Impact of sea salt on solar panels

A place for consumers who are looking to or have bought a solar system, to ask questions about products, technology, installations, and any other advice you might need.

Can you advise me on the impact of sea salt on solar panels. Do I need to be concerned about impacts on efficiency? What about the longevity of the actual units, is this of concern where they are likely to be impacted by sea salt/spray?

Thanks in advance.

Good question Jim.

Regarding efficiency, what will affect that in this case is the amount of sunlight hitting the solar cells. A build up of salt on the glass of your panels will reduce the amount of light getting through, so as in any areas where you have risk of dirt, leaves, smog or other substances building up on your panels, you should be hosing your panels down regularly, and giving them a proper clean annually or as needed.

Regarding corrosion, as you will know if you are living by the sea, salt likes to eat away at metals and other substances. However, most quality panels should meet IEC 61701 standards for corrosion resistance, and say something like “Salt mist corrosion resistance” on their data sheet.

Some other community members living by the sea might have more first hand experience on this.

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Hey Jim

I agree 100% with Marty, the best thing would be to keep your panels clean, as you would in any location not just near the sea.
Quality Panels are rates to handle the salt spray, and so are Quality mounting Systems.

The main 3 concerns i would point out though,

1: Watch the other products your installer uses, products such as standard saddles and your conduits, and screws to mount things will rust away in just a few years and i have seen this on many jobs.

2: The Bolts and Brackets on your rooftop solar system will oxidise and become seized, making it next to impossible to save the parts if you ever need to lift a panel for any reason.

3: Your inverter should be as protected as possible from the salt environment, although nearly all of them are rated higher than IP63 which covers water spray, the salt environment is harsher. But again as you would in any location, try and choose the most viable and most protected location for your inverter.

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Jinko Tiger Pro is the first panel to pass the latest IEC salt mist corrosion standard.