How to Clean Lichen from Solar Panels in 5 Easy Steps

The best way to clean lichen from solar panels is by using a soft brush or a rag to gently scrub it off. If the lichen is very stubborn, you can use a water and vinegar solution to help loosen it up. Be sure to rinse the panels so there is no residue left behind.

If you have solar panels on your home, it’s important to keep them clean so that they can operate at their full potential. Lichen and other types of moss can build up on the panels and reduce their efficiency.

We will teach you how to clean lichen from solar panels in 5 easy steps so that you can get back to enjoying your solar power.

What Is Lichen and What Does It Look Like on Solar Panels?

Lichen is a type of fungi that can grow on various surfaces, including solar panels. It is typically a green or black color and can be very difficult to remove.

Like algae, lichen can grow on your solar panels if they are exposed to rainwater or dew for an extended period of time.

Lichen is very visible as it will make your panels look greenish and mossy if it’s allowed to grow unchecked. While it’s not harmful to the panels, lichen can reduce their efficiency and make them less effective at converting sunlight into energy.

How Lichen Forms and Grows on Solar Panels

Lichen forms in damp and shady areas. If your solar panels are exposed to rain, they can become a breeding ground for lichen growth. Lichen may grow in shady areas like the roof of your home or overhanging trees, such as oak trees, for example.

The following conditions must be present in order for lichen to grow:

  • Rainwater or dew on the surface of the panels (usually caused by poor drainage)
  • Shade from something like trees or nearby buildings that block sunlight
  • High humidity levels (usually caused by poor ventilation)
  • A lack of cleaning and maintenance on the part of the homeowner.

Lichen can grow in any location where these conditions are present, but it’s most common in areas with high rainfall. If you live in a dry climate, you’ll probably see less lichen growth on your solar panels.

How Lichen Affects the Performance of Solar Panels

The system performance of each solar panel can be reduced by up to 15% if they are covered in lichen. The reason for this is that the lichen blocks sunlight from hitting the panel, which reduces the amount of energy that can be converted into electricity.

In addition, the build-up of moisture on the panels caused by lichen can also lead to corrosion of the metal parts, which can cause them to malfunction.

This means it’s important to remove lichen from your solar panels as soon as you notice it growing on them so that they can continue performing at their peak efficiency levels.

How to Clean Lichen from Solar Panels without Damaging Them

Now that you know what lichen is and how it grows, let’s teach you how to clean it off your solar panels. The following steps will help remove any build-up of moss or algae on the surface of your panels without damaging them.

In order to clean lichen from solar panels, you will need the following supplies:

  • Soft Scrub brush or sponge
  • Bucket
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Paper towels or soft cloth

With these supplies in hand, follow these 5 simple steps to clean the lichen from your solar panels:

Step 1: Remove Large Debris

Remove any large pieces of lichen or dirt from the surface of the solar panel with a soft bristled brush or sponge.

Step 2: Mix the Vinegar and Water Together in A Bucket

Mix one part white vinegar to five parts water in a large bucket. You will need enough liquid to cover all of your panels with this mixture.

Step 3: Apply the Solution to Your Solar Panels

Apply the solution to your solar panel by spraying it with a spray bottle. We recommend using a soft brush or sponge to rub the solution into the lichen.

Step 4: Allow the Solution to Soak Into the Lichen

Let the solution sit for fifteen minutes, then scrub with a soft scrub brush or sponge using circular motions. This will help loosen and remove any lichen that is stuck on the surface of the panels and may have been missed during step one.

Step 5: Rinse Off with Water from A Hose or Bucket Filled with Clean Water

After you are done scrubbing the panels, rinse them off with clean water from a hose or bucket. This will remove any excess vinegar and debris left on the surface of the panels.

Luckily, cleaning lichen off of solar panels is a fairly easy process that just requires some basic supplies and a little bit of elbow grease.

Tips for Preventing Lichen Growth on Solar Panels in The Future

The best thing you can do to prevent lichen growth on your solar panels is to keep them clean and free of debris. This means cleaning them at least once a month, or more often if they are dirty.

Here are some more tips for preventing lichen growth:

  • Make sure your solar panels are installed in a well-drained location.
  • Regularly clean your gutters to ensure that water flows away from the panels.
  • Keep your solar panel system clean and free of debris, especially during periods when there is a lot of rain or snow in your area.
  • If you live in an area with high levels of rainfall, consider using a water repellent coating on your solar panels to help keep them dry.

We hope this helps give you some ideas on how to get rid of lichen growth on your solar panels so they can continue performing at their peak efficiency levels!


Final Thoughts

Cleaning solar panels may seem like a difficult task, but with the right tools and instructions, it can be easy and straightforward. By following these simple steps, you can clean lichen from your solar panels in no time and improve their efficiency.

If you have trees near your solar panels then you may also find it interesting to read how to clean tree sap from your solar panels as this is also a sticky problem for a lot of people.

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