How Much Does It Cost to Install Solar Panels in Southern California?
You’ve probably heard how solar energy can help you save money on your electric bill, but the cost of installation isn’t as widely talked about.
So how much does it cost to install solar panels in your Southern Californian home?
An average-sized solar panel system installation in the Inland Empire can range from 20,000 to 48,000 (before solar tax credits).
To truly understand the cost of installing solar panels in your home, it’s important to note the different factors that will impact installation cost such as:
- System size: The amount of electricity you want or need to generate.
- Equipment: The type of solar panels and inverter you buy.
- Home characteristics: Factors that determine the ease or difficulty of installation.
- Rebates you qualify for: Certain state and federal rebates can decrease overall costs.
In this article, we’ll explain these factors in detail, so you can decide whether or not a solar energy system is right for you.
Want our experienced and respectful electricians to help you make a decision? We’re happy to help. We give honest, helpful answers with the goal of improving the energy efficiency and functionality of your home.
Factors that affect your solar panel installation price
The cost of installing a solar panel system in your home depends on how much electricity you want to generate. Take a look at your electricity bill to see how many kilowatts (on average) your home uses each month.
A house that uses more electricity will need more solar panels. And, as the number of panels needed increases, so does the overall cost of the system.
A large system will require more equipment. And more equipment will require more labor to install it. It takes a significant amount of manpower to make your solar dreams a reality. Designing your system, coordinating a site visit, filing your permits, and installing, then activating the solar panels all require time and money.
While the components of a solar system are simple, the various product options and brands can make the equipment selection process reasonably complex, especially when determining the overall cost.
In order to go solar, you’ll likely need the following equipment:
- Solar panels
- Performance monitoring (optional)
- Storage option (battery or grid connection)
Overall, bigger, more popular brands cost more than their lesser-known counterparts. On the bright side, higher-quality equipment comes with benefits that may be worth the added cost. Better hardware can generate more electricity with the same amount of sunlight, and often comes with a more extensive warranty, too.
Having a reliable performance monitoring system is also important, as this piece of equipment records the hourly electricity production of your system. Some monitoring equipment tracks your system through the Cloud, so you can monitor your energy levels in real-time from an app on your smartphone. But keep in mind, this type of equipment can raise the cost.
The characteristics of your home play a major role in your overall cost.
The perfect position for a solar unit is on a south-facing, flat roof that doesn’t have any obstructions like a chimney, vents, or antennas. East- and west-facing roofs are also good options because they get a lot of sunlight.
If your only available roof area for solar panels is north-facing, or if your roof is particularly difficult to install solar panels on. for example, your home is three stories high or has a roof with a 45° slope. then your solar system may cost more as you’ll likely need more panels to generate enough electricity. Plus, the cost of labor will increase due to the added difficulty.
Don’t forget to consider the long-term savings with solar
significant solar power systems may cost more upfront, but they also should result in more savings. For example, if you need to install a 10kW solar energy system to satisfy all of your electricity use, you may have to pay more out of. but you could be cutting down on a notable monthly expense (your utility bill) and saving more money as a result.
In addition… 0-down, low-interest solar loans are becoming increasingly popular, making it even easier to get a solar panel system and boost your solar savings.
Get an expert opinion, call Burgeson’s today!
If you’re ready to explore your solar energy options, contact us today. You deserve to work with professionals who make your comfort a top priority. We’re here to help!
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Is Solar Panel Cleaning A Waste Of Time And Money?
The day your solar panels are installed is the day you will get the best performance out of them. After that it is all down hill. Admittedly, it is a very shallow hill and it might take over 40 years to get to the bottom, but day one is going to be as good as it gets.
One of the reasons for this is dirt. As soon as your panels are out in the open in the clean air, or not so clean air, dust will start to settle on them, blocking sunlight, reducing their efficiency, and costing you money.
The obvious solution is to pay someone to clean those panels, or get out there and clean them yourself. And sometimes this obvious solution will be a sensible course of action. If a dust storm has covered your panels in dirt or pelicans have had a poop party on your roof, then it’s a pretty good idea.
But most of the time solar panel cleaning is not worth it.
Because the average increase in output from cleaning panels is usually small, taking into account the time and risk of injury if you do it yourself or how much you will need to pay to have it done, under normal circumstances it is not cost effective.
It makes far more sense simply to install a slightly larger system to compensate for the minor loss that results from grime than it does to pay someone to clean them. Or if your system is already installed, spending money on energy efficiency is far more cost effective than paying people to clean your panels.
Normal Grime Hardly Affects Solar Panels
Dirt on solar panels usually has very little effect on their performance. This is because, for most homes in Australia, rainfall is enough to keep solar panels reasonably clean. Grime will build up, but eventually there will be sufficient rain to wash most of it off.
Cleaning in addition to what is done naturally by rain will boost panel output, since on average they will have even less dirt on them, but it doesn’t help much.
A study done in the United States in Tucson, Arizona, found that cleaning solar panels only improved their output by around 1%. This is in a location that only receives a little more than half as much rainfall as Adelaide, which is Australia’s driest capital.
This doesn’t mean that in your particular location cleaning panels will only improve average performance by 1%. You might happen to live in a dirty, dirty place or have lots of birds trying to turn your roof into the site of a future guano mine. But I would estimate that for most households in Australia, cleaning solar panels twice a year would only improve their average output by around 2%.
Flat Panels Are An Exception – They Need Cleaning
Rain will wash most of the filth off panels, but only if they are at an angle. When solar panels lie flat water can pool on them and have nowhere to go. Eventually it evaporates and leaves grime behind. Worse, things such as leaves and other debris can land on solar panels and just stay there and seriously affect performance. A thin layer of grime will let most light pass through, but a leaf is specifically designed to capture light. After all, it is a naturally occurring type of solar panel.
To avoid these problems, and because it is bad to have any electronic item sitting in water for an extended period of time, it is a very good idea to put solar panels on flat roofs in frames that tilt them at least 10 degrees. I recommend east-west tilts for a flat roof – where possible.
If your panels aren’t tilted then you’ll have no choice but to clean them if you want to keep their performance up. Google found that while cleaning their tilted solar panels wasn’t worth the effort, cleaning their flat ones after they got particularly dirty could double their output.
Don’t Be Fooled By The Cool
You may may have heard people claim when they clean their panels it improves output by 10% or more. And they may be right. Some people live in filthy, filthy places. But it is easy to be fooled into thinking that cleaning panels has a greater effect than it does.
