Your solar panels and how the ocean impacts them

Solar Panels and the ocean

As residents of the greater Sacramento area, California, we are fortunate to live close to the great, majestic Pacific Ocean. We get to surf, sail, and swim, and we benefit from mild coastal weather all year round. We also have plenty of salt in the air, especially in areas closer to the coast.

What does salty sea air do to solar panels? Not good things, that’s what. To make the most of your solar panels in Sacramento, you need to know exactly what effects the salty air is having on your solar panels so that you can combat them.

Salty film

Over time, a salty film can build up on your solar panels. This blocks the light and causes your panels not to produce as much electricity. Just like dirt and grime, a salty film makes it hard for light to shine through. If you can see light reflecting off your solar panels, you are not functioning at maximum capacity. When you look at your solar panels, they should look dark because they should be absorbing as much light as possible, not reflecting it off into your eyes. Salt is worse, in fact than dirt in this respect because salt is tiny crystals, which create a hard microscopic lattice surface over your solar panels unless scrubbed away. While dust might wash off fairly easily in the rain, salt is not as easy to get rid of. You need to have your solar panels professionally washed at least every six months to scrub off any salt deposits and ensure your solar panels continue working as they should.


Salt is very corrosive. If you let salt sit on your solar panels, it can corrode the protective frame around the panels. This can cause water to leak into the panels, which can cause injury the next time you mess with them or have them cleaned. Water can also cause the panels to short out and stop working. To prevent salt in the air from corroding the metal parts on your solar panels, have them cleaned regularly by a professional cleaner such as Shine Up Solar.

How frequently should I have my solar panels cleaned if I live close to the ocean?

At Shine Up Solar, we recommend that you have your solar panels cleaned every six months. However, we also know that every home or business situation is unique. You may need your solar panels cleaned more frequently to prevent damage from the salty air. When you give us a call, we will give you a free evaluation to let you know what we recommend to best protect your solar panels from salt damage. Give us a call today at 888-560-6669!