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Could Dust and Water curb the Solar momentum in India – Problems & Possible Solutions

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Maintenance of Solar Panels in India

India is approaching on an aggressive solar path, with the country aiming to install 100 GW of solar power by 2022. Tenders are being taken out frequently for new solar projects and the government is not leaving any stone unturned to boost solar growth in the country. Some states in India like Rajasthan and Gujarat have already crossed the 1 GW mark of solar installations. One of the main reasons for this massive growth is the reduction in the cost of installation.

Solar tariffs are continuously declining and has also reached parity with the commercial tariffs in states like Maharashtra. States are aggressively installing solar power to help India become more energy efficient. However India being a huge country has diverse ecology and climatic conditions. The hot and humid weather conditions, dust particles etc pose a problem to the working of these solar panels. As such cleaning of these panels are required at regular intervals, to ensure proper working and deliver expected efficiencies.

Read about Solar Panel Cleaning Companies & Costs.

The cost of cleaning a solar panel depends upon:

  • Location of the Building
  • Number of Panels
  • Location of panels on the Premises
  • Availability of water.

So it is very obvious that a considerable amount of water will be required for cleaning the panels. Some parts of country like Andhra Pradesh can do with cleaning process once a month, however other states like Rajasthan and Gujarat require cleaning every two weeks because of dry sand there. These cost can range between ~INR 2-4 per module.

Not only is a considerable amount of water involved in cleaning, but according to industry experts the hardness of water ie amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water could also harm the solar panels. Hence distillated water is a better option to clean these panels. It is estimated that approximately 4 litres of water will be required to clean just one panel. That is a lot of water especially in a country like India, which suffers from water crisis.

The temperatures in India are too high and the humid climate also prevents the panels from performing at their expected efficiency levels. First Solar therefore became popular in India, because it’s thin film modules are designed to suit India’s climate. Other concerns like absence of trained professionals to perform the task, types of dust particles etc are also posing hindrance to proper maintenance of these solar panels.

Solution to Solar panel cleaning

It is very important to bring in trained professionals who should carry on this cleaning task. Automated cleaning service is also available these days, to avoid labor cost by placing spray nozzles on each panel. Moreover dust resistance glass should be used by manufacturers to address this growing issue in the fast growing solar market in India. It could cost more to the manufacturers now, but I think it will offer a further upside to the customers in the long run, who could later save on costs.


Similarly self cleaning hydrophobic nano coating technique could also be used to prevent dust from accumulating on the panels. It is high time for the manufacturers to realise the need of the Indian market and address these issues now before it is too late.

Industry experts fear that the operational costs may rise because of all the factors listed above and with the solar tariffs declining, it could pose a threat to the profitability of these projects. Some of the companies offering cleaning services in India are Fourth Partner, Servotech Power, JJ Solar, Unger India Pvt Ltd etc.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

6 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Vinay Sood

    I fully agree with contents, and not only panel manufacturers and installers but govt should also think towards this. Moreover for large size plants where water requirment would be huge, recycling of water and rain water harvesting should be made compulsory. This way we would be able to reduce some water loss.

  2. jcbidani

    awater chaos in the offing ask me solar solutions and sustainable business models 9313257211

  3. Sneha Shah

    Well said jcbidani

  4. Ravi

    40w,50w,100w,150w,200w,250w and 300w module of best rate ?

  5. Deepak Poche

    Dear Sneha, We deal in Super Hydrophobic Coat chemical, Had Very Good results, Still many Installers and Farm Owners not realized expected mess up in PV Panel Cleaning and Its Effect on Return on Investment. Deepak Poche, 93240 12933