production.
Solar panels work best with direct sun exposure. When particulates, such as dust, pollen, or even bird droppings accumulate on your panels, it limits the amount of direct sunlight the panels are exposed to. As mentioned below, rain water can rinse most of this away, but the problem is exacerbated especially in dry climates with little rain and higher amounts of dust (i.e. Southern California).
Here are a few options for cleaning your panels:
Sullivan Solar Power recommends once a quarter if you live in a very dusty area, but our very own team members have gone years without cleaning, so use your discretion. We have not found any significant loss in production. As always, please do not put yourself in harm's way if you want to clean your panels - consult a professional if you have any doubts regarding the safety of yourself or of your panels.