solar panel cleaning cost

How Much Does Solar Panel Cleaning Cost? £150 Many completely underestimate the importance of cleaning their solar panels, however, failing to do so can lead to a build-up of dust, bird droppings, leaves and soot, which can then cause issues with the performance of your solar panels. This is because the amount of light making its way into the photo-voltaic cells will be limited, resulting in poor energy levels. So let us review solar panel cleaning services. So what is the solar farm panel cleaning cost, solar panel window cleaning cost and solar panel cleaning system cost?

It would be highly advised to keep on top of a strict cleaning regime to avoid any issues. This will especially be the case if you live next to a busy road or farm, as there will be a far greater amount of pollution and dirt in the air than most other areas. You can either clean the solar panels yourself or seek the assistance of professional solar panel cleaning services; the latter of which would be advised.

solar panel cleaning system cost

2020 Average Solar Panel Cleaning Cost

Solar Panel Cleaning Cost

On average, you can expect to pay just under £150 to have your solar panels cleaned. However, most companies will offer a per-panel cost, which is often a much more cost-effective option if you only have a few. The final cost will usually account for the time spent travelling to your property, labour time, the equipment and materials used and of course, the scale of the job. The per panel fee can be anywhere between £4-£15.

JOB DESCRIPTIONDURATIONCOST
Clean less than 20 panels on ground floor10-30 Minutes£50-£80
Clean less than 40 panels on ground floor10-30 Minutes£60-£100
Clean less than 20 panels above 1 storey20-40 Minutes£100-£150
Clean less than 40 panels above 1 storey60-90 Minutes£150
Clean over 40 panels1-2 Hours£150-£300

What Cleaning Solar Panels Entails

The cleaning of solar panels has no specific approach, but several aspects need consideration beforehand.

Firstly, an inspection will need to be carried out to determine whether the panels need cleaning. You can do this by examining how much electricity is being generated by writing down the figures every week to investigate whether the level of power is declining. It would also be a good idea to compare your figures with the manufacturer’s approximation of how much electricity your system should produce when the solar panels are working at full capacity.

When it comes to cleaning, it would be advised to do the job in the spring or summer months, when there is less chance of frost or frequent rainfall. On average, solar panels should be cleaned up to twice a year at minimum. The most obvious signs to note when a clean is due is the visual appearance of dirt appearing on the panel, or as mentioned, above; you are experiencing regular drops in power.Ready to get a price for your job? Get a Price

Will I Need To Hire Any Other Tradesmen?

Providing that your solar panels are in good condition and don’t need to be replaced, you won’t need to hire any other tradesmen to assist with the clean itself.

However, if after a thorough clean your solar panels still aren’t as efficient as they should be, you may need to contact an electrician to inspect the issue. There are several reasons why your solar system may not be generating enough energy, such as the likes of a broken inverter, defective charge controller and faults in the solar panel itself.

Faults in the solar panel can often be the most difficult task to fix, as all the photovoltaic modules within the panel are interlocked. Therefore, just one faulty panel could have a major impact on the efficiency of the whole system. If you are in any doubt about the performance of your solar panels, it would be wise to hire a professional electrician to carry out tests and find a solution.

DIY Solar Panel Cleaning

As mentioned, it’s completely doable to clean the solar panels yourself. However, the main issue is making your way onto the roof, which can, of course, present itself as a major hazard. It would be advised you have the correct training to carry out any roof jobs. If you cannot access your panels safely, please don’t attempt it. Instead, opt to hire a professional who has an adequate amount of knowledge and equipment.

If you have considered all of the above factors before carrying out a DIY job, check out the tips below on how to clean solar panels yourself:

1. Shut down the system: Before cleaning can begin, it would be recommended to shut down the entire system by following the instructions on your solar panel manual. Do be aware that cabling on the roof will still be live and can carry high voltages. If you happen to spot any damaged cabling, stop immediately and report it.

2. Invest in a solar panel cleaning kit: If you’re in any doubt on the best method to clean solar panels, it would be worthwhile investing in a specialised solar panel cleaning equipment for the job; which often includes the likes of biodegradable soap, a wiper and long-handled brush. Dip the brush into the soapy water and gently rub up and down, before hosing down to rinse.

If your mains is hard water, it would be a better idea to use an accumulation of rainwater, as it will leave less residue on the panels, meaning less interference with the panel’s performance. If you do use hard water, be sure to dry off the panels well to ensure mineral residue isn’t left on the glass surface.

3. Clean from the ground if possible: Don’t climb onto the roof if you can clean the panels from the ground. As mentioned, it would also be highly advised that you have the necessary training and safety equipment before attempting to venture onto the roof. If you’re using a ladder, make sure you have someone to hold it from the bottom.

