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Solar Panel Cleaning Sydney

Last updated on June 28, 2022

6.66 KW SOLAR PV SYSTEM SUPPLY AND INSTALL


How to clean my solar panels?

There are only three ways in which solar panels can be cleaned: cleaning the solar panels yourself, installing a solar panel system that is self-cleaning, or hiring a professional cleaner.

➡️ Although it’s tedious, you can clean your solar panels yourself. All you need is water (a lot of it), soft cloth or a sponge and mild soap. 

For solar panels that are mounted on rooftops, you need a ladder, helmet, safety belts and any other equipment that is required for climbing high and steep roofs. 

The cleaning process is quite simple, where you need to gently rub the solar panels with a wet cloth or sponge while ensuring that you do not scratch or cause damage to them. 

Lastly, rinse with clean water till you are satisfied that they’re sparkling clean and dry off the water.

➡️ Install a solar panel system that is self-cleaning. This method uses very little electrical energy and can clean 90% of dust particles. 

A self-cleaning system cleans the panels automatically and ensures efficient energy output at all times. It saves you time, and you do not have to worry about whether your solar panel is clean.

➡️ Hire professional cleaners.

This is the method that I would recommend, because it is quite affordable and you are guaranteed value for your money. When you hire professional cleaners you do not have to worry about damaging your panel or falling from the rooftop.

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Why should I hire a professional solar panel cleaner?

1. Satisfying results

You can get the best results when hiring experts who are skilled and specialised in cleaning solar panels . 

Practice makes perfect, so remember to go for experienced cleaning companies who have been in business long enough. Such companies would care about customer reviews and recommendations, which can only be achieved through providing good service and satisfying results.

2. Time saving

Professional cleaners will be faster than you at cleaning panels, as this is their everyday work. If you choose to perform the cleaning yourself, you’ll spend a substantial amount of time which you could’ve spent doing something more useful or even just relaxing.

3. Better equipped

Panels mounted on the rooftops can be a bit tricky to clean and therefore need skilled personnel. 

You should not risk your life, because in case of an accident you run the risk of injury, lifetime disability, or even loss of life in the worst case.

4. No damage risk

Professional cleaners are people who understand their job well, and you can rest assured that they will not damage your solar panel system. 

Solar panels are an expensive investment, and if you are not sure how to clean them, it’s better to hire a cleaning company.

Why is it important to clean my solar panels? 

Credit: RPS Solar Pumps
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1. Performance improvement

A clean solar panel is able to absorb more light, which allows you to enjoy the full potential of your solar panel energy output. Studies show that people who regularly clean their solar panels have a 25% higher efficiency than those who do not.

2. Extended lifespan

If solar panels are not cleaned, they will get damaged and degrade more quickly than their expected lifetime.

3. Safeguarding your warranty

Most solar panel manufacturers and installation companies have stated regular cleaning as a requirement for benefitting from the warranty. 

4. Unreliability of rain water 

Rainwater will certainly wash away dust on your panels, but some dirt like bird droppings and grease can only be cleaned manually using soapy water and a soft brush.

The angle at which the solar panel is mounted determines how well the rain will clean it. In addition, rain is seasonal and you cannot always count on the rains to have a clean solar panel. 

Research shows heavy rainfall of at least 20mm is needed to clean solar panels, but light rainfall can cause dirt and soil to build up on the panels instead.

5. Minimal maintenance and repair

Cleaning is one way to maintain a solar panel, where a frequently cleaned solar panel requires minimal maintenance and repair. While cleaning, you also get to inspect the condition of your panels and detect any issues.

6. Return on investment

Solar panels are quite expensive to install, and you only get a return on investment after several years. However, if your solar panel system is not frequently cleaned you may never get a return on investment due to the constant need for repair and shorter life span.

Effects of not cleaning solar panels

➡️ Low energy output as the light cannot be absorbed well when the panels are dirty and dusty.

➡️ Frequent need for repair which translates to low return on investment.

