Solar Panel Cleaning Safety Guidelines & Training

Carla Dawson
Carla Dawson
January 9, 2024

The world’s adoption of solar is generating demand for safe practices for solar panel cleaning technicians. The solar panel cleaning safety market is estimated to be 35 trillion square meters by 2050. The ASTM leads the solar panel cleaning safety guidelines and standards process through its committee, and more information can be found here ASTM WK87344 New Guide for Standard Guide for Solar Panel Cleaning Safety.

Solar panel cleaning is different than other surface cleaning industries, and the paradigm shift is due to 2 reasons; 1) Cleaning an electrified surface that has DC 2) Cleaning produces energy. Most cleaning industries are driven by the need for hygiene or aesthetics. This does not apply to the solar panel cleaning industry.

The ASTM Guide for Solar Panel Cleaning Safety draws much of its information from The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners® (NABCEP®) courses on solar panel cleaning and experience by the participants of the committee and much more. The guide is extremely profound in its content since it includes

  • Solar Panel Cleaning Safety Scope
    • The scope of this guide includes safety in the solar engineering design process and is carried through into the operation and maintenance of the solar installation. The solar panel cleaning industry is comprised of 3 main segments residential, commercial and industrial, and utility-scale (aka solar farms) which are divided into 2 areas 1) Wet Cleaning 2) Dry Cleaning. Solar panel cleaning is not limited to cleaning with water but also includes the application of coatings and other similar solutions that reduce soiling levels also known as solar cleaning technologies. These guidelines will also include safety guidelines for solar designers and operators of solar panel cleaning equipment.
  • Solar Panel Cleaning Terminology
  • Solar panel cleaning vs PV Surface cleaning
  • Referenced Documents
  • Cleaning Technician and Bystander Safety
  • Safety in the Application of Photocatalytic Ceramic coatings for solar panels.
  • Electrical vs Non-Electrical Safety Hazards
  • Testing Photovoltaic Systems with no known Ground Faults Electrical Insulating test aka. “Megger” Testing
  • Solar panel cleaning safety technologies such as Edge detection
  • Solar Panel Cleaning Safety Add-in Software
  • Solar Panel Cleaning Safety Anchors
  • Solar Panel Cleaning PPE
  • Solar Panel Cleaning Job Hazard Analysis
  • Exposed Solar Connector and Combiner Boxes vs Non-exposed solar connectors & combiner boxes
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If you are interested in learning more about solar panel cleaning safety and risk management, please feel free to reach out to our company.

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About the author

Carla Dawson

Carla Dawson founded Soilar Technologies, a NextGen PV Soiling Mitigation Technology Company in 2019. NextGen PV soiling mitigation can be defined as:

“Mitigating photovoltaic soiling by using 21st-century technologies throughout the solar plant lifecycle with the objective of increasing performance, reliability, asset life, and warranty compliance. NextGen PV Soiling mitigation is typically a data-enriched smart system that combines technologies such as solar panel cleaning robotics, PV anti-soiling coatings, PV abrasion testing, bird deterrent solutions, PV soil monitoring, electrodynamic shields (EDS), condensation prevention, tracker/stowage position, and cleaning schedule optimization, solar panel cleaning software, analytics and other technologies.”

NextGen PV soiling mitigation is a phrase that was coined by Carla Dawson and Klemens Ilse in 2022.
Soilar Technologies is dedicated to helping solar panel cleaners, EPC, solar installation companies, and entrepreneurs solve their PV soiling problems from design to the operations and maintenance stage.