Did you know that Australia is one of the leading countries in the world regarding the adoption of solar energy? It has the highest uptake of solar globally, with around 30% of homes with rooftop solar PV. The country has abundant sunshine, which makes it an ideal location for solar power generation. A home solar PV system installation costs thousands of dollars, but it pays its cost over time.
Thus, with increasing demand and mass production, many homeowners and businesses are gradually adopting the system! However, to maintain the efficiency and longevity of solar panels, it is essential to keep them clean. In this blog, we will explore the basics of solar panel cleaning in detail. Read on to find out more!
Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?
Solar panels play a vital role in harnessing the power of the sun to generate clean and renewable energy. However, they can accumulate dirt, dust, pollen, bird droppings, and other debris over time. It raises an important question: do solar panels need cleaning? The answer is a resounding yes, and we’ll tell you why:
Maximising Energy Efficiency:
Clean solar panels operate at their maximum efficiency. Accumulated dirt and debris on the panels can block sunlight, reducing their ability to generate electricity. Regular cleaning ensures optimal sunlight absorption and energy production.
Solar panels are a long-term investment; proper maintenance ensures longevity. Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of grime that can damage the surface of the panels and lead to costly repairs or replacements.
Enhancing Financial Returns:
Clean solar panels produce more energy, translating into greater financial returns. Removing dirt and debris maximises the electricity output and earns more through net metering or feed-in tariffs.
The Effect Of Neglecting Solar Panel Cleaning
While solar panels are durable and low-maintenance, neglecting their cleaning needs whether it be residential or commercial solar cleaning, it can have several adverse effects. Here’s a look at the potential consequences of not cleaning solar panels:
Reduced Energy Output:
The accumulated dirt, dust, and debris on solar panels create a barrier between the sun and the photovoltaic cells. It obstructs the absorption of sunlight and diminishes the panels’ energy-generating capacity. Over time, the lack of cleaning can significantly decrease the overall energy output of the solar system.
Dirty solar panels operate at a lower efficiency level. The reduced sunlight penetration leads to a decrease in solar energy conversion into usable electricity. More panels might be required to achieve the desired energy production, resulting in additional costs and wasted potential.
Potential System Damage:
Neglected cleaning can accumulate stubborn dirt, grime, and bird droppings on solar panels. These elements can corrode the panel surfaces, causing long-term damage. If left unattended, the deterioration may require expensive repairs or even replacement of the affected panels.
How To Clean Solar Panels? A Step-By-Step Guide
Let’s find out how to clean solar panels. Cleaning solar panels may seem daunting, but it can be a straightforward task with the right approach. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you clean your solar panels effectively:
- While cleaning solar panels, it’s crucial to turn off the solar panel system. Ensure the panels are not hot to the touch.
- Use a stable ladder or scaffold to access the panels safely.
- Wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and non-slip footwear.
Gather Your Tools:
- Soft-bristle brush or sponge – Choose a brush with nylon bristles to avoid scratching the panels.
- Hose or bucket of water – Use clean water to rinse off the panels.
Clean With Water:
- Wet the brush or sponge with water and clean the panels using gentle, circular motions.
- Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that can damage the panels’ surface.
- Rinse the panels with clean water from a hose or bucket to remove any remaining dirt or cleaning residue.
- Ensure all soap or detergent washes away.
- Allow the panels to air-dry naturally, preferably in direct sunlight. It is also one of the best ways to clean solar panels.
- Avoid wiping the panels with towels or cloths, as they can leave behind lint or scratches.
DIY Cleaning Tips For Australian Residents
How to Clean Solar Panels in Australia? We have some interesting DIY tips for you! Cleaning solar panels at home in Australia is a simple task that can help maximise energy production. Here are some DIY cleaning tips specifically tailored for Australian residents:
Timing Is Key
If you are pondering how to Clean solar panels in Australia, start by choosing a cool day or early morning to clean the panels, as direct sunlight can cause cleaning solutions to dry quickly, leaving residue behind.
Gather supplies for soft-bristle brush or sponge for DIY cleaning. Opt for a brush with nylon bristles to avoid scratching the panels. You can also use a bucket of clean water for rinsing.