➡️ Shorter life span, where studies show that solar panels which are not regularly cleaned degrade faster than expected.

➡️ Warranty loss, since you are not guaranteed warranty cover from solar panel companies and manufacturers in case of damage due to a lack of cleaning.

How often should I clean my solar panel in Sydney?

Many solar panel companies and experts recommend that you clean your panels once or twice a year. However, if your solar output is low you can always clean the panel more frequently to improve its efficiency. 

You may also be required to clean your panel more regularly if you are in a location where the levels of dirt and dust are higher.

Ground mounted panels are quite easy to clean, and because of their proximity you can tell when they require some cleaning. 

However, the goal is to keep your panels clean so there is no mandatory time for cleaning them. 

Even those panels that are mounted on the rooftops can be checked regularly for dirt, so you can clean them when needed. However, remembering to do it once or twice a year is good enough.

During the rainy season, there is no need to clean the panels, because most of the dirt gets washed away unless you require thorough cleaning to get rid of dirt such as grease that requires water and soap.

The cost of cleaning solar panels in Sydney

Cleaning solar panels does not have to be expensive, you can do it all yourself if you have the time and ability. 

However, solar panels on rooftops require a professional panel cleaner with the necessary equipment because any related accident can be fatal.

There are various companies in the business of solar panel cleaning in Sydney. Family and friends can recommend companies that are professional yet affordable or better still you can search on the internet for companies with good reviews.

The average cost of cleaning a single solar panel unit is around $3 to $12. However, some companies charge a flat rate that ranges from $150 to $450. The charges could be lower or higher depending on a number of factors :

➡️ Height and steepness on which the solar panel is mounted

Solar panels mounted on steep rooftops are more expensive to clean than those that are mounted on the ground. The higher and steeper the solar panels are mounted, the higher the cost of cleaning.

➡️ Distance from the cleaning company

The cleaning company’s charges also depend on the location of the property the solar panels are on and how accessible it is. We advise you to seek the services of a company that is close to your location.

➡️ Condition of the solar panel

Frequently cleaned solar panels are cheaper to clean than those that have not been cleaned for long.

➡️ Number of solar panel units

The price of cleaning a single unit differs from that of cleaning many solar panels.

➡️ Customer discounts

Most solar panel cleaning companies provide a discount to regular customers who frequently seek their services.

Frequently Asked Question

Q. Is cleaning solar panels really necessary?

Yes, a clean solar panel is able to absorb light better which means you get higher electricity output.

Q. Is it cheaper to clean solar panels by yourself? 

Yes and no, cleaning solar panels is a tedious time-consuming activity. Solar panels located on rooftops require safety equipment and skilled personnel, therefore you should carefully consider your options.

Q. Why do I need to clean my solar panel even after the rain?

Light rainfall worsens the panel condition by soiling and staining them. While heavy rainfall of about 20mm and above will certainly clean dust, it cannot clean grease or birds dropping.

Q. How much do solar cleaning companies charge?

Most cleaning companies in Sydney charge between $3 to $12 per solar panel. 

The charges may vary depending on the size of the panel, the number of panels, the distance on which the panels are located and how long the panels have stayed without cleaning.

Q. At what time interval the solar panels should be cleaned?

Most solar panel manufacturers and sellers recommend that panels be cleaned once or twice a year. If your panels are in a dusty area, we recommend that you consider cleaning them more often. 

Conclusion

While wind and rain will wash away dust and dirt on the solar panels, they won’t be as effective as cleaning them manually.

The solar energy output degrades after prolonged periods of dust and dirt accumulation on the solar panel, so I would recommend regular cleaning especially if located in dusty areas or places where there are lots of birds.

Gaurav Sharma

At E-Green Electrical , Gaurav writes about Electrical energy, Solar energy, Energy conservation and electrical product reviews. He is most interested in how we can utilize technology and renewable resources to reduce energy consumption , prevent pollution and save money at the same time.

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