Firstly, cleaning panels will cool them down and cause them to operate more efficiently. If someone cleans hot panels when and immediately checks their performance and sees it has increased by 10%, that could be entirely due to the fact they are now 40 degrees cooler.
And even if you aren’t fooled by the cool and do get a significant, real improvement in performance, as soon as they have been cleaned those panels are going to start getting dirty again, so the average increase in performance from cleaning will be considerably less than the immediate increase that results.
Solar Panel Cleaning Costs Money
Professional solar panel cleaners insist on being paid for their services. It doesn’t matter how much you bargain with them, they always refuse to do it for free. Even my own children expect me to pay them money to clean solar panels and if I forget they’re up there and put the ladder away, they ask for hush money not to tell my ex-wife.
The amount of money you will be charged varies on where you live, how many storeys your home has, and how many panels you have to clean. A reasonably common price is around 7.50 a panel for a one storey home or 10 a panel for a two storey home. But they do have a minimum charge, so if you only have 4 panels don’t expect to get them cleaned for 30.
If you shop around you might be able to find someone who will clean your panels for under 5 each. But note that less professional cleaners might be more inclined to make a mistake such as flushing a load of soap suds into your rainwater tank.
The Economics Of Paying For Solar Panel Cleaning Don’t Pan Out
Paying people to clean your solar panels costs more than it’s worth. Even in a situation that is as close to being best case as is realistically possible.
Let’s say you rescue a panel cleaner’s poodle from drowning during the great poodle flood of ’07. As a reward she gives you a great deal on cleaning panels, only 5 each, and you pay her to clean them twice a year.
Your rooftop solar system is 5 kilowatts with 20 panels. It’s in a sunny location that, without cleaning, generates an average of 25 kilowatt-hours a day. You have a 44 cent feed-in tariff and because you are never home during the day you receive it for every kilowatt-hour generated.
If solar panel cleaning twice a year results in a 2% increase in average solar generation, then you will earn around an extra 80 a year, but you will have spent 400 having your panels cleaned. So even under excellent circumstances it makes no financial sense. Even if having your panels cleaned twice a year increased their average output by 10% a year, which is extremely unlikely, you would only just break even.
Because the above situation is about as good as it can get, most people will actually be far worse off. For example, a Sydney household with a similar sized north facing system that has a 6 cent feed-in tariff, self consumes 50% of the solar electricity they generate, and pays 25 cents a kilowatt-hour for grid electricity, would only save approximately 21 off their electricity bills each year if cleaning results in a 2% increase in average solar panel output. So there is really no way having your panels cleaned can pay for itself.
Cleaning Panels Yourself May Not Make Economic Sense
Paying someone to clean your panels doesn’t make economic sense, but what about doing it yourself? That has to be cheaper, right? Well, that depends on how valuable your time is to you and what value you place on your own neck. Or at least having a neck that functions as it is supposed to.
Let’s say you value your time at the Australian minimum wage of 17.70. If it takes you 20 minutes to clean your panels, doing it twice a year will cost you about 12 worth of time. As a 2% increase in output can save someone with a 5 kilowatt system over 20 a year, cleaning panels yourself can be worthwhile. But this calculation leaves out a major cost and I am not talking about water or detergent.
Each time you climb up on your roof, or use a ladder to spray water onto your solar panels,[1. Update 13 Jan 2020: If you are going to spray solar panels with water, don’t use a concentrated high pressure stream, as this could potentially damage the seals between the glass and the aluminium frame. Ideally, you want the water to fall on the solar panels like rain. Thanks to Richard for pointing this out in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев.] there is a small but real chance you will fall off and injure or kill yourself. If you value your life at 10 million and you think there is a one in a million chance you will accidentally kill yourself each time you clean your solar panels, then pricing in that risk adds another 10 each time. This means cleaning you solar panels yourself may not pay either, provided you place a high value on your own life.
But if you clean your panels just by spraying them with a hose from the ground, you are probably not in any great danger. You are very unlikely to accidentally strangle yourself with the hose, or experience a sudden surge in water pressure that kills you with exploding rubber hose shrapnel.
Don’t Clean Panels – Install A Larger System
Installing a slightly larger solar system to compensate for losses from dirt costs less than paying someone to clean panels. One extra panel on a 20 panel system increases its output by around 5% which is more than twice the average loss I would expect from not cleaning them. Installing a system one panel larger will definitely cost less than the 600 or more it could cost to have your panels cleaned 4 times. One extra panel can more than compensate for loses from dirt for the entire life of the system.
While adding panels to an existing solar system is often not practical, there are still plenty of things people can do that will save them more money and have greater environmental benefit than paying for panel cleaning. For example, they could invest in insulation, LED lighting, a heat pump hot water system, or buy a bicycle and use it for some trips instead of a car.
If You Want Pay For Clean Panels, Please Go Ahead.
If you want to pay to have your solar panels cleaned, please go right ahead. Don’t let me stop you. Just be aware that most of the time it will cost more money than it is worth.
I have no desire to put solar panel cleaning companies out of business, so if you decide against having your panels cleaned, please consider hiring them to do something else you will find worthwhile. For example, some solar panel cleaners also do Windows.
For those interested in cleaning their solar panels themselves, regardless of whether or not it makes economic sense, I will write an article on the best way to go about it very soon (added: view Ronald’s article on how to clean solar panels here).
Ronald was born more years ago than he can remember. He first became interested in environmental matters when he was four years old after the environment tried to kill him by smashing fist sized hailstones through the roof of his parents’ Toowoomba home. Swearing revenge, he began his lifelong quest to reduce the harm the environment could cause. By the time he was eight, he was already focused on using the power of the sun to stop fossil fuel emissions destabilizing the climate. But it took him about another ten years to FOCUS on it in a way that wasn’t really stupid
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
We’ll have to stop meeting like this, young fella! There was an ancient piece of wisdom to the effect that if you wanted any job done as quickly and easily (ie ‘efficiently’) as possible, give it to the laziest man you know. The solution to cleaning solar panels ~ and at the same time encouraging the ….er, ‘Smart-arse’ (splurt!-arsed??) magpie to seek less feather-ruffling targets ~ is to crank up the old fire-pump and let fly from the comfort of your lawn. Not only do you get rid of the bird and the shit, you actually recycle the water by way of flushing out your gutters and watering (along with fertilizing!) your gardens at the other end of the downpipe.