Solar Panel Cleaning: Do’s And Don’ts For Optimal Results
Following certain dos and don’ts for solar panel cleaning is essential. The following are some of the key guidelines to keep in mind:
- Do Clean Regularly: Practice a regular cleaning schedule to maintain the efficiency of your solar panels. Cleaning every 3 to 6 months is generally recommended, or more frequently if you live in a dusty or high-pollution area.
- Do Check Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning recommendations and any products to avoid. Manufacturers often provide valuable insights into the best cleaning practices for their panels.
- Do Use Soft-Bristle Brushes or Sponges: Opt for soft-bristle brushes or sponges with nylon bristles to avoid scratching the panel surface. It is also one of the best ways to clean solar panels. Gentle cleaning tools are effective in removing dirt without causing damage.
- Don’t Use Abrasive Materials: Avoid using abrasive materials such as steel wool or harsh chemicals that can scratch or damage the solar panel surface. Stick to gentle cleaning tools and non-abrasive cleaning solutions.
- Don’t Clean in Extreme Temperatures: Avoid cleaning solar panels during direct sunlight. Cleaning solutions may dry quickly, leaving behind residue. Choose cooler times of the day or early mornings for cleaning.
- Don’t Use Pressure Washers: Pressure washers may produce strong jets of water that can damage the solar panels or their electrical connections. Stick to using a regular hose or bucket of water for rinsing.
When To Call In The Professionals: Solar Panel Cleaning
While cleaning solar panels can be done as a DIY task, there are instances where it’s best to call in professional solar panel cleaners. Here are key scenarios when you need professional assistance:
Time Constraints Or Inconvenience
Hiring professionals can save you time and effort and is one of the best ways to clean solar panels. If you have a busy schedule or prefer to avoid the hassle of cleaning the solar panels yourself, consider hiring experts. They can efficiently clean the panels, allowing you to focus on other priorities.
Cleaning Systems With Large-Scale Installations
Hiring professional solar panel cleaners is crucial for commercial or large-scale solar installations. They have the expertise and equipment to handle complex systems and thoroughly clean many panels.
Remember, professional solar panel cleaners have the knowledge and experience to clean panels effectively and safely. They can provide comprehensive cleaning services, addressing specific needs and ensuring the optimal performance of your solar energy system.
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Panel Cleaning
The frequency of solar panel cleaning depends on numerous factors, like the local climate, surrounding environment, panel tilt, etc. It is crucial to clean solar panels at least once or twice a year. However, more frequent cleaning may be necessary in dusty or highly polluted areas to maintain optimal performance.
A non-abrasive, non-detergent cleaning solution and a soft brush or sponge are best to ensure safe and effective cleaning. Avoid harsh chemicals, abrasive materials, or high-pressure washers, as they can damage the panels and protective coatings. If unsure, seeking professional assistance from a solar panel cleaning company like Exterior Clean Melbourne is advisable.
It is worth investing in professional solar panel cleaning for several reasons. Regular cleaning helps maintain the efficiency and performance of your solar panels, maximising their energy production and saving you money in the long run. Additionally, people look for professional ‘solar panel cleaners near me’ as they have the expertise and equipment to safely and effectively clean the panels, reducing the risk of damage.
Turning off your solar panels during cleaning is primarily a safety precaution. Solar panels produce electricity when exposed to sunlight, and cleaning them while they are generating power can pose a risk of electric shock. Proper safety procedures and guidelines recommended by your solar panel manufacturer or a professional high pressure cleaning service are essential.
With Exterior Clean Melbourne, you can seize your search for ‘solar panel cleaners near me’, as we are committed to providing efficient and safe solar panel cleaning services. Please get in touch with our team for further inquiries or to schedule a cleaning appointment.
Regular cleaning of solar panels is crucial for maximising energy production and maintaining efficiency. Solar panels can absorb more sunlight and generate electricity by removing dirt, debris, and other obstructions. Also, proper cleaning helps prolong the panels’ lifespan and ensures compliance with warranty requirements.
While DIY cleaning is possible, following safety guidelines and considering professional assistance for challenging situations is important. Choose to clean them yourself or seek professional help from expert cleaners of Exterior Clean Melbourne for the best results. Prioritising the cleanliness of your solar panels will contribute to optimal performance. Still searching for a ‘solar panel cleaning service near me?’ Contact our experts today!