Frequently Asked Questions

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What are common safety tips?

  • Do not touch or disturb panels or wiring.
  • Do not attempt to work on, alter, repair, disassemble, or remove any part of the system. Doing so could expose you to dangerous electrical currents and void manufacturer warranties. Only trained and certified professionals should service the system.
  • Do not use mirrors or any other option to concentrate sunlight onto your panels. Doing so is dangerous and will void your warranty.
  • Do not step on the panels or allow objects to fall on the panels.
  • Do not allow children or pets near the inverter or the panels on your roof.

Should I clean my solar panels?

Your SunPower system was designed with typical soil accumulation in mind, and seasonal rains are usually enough to adequately clear any soil or dust that might accumulate. We strongly recommend that you do not go onto your roof for panel cleaning or inspection. If severe soiling occurs and you feel it is absolutely necessary to clean the panels, you can clean them by spraying them from the ground with a standard garden hose. We recommend that homeowners only clean panels early in the morning or late evening rather than when the sun is at its peak or when the panels are warm.

To clean a module, wash with potable, nonheated water. Normal water pressure is more than adequate, but pressurized water up to 100 bar may be used. Fingerprints, stains, or accumulations of dirt on the front surface may be removed as follows: first rinse off area and let soak for a short period of time (about 5 minutes). Re-wet and use a soft sponge or seamless cloth to wipe glass surface in a circular motion. Fingerprints typically can be removed with a soft cloth or sponge and water after wetting. 

Important things to keep in mind:

  • As a rule, stay on the ground. Never get up on your roof without a secure ladder and proper fall-protection equipment.
  • Turn off your system before you start cleaning. Consult your local Installer if you need help turning off your system. 
  • As a rule, avoid using hard, or mineral rich, water. It can damage panels over time. If your area only has hard tap water, you can buy an inexpensive water-softening hose attachment to filter out minerals. Otherwise, you can use distilled or de-ionized water.
  • Use soft brushes and squeegees. Do not use harsh cleaning materials such as scouring powder, steel wool, scrapers, blades or other sharp instruments to clean the glass surface of the module. Use of such materials of cleaning without consultation will invalidate the product warranty.
  • Clean early in the morning or in the evening when the panels are cool. During the heat of the day, water and soap can evaporate quickly, which risks smearing the soap and dirt.
  • When using a high-pressure water nozzle, don’t get close to the panels. While they’re extremely durable, you don’t want to damage them.
  • Do a monthly visual inspection to look for any dust buildup. Also, you can watch your bill for any noticeable drop in efficiency. Only then should you worry about cleaning. Even then, in most cases, nature is going to clean them for you.
  • Don’t expose yourself to any risk. If you have any doubts about your ability to safely clean your panels, hire a professional.

What if a squirrel, a bird, or any other wildlife chews or in any way interferes with my solar system’s wiring and cables?

After market animal guards and other preventive measures exist that may help deter wildlife from coming into contact with your solar system. Please contact your Installer for options and pricing.

What should I do in an emergency?

Should there be a fire, explosion, gas leak, system damage, or fuel spill around your system’s components, call your local emergency services. If the emergency requires you to seek safety immediately, do so first and then alert emergency personnel that you have a solar system so they can shut it down, if necessary. For assistance restarting your system after an emergency, please contact your Installer.  

Why should I limit shading from trees?

To maximize system production. Trees, plants, rooftop antennas, satellite dishes, and other obstructions can block the sunlight from reaching the panels. If any portion of the panel is shaded, your system will produce electricity at a reduced level. Should you need to trim vegetation or move objects that might shade the panels, please do so during the daylight hours and use caution.

How long will a SunPower solar system last?

SunPower residential and commercial panels are backed by a 25-year limited Combined Power and Product Warranty. 

What happens during power outages?

Your system will automatically shut down. Safety requirements prohibit the system from producing electricity during a power outage or blackout, because there is a chance that the system could feed electricity into the electric grid while utility workers are accessing the grid. The system will restart automatically when power is restored.

Will my solar panels work on cloudy days?

Yes. However, it may produce less electricity depending on the density of the cloud cover.

Does my system work at night?

Sunlight must be present for the system to generate electricity. At night, your system will hibernate, and your inverter will display a blank screen.

For additional product and technical support please visit the Resources page for datasheets and manuals.