It’s not uncommon to install solar panels on the roof of your home or business and then leave them alone. However, you may have noticed that there are services offering solar panel cleaning in Melbourne, Sydney and other Australian capital cities.
Solar panels are complex electronic equipment, so they need to be properly maintained. Should this maintenance include regular cleaning? Let’s take a look.
Should you clean your solar panels?
There are many benefits of regularly cleaning your solar panels. Solar panels are directly exposed to the elements: not only sunlight, but also wind, dust and dirt. The more dust or dirt that accumulates on the panels, the less light can penetrate, and therefore the less energy they will produce. Leaves and other debris can also build up on the solar panels, which will also block sunlight and make your panels less efficient, if not washed away by the rain.
The biggest issue, however, is bird droppings. Not only will they block the light entering the solar panel, but they can also block the current flow on some types of panels. Additionally, while rain can wash off some dust and debris, it won’t be able to shift bird droppings. If you have trees or a television aerial overhanging your solar panels, they will accumulate a surprising amount of bird droppings.
How often you need to clean your solar panels also depends on where you live. In areas with frequent rain, solar panels do not need to be cleaned as often as in drier and windier climates. Panels in dustier areas or close to the coast will also accumulate more dust and sand. If you live on a main road or near the airport, you may accumulate oily stains on your solar panels.
How to clean solar panels
As solar panels are high-level, sensitive equipment, they need to be handled carefully. When cleaning them, it is easy to scratch their surface, which will reduce their energy production. As such, using non-abrasive materials is important. Certain cleaning products may also damage the panels, so only use water and a mild detergent. The same is true of high-pressure washers, so it is best to use a normal hose.
Be very cautious about climbing onto your roof to clean your solar panels. Getting up on your roof is dangerous and potentially fatal, unless you have a safety harness and hard hat. For your own safety and those around you, you should only clean your solar panels from the ground, using a long-handled tool.
Do I need to hire a professional?
You can clean your solar panels yourself if you follow the steps above. However, you may prefer to not risk damaging or scratching the panels by leaving this task to those with specialist knowledge and equipment. This may also be necessary if you are dealing with stubborn debris and grime such as bird droppings and oil stains. Additionally, you may not have specialised equipment such as a long-handled cleaning implement or safety harness, and therefore want a professional to clean your solar panels safely.
Get in touch to learn more about our solar panel cleaning services in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.