Hate to be pedantic, but houses don’t have ‘stories’ usually, but they can have ‘storeys’. At least I think that was the case when I was a young fellow at school.
I am so, so sorry for you, ramjetski. You hate to be pedantic? I can’t even begin to imagine what that must be like. You have my condolences. And thank you for pointing out my spelling error. It’s all fixed up now.
Hi Ronald, I would like to disagree on solar panel cleaning. I have no panels of my own I’ll bow to your research on output. My expertise lies in the science of cleaning. When I clean my kitchen counter daily it takes but a few minutes. When I clean the kitchen counter inside a hoarder’s home if less Sq. Ft., it will take an hour or more. Why is that? All soiling contamination starts with bio-film. If you don’t regularly remove the soiling all the way thru the bio-film it will continue to build more rapidly to a point where I’m sure the efficiency of your panels would be great effected. Then your cost of cleaning will be higher. If you’ve washed your car at a self-service car wash with a power sprayer and taken it home to wax it. Once you start waxing you notice there’s yet one last layer. So you break out a bucket a sponge and wash rinse and then wax. That last layer is your first layer of bio-film. Exterior bio-films are usually made up of carbon, latex, bacteria and other micro-pollutants such as pollen, silica, insect parts, skin, hair, lipids, and others. Soiling happens in layers. The more layers the harder to remove. If you’ve written any articles on UVC lighting inside HVAC system to disinfect the air no one I’ve seen ever mentions a regular cleaning cycle of the UVC bulb. Bio-film is everywhere especially in the human environment whether interior or exterior. You see it best in two areas. First the tartar on your teeth is biofilm, secondly, the grunge around a light switch, door knob and cabinets. Well you have a great week that’s my sermon of the day.
Biofilm or not, washing in areas that receive regular rain doesn’t pay – or even make sense. There are peer reviewed scientific trials quoted on this thread that back that up. None of them mention biofilm. What you might think and your anecdotal experience carries little weight. Is there any trials you can quote to support your claims?
If your panels can attract dirt and contaminants that are not completely washed away by rainfall and you clean your own panels, are not foregoing a certain level of income in the time it takes you to do so, and you don’t fall off the roof in the process and kill or severely incapacitate yourself) then clearly the justification for cleaning your panels to get them as close as you can back to the original “just installed” condition can only be beneficial to the power output – and even more so if you live in a dusty low-rainfall area or are prone to bird droppings or lichen. Yes with the costs of labour these days it is probably not “cost-effective” to pay someone to do it versus the cost of increased output and even doing it yourself is hardly going to make a huge difference to your power bill. But logic tells me that if you are happy to do it yourself at no cost and get away from the troubles of ground-dwelling world issues for a while and instead pottering happily up on the roof enjoying a great and legal view of the next-door neighbour in her bikini, it can only be a small but beneficial thing to your and mental state.
Presumably you went to school in SA….or QLD. And just for the record:- small investigations often reveal stories in and about houses. ….though it really is impossible to knit picks. ….or even pricks, according to Shakespeare
Thank god someone else knows the existence of this word! I thought I was going mad! Storeys not stories!
interesting, always pronounced it without knowing correct spelling, guess that’s why they changed it to floors
hehehe….Meanwhile, in SA ~ and soon to be coming to a power-grid near you ~ a bit of a storm (which storms are slated to become more frequent and ferocious with global warming) has wiped out power supplies and therefore water-supplies and sewerage-disposal, etc. Except for those non-trendy luddites who decided to go Stand-alone and DIY before the….er, shit hit the cumulonimbus Cloud. Their supplementary wind-turbines will be churning out power like a politician does promises!
Mr Brakels, although there are a number of points in your article we could have a healthy debate on all day, (considering my profession is inspecting and cleaning solar panel systems), your guidance to readers on the hazards of working at heights and the risks associated with having someone other than a professional provide solar panel cleaning services is extremely wise! There is certainly a lot more at stake (life/injury or system damage) under these circumstances. Thanks for your insight from the other side of the coin.
I’ve just cleaned my panels this afternoon – first time since they were installed 8 years ago. Peak output is 1.9kW on a 2.2kW system in the middle of Summer with a maximum 15kWh generated during a sunny day. Not sure if that’s a normal attrition rate for the age of the panels. No brainer for me to do as I was already cleaning the gutters. Will see if performance differs tomorrow but the panels are noticeably cleaner.
Cleaning was worthwhile. Averaging around an extra 2kWh per day with the most increase being when the sun is low in the sky or overcast conditions.
I’ve always cleaned my panels about every six months since they were installed 15 years ago and to that end, placed the panels on a separate frame built low down so that the panels were easily assessable. Luckily I suppose, I had the space surrounding the house, to do so. I cannot believe how dirty the panels get sometimes, particularly after a long dry spell of weather when the panels are prone to get covered in dust. Then there is bird poo which sometimes covers several individual cells at the same time, adversely affecting a panels performance overall. NOT cleaning this muck off on a regular basis entices lichen to grow upon the glass surface of the panels, which further affects the panels performance. I’ve seen a few panels on older systems, belonging to people who have not taken the time to clean their panels, where lichen had covered almost the whole panel. I’ll continue to clean my panel’s on a regular basis thanks and advise anyone installing panels for the first time to consider cleaning them as an important part of solar power management.
Hi Grace…. After the recent dust storms we experienced and no follow up rain, the covering of dirt on our panels became quite evident so it was time to give them a clean. I find it necessary to do this about every 12 months on average, regardless of rainfall – more if they appear to get bird poo on them or they get covered in dust. We rarely get any help from the rain to keep them clean anyway because we get so little where we are. I don’t take too much notice of those who say cleaning them doesn’t improve performance or is necessary. For the most part, I simply do it to satisfy myself that I’m getting the best possible performance from my panels that I can. Without going into figures, (too technical for me) I do see a small improvement in their output after cleaning, (according to the regulators) – and that suits me fine! When I do the cleaning, I begin in the morning whilst the dew (if any) is still on the panels. This seems to help loosen any grime or lichen etc. on the panels, which makes for easier removal of the same. I can access our panels from the ground (for personal convenience) They’re erected on their own separate built framework angled at approx. 27 degrees – not on a house roof. I connect up a hose and again wet the panels down thoroughly, then brush them down with a long handled window cleaning brush which I purchased from a window cleaning supply shop. I don’t seem to require any detergent for cleaning – just clean water seems to do the trick. It isn’t as easy to do as it used to be because the system has been extended over time and I now have to fully extend the brush handle and reach out and over to the top-most panels. It does the job very well however. Once I get one string of panels brushed, I hose them off and move onto the next section. Should panels be installed on a house roof, I would imagine the job of cleaning would be a lot more difficult, but in essence, the method of cleaning would need to be similar. You would need to plan to get onto the house roof each time when cleaning required it. However, if your physic and age – like me – are not quite up to the task of getting onto the roof, then you may just have to trust that the rainfall in your area is enough to do the job of cleaning the panels for you. Either way, I wouldn’t stress. My neighbour installed their solar panels on their house roof at the same time and they don’t seem to have had any issues with keeping them clean….they simply don’t do it! Hope this helps. Cheers.
