The Dos & Don’ts for Solar Panel Cleaning

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Australia is fortunate to have abundant sunlight in most regions, making it an ideal country for solar energy production. By installing solar panels at home, homeowners can significantly reduce their electricity bills and help to reduce their environmental impact.

However, if you want to maximise the benefits of solar energy, solar panel cleaning is important. Even the best solar panels in Melbourne will need timely cleaning and maintenance to achieve optimal performance.

First, we take a look at the benefits of installing solar panels.

● Reduces electricity costs: Generating electricity through solar panels reduces your dependence on the power grid for energy consumption, thus resulting in reduced monthly power bills.

● Reduces carbon footprint: Installing solar panels at home has environmental benefits. It is a clean and renewable energy source since no toxic gases are released in generating solar power.

● Increases market value of the property: Having solar panels at home is usually a sign of long-term energy savings. Prospective home buyers may appreciate this fact, thus increasing your property’s market value.

All these benefits can only be availed when the solar panel installation is done properly. The right way to install solar panels is to position them at a certain angle. This ensures the panels get the most of the sunlight, and the little amount of tilt also takes care of solar cleaning.

The best way to clean solar panels naturally is by utilising rainfall. The slight tilt of the solar panels ensures that rainwater runs across the surface and self-cleans the panels. But this method cannot always be relied upon, especially during periods of prolonged droughts or in locations prone to accumulation of dust build-up, bird droppings, or fallen leaves.

Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?

To generate solar electricity efficiently, you need clean solar panels. Your solar panels need direct exposure to sunlight to generate electricity. The accumulation of dust, debris, fallen leaves and bird droppings can cover up the surface and become an obstruction in the solar power generation process.

Solar panel cleaning is especially needed if your solar panels are installed close to deciduous trees. They are likely to experience fallen leaves more frequently and have higher chances of bird droppings.

Cleaning solar panels also becomes important if your home is close to a construction site or busy highways. Both such areas will be exposed to an increased level of dust and air pollution, which can leave a higher amount of airborne debris on the panels.

Also, residential properties located close to the sea or the ocean can expect a layer of marine residue on the panels.

All of the scenarios mentioned above could impact the amount of electricity generated by these solar panels. Solar panels need a direct view of the sun without any obstruction caused by dirt or debris. Hence, a vital part of solar panel maintenance is regular cleaning of the panels every six months.

The Dos of Solar Panel Cleaning

1. Safety First

Are you considering cleaning solar panels DIY? Then, the first thing you should ensure is your safety. Before jumping on the roof, attach yourself to a safety harness. It is also advisable to wear a hard hat while doing the job.

2. The Right Supplies

Ever wondered how to clean solar panels? As a first step, you need to find all the right cleaning supplies. Ensure you use soft, non-abrasive cloths and sponges to clean the surface. Ensure that the solar panels don’t get any scratches during the cleaning process.

3. Use Water and Soft Brush

Clean water is enough to wipe away the dust and debris from the surface of solar panels. You can use a soft cotton cloth or soft brushes designed specifically for solar panel cleaning to scrub away any hard stains.

4. Use a Squeegee for Drying

Once the cleaning is done, wipe away the remaining water with a squeegee to prevent leaving behind any residue on the panels.

The Don’ts of Solar Panel Cleaning

1. Avoid using abrasive cloths, sponges, steel brushes, or toothed brooms to clean solar panels. They could leave behind scratches.

2. Refrain from using any harsh chemicals, soaps, or detergents for solar cleaning, as the strong chemicals could potentially corrode the solar panels.

3. Do not, under any circumstances, ever stand on the solar panels. A person’s weight could leave cracks in them.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Solar Panels

1. Preparing the Cleaning Area

Turn off your solar panel system to ensure safety. Gather all the necessary cleaning tools and materials. If your solar panels are located near trees, check for bird droppings, mud, leaves, or any other debris that may have accumulated.

2. Wetting the Solar Panels

Gently wet the solar panels from top to bottom using a hose with a spray nozzle. This initial step will help loosen surface dirt and debris, making it easier to remove.

3. Applying Soap or Detergent

In a bucket, mix a mild soap or detergent with water. Dip a soft brush into the soapy solution and gently apply it to the solar panels. This step helps break down any stubborn grime on the surface.

4. Brushing and Scrubbing

With the soapy solution applied, use the soft brush to scrub the solar panels in a circular motion. Be careful not to exert too much pressure to avoid scratching the panel's surface.

Following the scrubbing, use a squeegee to eliminate excess water and remaining dirt. Work your way from the top to the bottom of the panels for a thorough clean.

5. Rinsing and Drying

After scrubbing, rinse the solar panels with clean water from the hose. Ensure that all soap and debris are completely washed away. To finish, allow the panels to air dry naturally, benefiting from the sun's rays.

What is Cleaning Solar Panels Cost?

The cost of solar panel cleaning will depend on whether you do it DIY at home or decide to call a professional solar panel cleaner service.

If you decide to do a DIY cleaning, we suggest using the solar panel cleaning kit from Bunnings. It is a standard kit with most commonly required supplies such as microfiber cloth, soft brush, and squeegee.

If you hire a professional service, the cleaning solar panels cost could range between $10 to $15 per panel, depending on your location and the provider you choose.

Final Thoughts

Solar panel cleaning is an essential part of solar panel maintenance. To ensure you get the maximum benefits of solar electricity, you must consider solar panel cleaning every six months. Regularly check your panels for any build-up of dust, debris, fallen leaves, or bird droppings to enure the system works optimally.

Want to learn more about solar panels and how to maintain them? Get in touch with us.

You might also like
this new related posts

If you’re interested to view all our use cases, click here.
The solar guru's and electrical experts

We put our entire focus on you, because You matter

Solar energy reduces your reliance on grid energy, providing you with significant cost savings and emissions reductions. The ROI from solar is compelling. Talk to us today about your business case and we'll provide you with energy solutions that make a difference.