Cleaning panels gives you a chance to also check and maintain –
Solar panels are exposed to the elements and the environment. storms, birds defecating, possums chewing and other wildlife interference can not only reduce output but also make your solar system dangerous. Getting a qualified team out to clean your panels also offers the chance for trained professionals to look over your roof top system and check it for damage or in-efficiencies.
You shouldn’t clean panels with chemicals –
Firstly, check with the panel manufacturer on what their recommendations are and check their warranties. Next, only get solar panels cleaned in the morning of late in the afternoon – solar panels will get really hot during the day and any water will dry too quickly and form a dirty film. Cleaning when its cooler means that the panels have a chance to be wiped off before the heat dries the murky water. Now in regards to chemicals, our installers only use warm water, a special biodegradable detergent and a sponge designed to mount to a telescopic pole.
Solar panels are effected by a build-up of dirt, dust and other contaminates.
As panels get dirtier, their output declines.
Solar panels need to be cleaned -
There is an age old debate that solar panels are self-cleaning. This needs to be cleared up in
the first point as although the panels are usually mounted on an angle and are exposed to rainfall, the rainwater is not enough (and is often contaminated with its own impurities) to clean off a solar panel. Take your car windscreen for example; if it wasn’t for the mechanical cleaning properties of your wiper blades, the rain water alone would not be enough to clean your windscreen and
you’d have an unsafe build-up of grime and dirt to try and look through.
Solar panel cleaning is not an easy DIY job –
Solar panels are usually mounted on roof tops. Roof tops are not easily accessible
and compounding to this, panels will usually be taking up vast amounts of the internal area of a roof, leaving no safe place to walk away from the edge and a drop. The risk of falling is increased when the roof gets wet during the cleaning process and then
Solar panel cleaning carries a risk of electrocution –
That’s right! Although all due care is taken and legal requirements stipulate that installations have to conform to certain levels of safety, exposed live wires from a sub-standard install or wires that have been pecked at by birds present another avenue of electrocution. Solar cells within the panels are protected by layers of glass. If the
glass is broken and water enters into the working of the solar panel, lethal electrocution is a real risk. We recommend NOT cleaning your panels with a pressure washer, forcing undue moisture into the panels many layers will not aid in maintaining panel longevity and in some manufacturer’s cases, will void the warranty on your panels.
Solar panels near main roads are the dirtiest –
We’ve found that solar systems on roofs close to main arterial roads or railways offer have a higher decrease in efficiency due to road and rail grime building up on the panel surface quicker. Likewise, installations in rural areas like chicken farms or near grain silos also have a habit of decreased efficiency due to extraction fans, dust and drought conditions allowing more debris onto your rooftop.
It’s still worth cleaning panels in time for winter –
Your energy output will automatically fall during the cooler winter months
due to shorter days and more cloud cover. In Australia though, our winters are not as harsh and generally have a large percentage
of sunny days. Solar panels will always be more efficient on cold sunny days, over warm sunny days do to temperatures altering efficiency. Keeping your panels clean during winter will mean that you can harness the cooler sunny days and even though they are shorter, you'll get stronger output.
Solar Cleaning Facts
10 facts and Myths about Solar Panels.