4. Choose the best time to clean: The best time to clean your panels would be in the early morning or late evening during the spring and summer when the panels are cool before the heat of the midday sun. Cleaning hot panels lead to quicker evaporation, meaning smudge marks are more likely to be left.

Hiring a Solar Panel Cleaner Checklist

Prior to hiring someone to clean your solar panels, there are some things you should consider.

  • Is the job safe for you to do yourself? If not don’t attempt it.
  • Professionals can clean your solar panels much better and quicker than DIY cleaning.
  • Schedule regular cleaning throughout the year to avoid any further issues or damage.
  • Enquire about a cost per panel before committing to a fee.

TIPS FOR BUYING YOUR SOLAR POWER SYSTEM.

Buying a home solar power system can be a very exciting experience, but don’t get too carried away by advertising. Be sure to focus on the important aspects of your purchase as it’s a substantial investment and one you’ll be living with for a long time. The following are some buying solar tips on what to look for when purchasing a system.

Buying solar tips: Solar quotes online

Recommendations

Ask friends, family neighbours or colleagues who have had solar PV systems installed. Often the best buying solar tips com from right in your neighbourhood. They’ll be able to tell you about their experiences and perhaps alert you to any problems they experienced. Problems that you’ll be able to avoid. Learn more about potential issues in our consumers guide to solar power – avoiding tricks and traps.

Length of manufacturer’s warranty

Take note of what guarantees the manufacturer offers. If the manufacturer is reputable and the warranty period on the panels is substantial (at least 25 years) you would naturally expect your solar system to last long for a long time, long enough to pay for itself and make you a profit. However, for a warranty to be honoured, the manufacturer needs to be still operating. So, be cautious of brands without a track record in Australia.

Have realistic price expectations

If you are paying substantially less than many other similar size systems quoted, you may find poor quality equipment and/or poor installation work. Quality equipment and installation isn’t cheap and, like all other purchases, you often get what you pay for.

Compare components and warranty periods and check into the company providing the installation. While large, well established companies can pass on substantial savings due to increased buying power, other companies often reduce costs by cutting important corners.

Solar panel certifications

This applies to all solar panel purchases, but especially to the purchases that could attract a government rebate. The certification on solar panels indicates the type of testing that they have undergone. For instance, TUV IEC 61215 confirms that the solar panels have gone through testing by an independent laboratory and have met their advertised specifications. Other certification types are often self-assessed. Therefore, they rely on the company being honest in what it claims.

Decide on the type of panels

It used to be the case that if you had limited roof space you would need highly efficient (and very expensive) mono-crystalline solar panels. This is rapidly changing with advances in polycrystalline panel technology and some thin film technologies. Still, even if you have ample roof space you may still want to consider panel sizes vs. output. Filling up your roof with inefficient panels will affect your ability to add more panels at a later date, and does not maximise the power output of the space.

It’s also important to bear in mind that regardless of claim, no solar panel technology will produce a significant amount of power in full shade. Learn more about monocrystalline vs. thin film panels.

Solar panel mounting

Make sure that the roof, ground mounting or tracking system is engineer certified for the area you are in. For example, if you live in a cyclone prone area make sure the mounting system  and mounting brackets are also cyclone rated. Quality systems are wind certified. After all you do not want your system to take off during a wild storm . The mounting system is a very vital component and some suppliers skimp on this item. Make sure you ask about wind certification, warranty arrangements and get copies of relevant documents.

Solar inverter efficiency

A power inverter is the box between the panels and your appliances that converts DC electricity from solar panels to AC suitable for use in your home.

Not all solar inverters are equal and inverter efficiency will have a direct impact on the amount of time it takes for a system to pay for itself. Look at the inverter efficiency before purchasing a system. Obviously, the more efficient the inverter the better. Less electricity will be wasted as heat during the conversion from DC to AC. Industry leading solar inverters for grid connect systems in Australia include SMA, Sungrow and Fronius. Be cautious of  generic type brands.

Get a few solar quotes

It always wise to gather a few solar quotes when making a major purchase as you will find that prices vary widely between providers. But don’t be just swayed by price as inferior components can reduce the up-front cost of the system. However, they may wind up costing you more in the long run in terms of reliability and efficiency.

Buy solar power at discount prices

Avoid high pressure sales people

High pressure sales tactics are unfortunately common in the solar industry. Try not to make decisions on the spot, just ask the person to let you consider the offer. If it’s as good as they claim, it will still be a good deal tomorrow. Pressured decisions on the spot often turn out to be less advantageous in reflection.

High pressure sales people are only one of the pitfalls that may await you when you shop for a solar power system. Learn more about the potential issues and how to avoid them in our consumers guide to solar power – avoiding tricks and traps.

One of the best buying solar tips is to make sure to use an accredited solar power system installer, certified by the Clean Energy Council.

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