How To Best Clean The Ring Solar Panel

You need to keep your ring solar panel clean in order for it to be able to generate enough electricity to power your devices. A solar panel that’s covered in grime and debris can quickly start to lose its ability to generate electricity. However, what’s the best way to clean a solar panel?

The best way to clean a Ring solar panel is to gently wipe it down with a dry microfiber cloth. If there is stubborn grime on your solar panel, you can use glass cleaner or a small amount of water to help get it clean. Avoid using detergents, harsh cleaning chemicals, or any more water than would come rainfall when cleaning your Ring solar panel.

Let’s shed some light onto the best way to clean a Ring solar panel.

What Is The Ring Solar Panel?

A marketing image of the Ring Solar Panel
A marketing image of the Ring Solar Panel

The Ring solar panel is an external power source for Ring’s smart cameras. This is an excellent choice for individuals who are tired of having to uninstall their cameras just to recharge them or replace batteries. This also gives your smart home a little more resilience when it comes to how you power your devices.

Ring states that you get the best performance out of the solar panel when it has access to sunlight for 3 to 4 hours a day. This is an incredibly reasonable amount of time even for individuals who live in cloudy climates that don’t necessarily have sunny days.

This is an optional accessory so you’ll have to pick it up in addition to any cameras or kits you purchase.

Which Ring Devices Can Use The Ring Solar Panel?

Here’s where things get a little picky. The Ring solar panel only works with a few Ring devices. It’s a limited number of devices given Ring’s otherwise impressive catalog of smart tech:

Which Ring products supports the Ring Solar Panel
Which Ring products supports the Ring Solar Panel

The Ring solar panel works with the Ring Spotlight Cam. This is pretty good coverage, but there is one device where the solar panel can be hit or miss.

However, the Ring solar panel only works with second and third generation Ring Stick Up Cam. If you have a first-generation ring stick up cam, the solar panel simply won’t work.

How Does The Ring Solar Panel Work?

The Ring solar panel works like any other solar energy source. This uses photovoltaic cells that get an electric charge when they’re hit with some light. This solar panel uses that electric charge to power up the battery inside of your Ring camera.

Because Ring cameras use so little electricity, the solar panel is more than enough to keep them powered up. After it’s been properly installed and positioned, each solar panel should provide enough electricity to keep your camera powered up indefinitely.

Why You Need To Clean Your Ring Solar Panel

You need to make sure that your Ring solar panel stays clean in order to get the best use out of it. Your solar panel will have a harder time generating electricity as more dirt, grime, and other junk starts to build up.

All of that grime on your solar panel will prevent sunlight from reaching the PV cells that make up the panel. This will start to cut off the amount of power your solar panel generates. The biggest problem here is that solar panels have a diminishing return when they start to get covered up.

The dirt building up on your solar panel might be hard to see with the naked eye. It could match the dark color of the PV cells or it could be clear to the eye, but blocking wavelengths of solar light that power up your panel. This is why a regular cleaning is a good call when it comes to solar panels in general.

How To Clean The Ring Solar Panel

Various microfiber clothes
Various microfiber clothes

There’s a lot of debate and misinformation about cleaning your Ring solar panel. Let’s clear things up so you can keep your solar panels clean.

Ring’s solar panels aren’t built to the same standards as the solar panels on the roof of your house. Those are much more sturdy and designed to be cleaned with soft bristle brushes, water jets from hoses, and mild detergents. Ring’s solar panels are smaller and need a gentler touch.

To clean your Ring solar panels, you need to first assess the type of dirt and debris that is on your panel. This is because you want to use the most basic method to clean your solar panel. The best way to clean a Ring solar panel is to do minimal cleaning.

If you can get all of the debris off of your ring solar panel using just a soft bristle painting brush, that’s a great way to keep it obstruction free. A dry microfiber cloth can also be a great choice for a quick cleaning on your solar panel.

Ring’s solar panels aren’t waterproof. They’re designed to stand up to rain, but a water jet from a hose or a sopping wet sponge might be more water than this device is designed to stand up to. With that said, a dry microfiber cloth can be a great way to get rid of some stubborn debris.

Now let’s talk about one of the bigger controversies for cleaning the Ring solar panel. Yes, you can use glass cleaner on these photovoltaic cells. One or two sprays from the bottle at a time won’t do any damage to this Ring device.

Problems With Cleaning The Ring Solar Panel

There are some problems that arise with cleaning the Ring solar panel. Most of these have to do with improper cleaning methods, so the advice we give above will keep your solar panel safe. Here’s a few things to avoid and keep in mind while cleaning the solar panel:

  • You want to use minimal water while cleaning this solar panel. It can be surprisingly easy to accidentally water damage this solar panel if you try and simply hose it down or use too much water to try to clean it. Anything heavier than rainfall can jeopardize the water sealing on this device.
  • You also want to avoid using harsh detergents. Your bigger solar panels can stand up to mild detergents, these smaller solar panels just aren’t built to handle soaps. Certain cleaning solutions can also eat away at the water sealing which can cause you more problems down the road.
  • The best choice of cleaning solution is simply one or two sprays of glass cleaner directly onto the photovoltaic cells. If you need to clean the housing on the device, you can use warm water in a microfiber cloth to handle most grime and debris.
  • You also need to be a little careful while you’re cleaning your Ring solar panel. We’ve heard more than one story of someone who is scrubbing a little too hard and accidentally knocked the Ring solar panel off of the base.

    This can be particularly dangerous because your solar panel is physically screwed into your Ring camera. This means that knocking the solar panel down can cause the camera to come down or even cause the power cord to snap.
About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

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