Rain-X is the ‘go-to’ water repellant for many vehicle owners. Put some of this on your vehicle’s windows, and you will be able to watch those beads of rain just bounce off.
A lot of people do ask the question ‘can you use Rain X on solar panels?’.
It seems quite logical to do so. After all, you don’t want your solar panel to be covered in rain. It would make it a whole lot less effective.
On this page, we are going to discuss the following:
- Whether you can use Rain-X on your solar panels
- Why you can or can’t use Rain-X on your solar panels
- Whether it is worth the risk to use Rain-X on your solar panels
If you own solar panels, this is information that you absolutely must know. Read on to find out more.
Can you use Rain-X on solar panels?
The company behind Rain-X recommends that you do not use Rain-X on your solar panels. In fact, they are so insistent that you do not use Rain-X on your solar panels that they have dedicated an entire page of their website to it.
That being said, some solar panel owners do use Rain-X on their solar panels. They haven’t noticed any issues using it.
Although, we would say that if you do use Rain-X on your solar panels, you are going to be taking a huge risk. We will talk about that shortly, though.
Why can’t you use Rain-X on solar panels?
It is likely that the team at Rain-X hasn’t tested their product on solar panels. Since they haven’t tested their product on solar panels, they can’t say whether it can or will work.
In fact, they don’t even know whether it will cause damage to the solar panel.
Now, most quality solar panels are going to have a tempered glass layer. This tempered glass is going to be much the same as the glass on the other parts of your vehicle.
So, in theory, Rain-X would work on it. We already know that Rain-X is going to work on your vehicle’s windows, after all.
The problem is that not all solar panels are made in the same way. This means that not all solar panels are going to have that tempered glass top.
For some of the cheaper solar panels, there may be no protective top at all. Obviously, you don’t want to be spraying Rain-X onto something that isn’t glass.
If you did that, then you would be running the risk of damaging your solar panel.
So, the team behind Rain-X can’t just issue a blanket statement saying that their product can be used on solar panels, because it can’t.
Secondly, you also have to remember that solar panels are only going to work if they are 100% waterproof.
If you look at your solar panels, there will be a sealant trying to prevent water from getting into the internals and ruining the solar panel. If this sealant fails, then you can pretty much kiss goodbye to your solar panel.
Rain-X has not been tested on all of the sealants that can be used in solar panels. This means that the company behind Rain-X cannot guarantee it won’t hurt the sealant, ultimately ruining your solar panel.
Is it worth the risk to use Rain-X on your solar panels?
It is not worth the risk to use Rain-X on your solar panels.
Now, we have seen plenty of people that own solar panels claim that Rain-X works perfectly well for them. That is brilliant!
However, since Rain-X is quite explicit in stating that you shouldn’t use Rain-X on your solar panels, we are going to listen to them.
To be honest, we don’t really see a huge amount of benefit using Rain-X.
During a rainstorm, your solar panel is not going to be working as effectively as it could be anyway. Having the beads of rain bounce off quickly isn’t really going to be improving the efficiency of your solar panel all that much.
It would be better just to wait for that rain to clear and then give your solar panels a decent wipedown.
As we said before, there is also a decent chance that it could destroy the sealant on your solar panel. This isn’t really a risk that we would want to take ourselves. After all, solar panels are exceedingly expensive to replace.
You could always test out Rain-X on your solar panels if you really want. However, we honestly don’t see all that much benefit in using it.
Some people claim that it helps to prevent dust from sticking to the solar panel. However, there are plenty of other ways to keep that dust at bay.
There is no sense in using a product that could potentially destroy your solar panels on them.
What alternatives are there to Rain-X for solar panels?
In most cases, you aren’t really going to need an alternative to Rain-X. Most solar panels have been designed to be used outside. They can cope with a whole host of extreme conditions. A small amount of rain probably isn’t going to impact them all that much. Still, if you want to squeeze every last bit of efficiency from your solar panel, there are a few things that you can do.
Angle your solar panels to Shed the water
The easiest way to ensure that water doesn’t pool on your solar panel is to set them at an angle.
If your solar panel is set at an angle, then the rainwater will just slide down and fall off. There may be some beads of rain that stay stuck to the solar panel.
However, they should be easy to deal with once the rain has stopped. Just use a lint-free cloth to wipe them away.
Nowadays, most solar panels will be designed in such a way that water can’t pool on the frame. For example, some Panasonic solar panels have drainage channels built into them.
Of course, you will need to angle your solar panel to ensure that the drainage system works properly.
You can also use methacrylate to protect your solar panels during the rain. However, do bear in mind that methacrylate is going to lower the efficiency of your solar panels ever so slightly.
This is because the sun has that extra layer to travel through. Still, it is unlikely to lower the efficiency as much as puddles of rain.
Methacrylate is just a plastic covering for your solar panels. Rainwater tends to fall off methacrylate fairly well, particularly if you put it at an angle.
With a methacrylate covering, water shouldn’t be touching your solar panel at all. This means that you don’t have to worry about the electronics being ruined.
If you really want, you will be able to spray Rain-X onto the methacrylate. Although, we don’t really see all that much benefit in doing so.
Use Rain X or not?
It is not recommended that you use Rain-X on solar panels. We know that some people use Rain-X on their solar panels without any issues.
However, you would be taking a massive risk. It would be better just to manually wipe down the solar panels after a storm.
At least that way you won’t have to worry about the Rain-X potentially breaking the waterproof seal on the frame of your solar panels.