Thank you so much! We have twice paid someone to clean the system. However, since my husband (72) still goes on the roof to clean the gutters I feel he should have no problem cleaning the panels. Since he is still working as a house painter too he has no problems with ladders and height. I just was not sure how to go about it. So thank you for your info on how to do it! That is saving some money again. We have 14 panels on the roof. Oh and…living in Ipswich Qld we hardly know anymore what rain is! We seem to go from drought to drought with once in a while a flood in between.
Unless you live where it rains every day there shouldn’t be any question about whether you should clean them or not but how? IF you can access them safely and use tap water and a brush you will definitely get a lot of the soiling off from them, the problem there is how do you dry them? If they air dry the minerals in the water dry on the glass and little by little make the surface rougher and more susceptible to hold dirt going forward. Like washing your car, if you can dry it before the air does it’ll be fine but that usually isn’t possible. We use deionized water so there is not residue of any kind and they dry completely spot and streak free. Pima County, AZ
That is good advice, thanks. We have a water filter on our tap (5 stage reverse cycle) so I’ll tell hubby to use that water and then dry it straight away!
This is from an experienced Solar Tech Engineer “As soiling concentrates on the solar panel, the losses attributed to this factor increase on a monthly basis and could lead up to 30 % annual losses (and even more in extreme cases). Therefore, it is necessary to develop a maintenance routine in order to maximize energy yields of solar panels and to keep soiling losses around 2% – 5% annually. If you search solar panels cleaning there are claims that loss of efficiency from having dirty solar panels is very minimal but I experience a gain of 25% on average and I clean them 3-4 a year. That increase is not just on that same day they are cleaned which cooling off the system may cause an increase in electricity generation, I check them the day before cleaning and the following 4-5 days after cleaning at the same time of day and with the same weather conditions. Cleaning is very beneficial from my personal experience
I was told to get my son (Plumber) to clean my panels once every 12 mths but not to worry for first 18 mths. I receive email every month to say my system is performing at 100 % so after 12 mths since they were installed I’ll leave it till the 18 mths are up. Love that my electricity bills are so low.
Well thats all fine. have your panels set up under powerlines or a antenna. trees and they will be filthy in no time, or lichen can even stain solar panels ! So i say better to be safe than sorry they weren’t Given a once a year clean! Can also depend on where you live! At the end of the day it comes down to consumer choice!
I often clean my car as “the rain” doesn’t seem to do what you say it does “clean glass” and as for if it is worth it! Aren’t solar panels an investment? Don’t cars need a service? Doesn’t the Warranty tell you what is needed? If your paying a solar cleaner more money than you are getting back then. No it’s not worth it! But if your solar cleaner can show you an improvement of 10-20% then do your maths!!
Hi Scott, How do you demonstrate an improvement of 10-20%, and how does that compare with what you charge? Best Regards, Finn
Total waste of time cleaning solar panels. Repeated trials have not demonstrated any measurable improvement. Claiming a 1% difference is a joke as there are too many other factors involved for this to be significant.
I beg to differ – if it works for Google…. ! Following is not my work but have put the link to Google’s own blog for the sceptics. Google conducted a groundbreaking experiment at their 1.6 MW solar farm in Mountain View, California. They found that cleaning the solar was “the number one way to maximize the energy they produce.” Cleaning solar panels that had been in operation for 15 months doubled their output of electricity. The same study also found that rain is not a satisfying way of cleaning solar panels. Solar panels that were cleaned professionally had a 12% higher output of electricity compared to those cleaned by rain. https://googleblog.blogspot.com.au/2009/07/should-you-spring-clean-your-solar.html
Not quite. Maybe you should have read the study properly before misquoting their findings. It clearly states that there is no advantage in cleaning solar panels that are installed on an angle. So that would include all panels installed in Australia. So my original claim is supported by the study you cite. Hopefully most people will realise this and stop paying for a service that has not benefit. Nice try Adam.
I don’t argue that there is some cleaning effect with rain Brian but not everyone can afford to have their panels installed on an angle – eg if they have a flat roof. And I can tell you my panels (that are on a good angle) definitely do not fully “self clean” in the rain and I live in Tassie where the air is probably cleaner than most Australian States. In addition to a dust film, I get tree-leaf sap and bird crap. I guess you never clean your car either because it always gets cleaned in the rain ? Try having a look at the side doors (which will be almost vertical) when it dries after a rain storm ! As far as I am concerned with solar every little bit I can squeeze out of it the better. I would not pay to have my panels cleaned but am happy to get up there and do it myself for free.
One little known fact is that their 100% is likely somewhere around 90% of what they are actually capable of. They don’t want to have to argue with people about whether their panels are achieving the promised output.
I suggest you evaluate the “self cleaning” with rain proposition the same way you evaluate how well the rain washes your vehicles or the Windows on your house. Just because it knocks some of the dust off is not to say they are “clean”. Another mistake is to spray tap water on them (unless your water supply is mineral free) because when the air drys them the mineral spots will stay and gradually become more adept at holding dirt; downward spiral.
That’s just not true. Most of our customers see somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% increase in production. What can’t be demonstrated at this point is how much faster they will degrade if left dirty. Solar likes light but not heat. The dirtier they are the hotter they are and the less they produce. Studies have shown that for every degree the panel goes above 107 Fahrenheit you lose 1.1% of production. 107 isn’t hard to hit, that can happen on an 80 day. We use deionized water, no chemicals, and suggest twice a year cleanings as more than that will probably not return the cost of the additional cleanings.
Panels in Australia don’t do that. I would have noticed. A typical panel loses about 0.4% of output for every degree Celsius above 25.
What if the day the solar panels were first installed was heavy overcast but day two it was sunny; which day then gives the best performance out of them? That is why I get out there and clean mine every second day and even though performance will not equal results of the first day it will at least perform equivalent to day two which is always greater than nothing performed on day one.
