Cleaning solar panels on your RV can make an improvement to the amount of power generated from the sun. Mold, Mildew, Dirt, grime, and algae can block the sun’s rays and impact the total amperage each panel can produce.
The total amount of power reduced by having a dirty panel, https://www.hesolarllc.com/cleaning-dirty-solar-panels/ list their experiment as only seeing 2-3% change in output. However, I have personally had a panel that was so covered in mildew and algae that its energy output was improved from 5.5 amps to 8 amps by cleaning.
Some of the differences will depend on the panel and the environment that the panel is installed. The orientation of the panel seems to also play a factor in the amount of light blocking debris each panel collects.
Solar panel type
- Rigid Solar Panels
- Flexible Solar Panels
- Thin-film Panels
Remember that the solar panels are on your RV roof. Safety is your main priority when dealing with a wet slippery roof 10 to 12 feet off the ground.
Chemicals? Probably not
It is important that when you clean your solar panel you always check your manufacturer specifications on how they would like each type of their solar panels cleaned. For the most general type of cleaning chemicals are not recommended. The manufacturer generally asks that the panels be cleaned with a soft cloth and water. It is important to not damage your panels after all you’re trying to improve their output not reduce their life this man. I have found that the water and washcloth method works really well and removing most of the grime debris and algae that grow on the panels over time. It does take a little bit of elbow grease but the outcome is noticeably different.