Always use non abrasive cleansers on your solar panels. An abrasive cleaner can scratch the surface of the panel and cause permanent damage and affect how well the solar panel works. There are commercial cleaning solutions to use or you can use a pool skimmer with a very soft cloth on it.
You can dip your toes in the solar energy waters by simply installing a solar powered whole house fan. A solar powered attic fan turns on automatically when it becomes too warm. You'll reduce the cost of cooling your home by having this solar-powered attic fan remove hot air from your home. Additionally, as it is solar powered, your power bill will go down, not up.
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Once you have solar energy panels installed on your home, make sure that you keep them clean. Many people do not realize a cleaner panel will attract more of the sun's energy. Depending on the area you live in, you should wash your panels every two to four weeks or so.