Where did u learn all the B.S.above. You obviously don’t have solar but you would like to but you don’t have the money. I have had panels for 8yrs now and have not paid a power bill yet and I get an increase in output of 32 percent after cleaning. You sound like someone who doesn’t clean his car ever cause the rain will do the job you Richard Cranium. Don’t talk shit until you know what you’re taking about, that is factual.
No good getting angry at me. I’m just quoting results of several scientific trials, including the Google one quoted above, that clearly state that for panels installed at an angle (which should be all panels in Australia) there is no significant improvement in their performance if they are cleaned. Which is backed up by my own experience with the 90 odd panels that shows no measurable improvement after cleaning. Feel free to keep wasting your time cleaning (or money paying for someone else to clean) your panels if it makes you feel good.
You must live in a very dirty and polluted area to get a 32% output improvement after washing your solar panels. Either that or your mathematics is somewhat awry. Can you prove your claims??
Try this report on for size Brian ! If you can accept that your panels’ output may have degraded by even as little as 1% due to the effects of dust/pollution etc that the heaviest rain can’t get rid of then that is still a fair amount when multiplied across your stated 90 odd panels – and that is a direct loss to your hip. day after day, year after year. Still each to their own. Some of us don’t notice TV interference apparently. As for me, I can’t stand a degraded picture. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032116000745
I can accept that my panels may lose even more than 1%, especially when it hasn’t rained for a while but it still doesn’t make it worth it to clean them. Even when we were getting 60c/kWh gross it didn’t pay. Let’s say you clean them once a quarter: The best quarter possible for me would be 50kWh per day for 90 days (that would mean 90 cloudless days on the north coast of nsw – mpossible but exaggerated to make my point). That amounts to 30 per day. For 90 days is 2700. If they have been working at 1% less due to dirt I have lost 27. Hardly enough to justify me getting up to clean them and certainly not worth paying someone. Still not worth it at 2%. So In the current market with net metering it is even less viable to clean panels. Any study that claims a 1% improvement in efficiency after cleaning would struggle to show that 1% as statistically significant because there are dozens of other variables that can’t be controlled. The google study just confirms it. I’ve tried with my panels, unable to find a difference in output before cleaning and after cleaning on a couple of occasions, and that’s what sent me looking for results of research. The only point of note in the study you linked is the removal of bird droppings, lichen etc that may shade a portion of the panel may be useful. http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/cleaning_solar_panels_often_not_worth_the_cost_engineers_at_uc_san_diego_fi This study suggests that in areas where rainfall is low or for large arrays it might be justified. And other studies suggest in highly polluted or dusty areas it might be justified but most of Australia doesn’t fit that category. http://rollingwash.net/docs/Effects%20of%20Dust%20on%20the%20Performance%20of%20PV%20Panels.pdf Even this study shows an 18% reduction but only when the entire surface of the panel was smeared with mud nearly 50u thick. So I’m happy to moderate my “don’t bother cleaning under any circumstances” to “if you live in a city in China or India, or if the flying foxes keep shitting on your panels or if someone is smearing mud all over your panels you better get up there regularly and clean them”. Not sure that applies to many of us in Australia.
Thanks Brian – this certainly is an interesting issue with people firmly entrenched in both camps. I do know that one of my panels is right under the TV antenna and is currently covered in bird poo. I’ve bought a plastic eagle to fly above the TV aerial and will install it to see if that keeps the little beggars away. I know this is somewhat off-topic but as we are talking panel (in)efficiencies I noticed a YouTube video the other day where it showed how you can get a reasonable increase in power output when the sun was reflected onto a test panel with a mirror. It got me thinking that there is a small fortune waiting for someone to come up with a substance, film or whatever that can be painted/applied onto existing panels that has minute particles in it that can reflect additional sunlight downwards onto the photo-voltaic material underneath the glass – even better, perhaps nano-particles that can adjust to follow the sun around and keep reflecting light at the optimally correct angle ! Maybe Finn Peacock should have stayed with CSIRO a little longer !
Adam, I have panels directly under my TV antenna and they are still free of bird shit 12 months on. I used different lengths of cable ties on the antenna rails pointed vertically to discourage birds from landing. So far sparrows, doves, black birds, magpies and spangled drongos all fly past my antenna to rest on the neighbours!
LOL – thanks Andrew – may give some cable ties a try – many thanks for the suggestion and a lot cheaper than one of those plastic spikey things from Bunnings ! The plastic eagle kept falling down and getting tangled in the aerial in strong winds and I couldn’t find an easy way to attach it higher than the antenna so it would appear menacing to any bird wanting to roost under it. You’ve reminded me to get up and clean the existing crap off and will try some cable ties whilst I am up there !
We’ve had the solar panels cleaned professionally once; mounted on a very high 3-bay shed; may not make any difference in output as neighbours tall trees cast shadow from 2 pm in summer. Biggest problem is cleaning the gum leaves from under the panels. Suggestions? Thanks.
There is mesh that is used to stop animals from getting under solar panels and chewing on wires. That might stop gum leaves getting under your panels, although they might just pile up against the mesh.
I can only comment on my own experience which shows cleaning does make a material difference. Prior to cleaning the peak in our system was about 4.75kw each day. After cleaning, the peak was over 5kw each day, the same as when installed. I was prompted to clean the panels as I kept noticing the peak decline over time. Our system is just over one year old. Thankfully I followed the instructions in the article and cleaned early in the morning.
I am wondering does the maths work out better cor a cleaning every few years? Would a panel clean at 10 bucks per panel or so every 5 years be worth it. I guess not if the improvement is only ever at 2percent. Still, we are in the far north and so mould that will not easily wash away may slowly potentially hinder panel performance. My system is going great and we overbought to ensure cleaning was not essential but now thinking about a clean. I was also noticed small cracks in the silicon, is that likley to be a problem? When i say small i mean up to 5cm or so.
Generally filth does not build up on solar panels thanks to rain, so I wouldn’t expect a clean after 5 years to make much of a difference, but it will depend on your personal circumstances. If you can see your panels are building up grime that isn’t being removed by rain then a professional clean would be helpful. When you say there are small cracks in the silicon, I assume you mean the silicon sealant. Hopefully it is harmless, but if the deterioration becomes severe you can inform your installer. Or if you prefer you can directly contact the manufacturer.
Terrible advice. No pressure washing is advised, it breaks down the gaskets on the panels and may ruin them.
hi have had my 2kw x 12 panels removed, and replaced with a 5.5 kw 20 panels set up the 2kw x12 panels had been on roof for 8 yrs. could not believe how dirty they were could scrape the dirt of with scrape blade. wiil clean them every 12 mths now.
Hi All, Wow, there are some differing points of view in this arena. Happy to say I am on the pro side for cleaning panels. After all it is the business I chose to be in. The information that is used on my face book site is relatively up to date within the last couple of years, not ten years old, and either from white papers, scientists, or from personal ‘on the job’ experience. Not from individuals that have an opinion because they own a single solar system array. That is like stating that you have a motor vehicle and because it’s always worked perfect, all motor vehicles work perfectly. I don’t know about the eastern states of Australia, but in the southern metro areas of Perth, our panels do get dirty. Some filthy and some not so bad. There are some ideas on the nay side here that may confuse some people. By saying panels may never need to be manually cleaned, is in itself going against what many manufactures explain in their warranty manuals under maintenance. I prefer getting advise from manufacturers. (checking your own manual is a good thing to do.) Manufacturers also say to check earth wiring, panel attachment points and overall condition of wiring and panels, at least yearly. Now that’s all good for the people that are happy to climb onto their roof and check, and good on them I reckon. But what about the people that don’t? Not all panels are easily visible from the ground, so how do they know what condition their panels are in. No one here talks about hot spot litigation or soft/hard shading on solar panels, and how much damage can be done long term to panels with these issues. There is some talk of ‘add on’ diodes that help in shading, but in reality how many systems have had this done. Unless everything is explained to the purchaser about their solar system, or they have done their homework, and they are willing to pay the extra, they are in the dark on this subject. Lets be honest here, some people are not happy to pay to get their TV aerial shifted when solar panels are being installed, but if they knew how much power they lose from shading they may change their minds. Solar panel systems are the same as any long term investment. They need to be maintained to get get maximum longevity and maximum benefit. A yearly maintenance clean and check should be carried out, either by yourself or a contractor. If you would like up to date info on why you should clean solar panels, you are more than welcome to visit my face book page. Seabreeze solar panel cleaning services. But be aware, because some photo’s may show hard soiling of a lot more than 1%. All photo’s are of actual jobs done by me and not taken from other sites. Clean panels = efficient panels
You mention that panels work more efficiently when cooler, Can you do a cost/value breakdown, If you were to install a rooftop sprinkler system which would turn on every half an hour for 1 minute sprays. Would the reward of getting a higher Kw feed in outweigh the cost water used initial installation. Thanks
Hi Edward For every 10 degrees increase in temperature a typical solar panel will produce 4% less energy. That’s 4% less in total so a 17% efficient panel won’t fall to 13%. Instead it would be about 16.3%. Because good quality panels have fallen so far in price it doesn’t make economic sense to install a cooling system. It will always be cheaper to simply install more panels instead to make up for the losses. Even if you had maxed out the number of panels it is possible for you to install you’d be better off spending the money on energy efficiency measures such as more energy efficient appliances or insulation. Good quality panels have fallen so far in price there is no point in
Yes, It’s all well and good to go on and on about a few dollars saved here or there, but there are other factors to be taken into consideration when contemplating having your panels cleaned. Fire hazard:- The amount of dry leaves and debris that I have cleaned out from under panels is frightening, even more frightening is the fact that the worst I have come across have been in schools. Rodent nests:- Nothing like having a rat run up your arm whilst your laying flat out on your stomach trying to get at the leaves from right under the panels. This leaf build up also seem to make great possum nests, bird nests and python snake habitats. Workmanship:- So many installers use nylon cable ties to tie there cables to the frame. These are not UV stabilised and simply fall off over time, leaving most of the harness laying directly on the roof usually amongst the previously mentioned leaf matter. I always replace them with stainless steel cable ties. System integrity:- Testing of the system from top to bottom to prove the system is operating within tolerances. I have been to many installations where the circuit breaker at the panels had tripped in the last thunder storm and the home owners were not aware that there solar system was not and had not produced a watt since then. Street appeal:- Filthy panels with a lot of moss growing over them just looks bad from the street. You have installed your solar system and feel good about going green. So why not keep the panels looking their best, just like the rest of your house.
No argument with the leaves, rats, cable ties, integrity, moss? (i think you will find it is lichen) and general health of the panels. The need to sort these issues is not part of this thread and there is plenty of reasons to do something about them. Back to cleaning panels. And the evidence (from several sources quoted in my previous posts) is that it is not worth the time if you do it yourself. And a waste of money if you can be talked/tricked into paying someone else to do it for you. How they look? Really?
Hi Brian. I had to reply to you about your post. Do mind me asking what you do for a living? Are you a Seer, mind reader or time traveler? Because the majority of solar panel cleaners that I associate with, check and correct the points that Jeff is talking about in his post. I feel you have completely missed the point that Jeff is talking about, they all work together. It’s a thing called multi-skilling, or value adding and they are really easy to do together. For the majority of us, that’s what we do. First of all we are contacted to clean the panels. While we are up on the roof we also inspect the condition of the panels, check the wiring and have a look to see if there are any other issues in the area. And yes, if cable ties have broken and cables are freely hanging but still connected and coming into contact with the roof and have no damage, we correct that. If I see any damaged tiles or I damage a tile, I replace them. I notify the clients of the condition of panels. If the panels have spider cracks through them, photos are taken, info is written on the receipt and next time they are cleaned, a new report is done. Opinions are like arseholes, we all have one. But I would recommend that you make sure your opinion is backed up by some hard facts. As for the moss, you state that you will find it’s lichen. You were not there, so your opinion of that is baseless and has no justification, except for your own validity that you know all in this grand land. I have come across both moss and lichen growth whilst cleaning panels. Before starting out in this business I knuckled down, read a lot of research into the subject, as to whether it was viable for myself and to the client. The majority of scientific white paper testing that has been done, is overseas and done in a controlled environment, mainly dealing with different types of dust particles. Many of these state that bird scat and other environmental fallout were not part of these tests and there needs to be more scientific testing into these because outcomes would be extremely different. Sadly, not enough testing has been done in Australia. Some will argue that Australia is different to the countries where tests have been conducted, but with a quick check on the net, this is one comment: Australia is a land of extremes with temperatures ranging from highs of 40°C in the central desert regions to below freezing in the higher regions of the country’s southeast. Sometimes these extremes can be experienced on a single day. From its northern most point at 10° 41′ 21″S on Cape York to the southern tip of Tasmania at 43° 38′ 40″S, Australia experiences almost every climatic condition encountered elsewhere in the world, along with some that are unique. One of the most significant features of Australia’s climate is its long, hot and often dry summers. Understanding the above, it is comical how some people figure that because their panels are free of bird scat, lichen, moss and leaves, they have the belief that all panels are the same. It is only your personal assumption that solar panel cleaning is not worth the time to do yourself, or get them cleaned professionally. There is more than enough evidence out there to humbly accept that your statement is flawed. Sometimes people only read what is relevant to their wanted outcome. But I do take offense to being noted as a trickster and would hope that you have some good hard core evidence to back up that statement. As to your last comment, How they look? Really? I personally have never heard of this for solar panels, but people clean or get their residential Windows, cars, boats, caravans etc cleaned for that very reason, of looking good and pay good money to get this done. Once again you feel the need to question Jeff for this comment, but again you have no idea of whether this is Jeff’s comment, or a reason that a client asked Jeff to clean their panels. Hence my comment, Opinions are like arseholes we all have one, but sometimes are they not worth listening to. To aid people in making their own minds up, here are some links that may help them. computerworld.com/article/2971726/environment/rain-could-make-your-solar-panels-dirtier-not-cleaner.html quora.com/How-important-is-to-keep-your-solar-panels-clean solar-facts-and-advice.com/solar-panel-cleaning.html LG and Bosch are some of the leaders in solar panel manufacturing, and as such, have spent a lot of money on research and development in keeping solar panels clean, nano technology is at the fore front of this development. Even these two company’s understand the need to keep panels clean. But for all the RD, they openly understand that their newest technology still needs maintenance cleaning and states this in their operating and installation guides. I for one would prefer to follow manufacturer guidelines, than Комментарии и мнения владельцев from individuals with limited or no factual experience. For more info on solar panel cleaning visit my site. Seabreeze solar panel cleaning. Located in western Australia.
I love the article and the like arguing Комментарии и мнения владельцев that I can have knowledge for the some issues that I never encounter. I am grateful for the brilliant ideas you shared in here, I am looking forward to have some more ideas from all of you guys. Keep it up!
A three person household in Sydney uses an average of around 5,400 kilowatt-hours a year. An electric car that gets 5.5 kilometers per kilowatt-hour and is driven the average annual distance for a passenger car of 14,000 kilometers will use 2,500 kilowatt-hours a year. So a home and an electric car will consumer roughly 7,000 kilowatt-hours a year. As a rule of thumb, one kilowatt of north facing panels will generate an average of around 4 kilowatt-hours a day. So 4.8 kilowatts of solar panels will produce around 7,000 kilowatt-hours a year. In other words, a typical household will need a 5 kilowatt solar system to provide electrical energy equal to the consumption of the home and an electric car.
I find blog to be fake news, why do I say that? The author obviously has no clue what reality is. Sunpower the largest solar panel manufacturer with the best product with millions of solar modules installed at schools, homes, commercial even utility scale installations where upto a million panels have been installed. Sunpower and many other companies like Tesla and SunRun, and thousands of homeowners which add up to many thousands of installations pay us to wash the solar panels sometimes 1 to 4 times a year. Even Google pays us to clean thier solar panels, The Apple building in Cupertino California with 20,000 panels are cleaned once a month. Apple tells us they get a 50% increase of production when we clean them once a month VS once a year. Losing 50% production is akin to having 10,000 panels not working. The lack of production creates demand for cleaning, the cost of cleaning is a investment that pays a return in power production that can add up to 3 to 4 times what it cost to keep them clean. This information the author is providing is for solar systems in drier desert areas where there is no dew set and therefore no dirt sticks to the panels. In areas like Saudi Arabia where they even use a giant truck mounted leaf blower to blow off the dust. This is a very small percentage of installations across the globe. To put a blanket comment that it does not make sense to clean solar panels is pure malarkey. Cost to clean residential panels is not based on how many panels there is. So to say someone anyone would clean 4 solar panels for 20.00 is not real. How can you own a truck pay for gas. have the right equipment. have the proper insurance and then get on someone’s roof for 20,00. We charge between 100.00 and 125.00 for a residential solar panel cleaning, Which covers using the right equipment, having insured workers earning a living wage. Our customers know you wont have issues if we break something since we charge enough to stay in business. Our repeat customers, thousands of them will tell you cleaning is about the most important thing you can do for your solar assets. Basically before you decide not to use a professional solar panels cleaner ask yourself, is it worth it to not clean your panels when you spent thousands to get em installed?
There is no evidence from scientific trials that have been carried out to show that cleaning results in anything more than one or two percent increase in energy production. Even if this was a statistically significant Improvement it is not enough to pay for the cleaning. Unless there are extremes like animal turds or sap from overhanging trees there is no scientific evidence to suggest that you should do anything more than make sure the panels are still in one piece.
Hi, Practical. Seems to me, you may only be reading research that validates what you want as an outcome. But I am more than happy to help you see some ideas from people in the know. I am sure that a senior scientist at Carnegie Melon University’s knows what he is talking about. please check it out at, https://www.pcworld.com/article/2971692/consumer-tech-science/rain-could-make-your-solar-panels-dirtier-not-cleaner.html. I almost find it laughable, that the anti panel cleaning brigade struggle to find any unbiased evidence. Hopefully if you are an owner of a solar system, you would have bothered to read your manual, under the heading of maintenance. As I’m sure manufacturers also know what they are talking about.
Sorry but you have confused a comment by a researcher for a scientific study. It’s not research. You have quoted an opinion of one person and it hasn’t been tested. Even the title brings up a red flag – “Rain could make your solar panels dirtier, not cleaner”. Doesn’t say it does and nothing in the article suggests they have tested that hypothesis. The fact that it’s in PC World and not a scientific journal is another problem. A study takes many sites, repeats the experiment and collects data over a period of time then analyses the results using statistics. Like this https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/cleaning_solar_panels_often_not_worth_the_cost_engineers_at_uc_san_diego_fi. “Don’t hire someone to wash your dirty solar panels. That’s the conclusion of a study recently conducted by a team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego.” Yes, they found it increased output – but too small an amount to pay for the cleaning or justify you own time to clean them. Or this one: https://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/should-you-spring-clean-your-solar.html?_ga=2.22371771.1098633121.1535773955-477316959.1535773955. Their conclusion? “Our data indicates that rain does a sufficient job of cleaning the tilted solar panels. Some dirt does accumulate in the corners, but the resulting reduction in energy output is fairly small — and cleaning tilted panels does not significantly increase their energy production. So for now, we’ll let Mother Nature take care of cleaning our rooftop panels.” Go ahead and pay someone to clean you panels but you are throwing money away or if you do it yourself find something else to do. What’s laughable is there are people out there trying to sell owners of panels a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. Happy to read a study that can justify cleaning because I’ve go nearly 100 panels. And just for the record I’ve compared their output before and after cleaning and couldn’t measure any difference. Which is why I started to some research of my own.
Hi Practical, Thanks for the reply. Correct me if I am wrong, for I maybe a couple of rungs down the ladder from you on the intellect scale, are you saying that a researcher doing a scientific study is not research? I perused both of the links you supplied, so thanks for the reading. As I said in my first reply, I like unbiased evidence. Maybe you yourself failed to read the first link in totality, I have cut and pasted this for you out of the link. (But solar panels heavily soiled with bird droppings should be cleaned. That’s because the droppings essentially block all sunlight and will not be washed away when it rains. Engineers also found that at a few sites, photovoltaic panels were dirty enough to warrant cleaning due to very specific and localized circumstances. For example, being directly next to and downwind of a highway, factory or agricultural field may generate enough dirt to warrant cleaning.) By the way I am unsure about August 2013 being recent. I fear that for the second link you may have fallen on your own sword here, only because as you have stated, that if it’s not from a scientific journal it’s a problem. Your second link is from a 2009 google blog, now that’s a long, long, long way from a scientific journal, is it not. Was it worth me reading both links though? yes it was. You are incorrect in saying that I am quoting the opinion of one person, all I have done, is shown you and others, that enjoy this blog, a link to some information, far from a quote I feel. I understand and believe that you have a solar array and for you there is no reason for you to clean them, that’s great and I am sure that some people may be slightly envious of that. But putting a blanket statement of no solar panels require cleaning is unrealistic. After all, your only one man making a one off personal statement. I am not here to change peoples opinions, but to give realistic input into this blog, something of which, some people struggle to achieve. For myself seeing is believing, and I for sure believe.
Darrel. I mentioned cleaning due to unusual events like bird droppings/ bat droppings (in my area) in an earlier post. And yes it is justfied. The blog is not a scientific journal but the study it quotes was carried out using scientific method. Point is cleaning is not economically justified in most cases. Read the post from Ronald that introduces this thread. The essence of the studies is if you want to clean your panels go ahead but don’t try and kid people that it is necessary or economically viable at the feed in tariffs we get.
Practical says, no need to bath for your skin will flake off as nature intended. I read a scientific paper written by deodorant companies who claim you don’t need to bath all you need is our product….get real Practical I am sure at least, I hope you bath at least twice a week. So you actually think science prepared and paid for by utility companies is worth reading let alone real science. The facts are solar panels do need to be clean to work at thier best performance. Utility companies even pay universities to do research and when it shows anything the utility companies don’t like they squash the reports. I can say they have been somewhat successful in brain washing some folks to believe they don’t need washing. I did get a call from one person out of thousands who wanted to argue with me about the return on investment and quoted one of those fake news reports. I told him go ahead and dont clean them and see for yourself. I told him to call me back when he come to your senses. Six months later or so he called and asked me to inspect his system telling me something must be BROKEN since production is very low. As I assumed it was so dirty no amount of rain would clean it even if it did rain in MAY. which it doesn’t do very much around here. When I told him it’s just dirt and did he want me to wash them he said a resounding YES. When I charged him 150.00 he said he was paying over 600.00 per month in utility costs. Instantly his costs went below 100.00 per month and when it dipped three months later he called me again and paid 150,00. He also told me that article was full it and thanked me for being patient with him. He also told me that 300 he spent saved him over 400 per month for the duration of the summer until it did rain again. 300 saved him 1200.00 in utility costs. So think about it how many folks who own solar read that fake news and act upon it costing them hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars that goes to the utility companies and its stockholders. Then someone like you comes along with no actual experience other then reading fake news and then acts on it like it is gospel. It just goes to show you that some people can be fooled some of the time and some can be fooled all the time. I do think people who own solar and somehow find this blog knows the difference between what Practical says and reality.
Why is the article based on cleaning twice per year and based purely on economics? How about cleaning every 5 years or so just purely to maintain them? Is the author saying they should never be cleaned?
There are several factors to consider. I work in the solar industry as a performance engineer, and have analyzed soiling on carport systems in Southern and Northern CA at 5 degree tilt. They get absolutely filthy, and I have seen greater than 20% decreases in power output due to soiling. For example, after a professional wash, a SoCal (San Diego area) system’s peak output went from 108kW to 134kW, a gain of 24%. Other aspects which can benefit from clean modules are module degradation and long-term operation. Non-uniform soiling can accelerate module degradation, and if bird droppings are present, can result in accelerated module failure. It is most certainly site specific to determine what is the best route for maintenance or lack thereof.
CONSIDER for your solar energy needs.
If you are looking for a good solar company to install solar. Call Simply Solar at 707-364-9588 Ask for Frank Hall
Solar Mod Cleaning Contract Waiver
Solar has entered the mainstream as the world’s cheapest energy source, leaving many people wondering how solar PV can be so efficient and inexpensive while still providing “green” energy. Answering that question means understanding how solar energy work, how solar panels are made and what the parts of a solar panel are. Most panels available on the market are made of monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin film (“amorphous”) silicon. In this article, we’ll explain the different ways solar cells are made and what parts are required to manufacture a solar panel.
How are solar panels made? Mono vs poly vs thin film
Solar photovoltaics are made with a number of parts, the most important of which are silicon cells. Silicon, atomic number 14 on the periodic table, is a nonmetal with conductive properties that give it the ability to convert sunlight into electricity. When light interacts with a silicon cell, it causes electrons to be set into motion, which initiates a flow of electricity. This is known as the “photovoltaic effect.”
However, silicon cells alone can’t provide electricity for your home. They are paired with a metal casing and wiring, which allow the solar cell’s electrons to escape and supply useful power. Silicon comes in a number of different cell structures: single cell (monocrystalline), polycrystalline or amorphous forms, most commonly associated with thin film solar panels.
Monocrystalline (Most commonly used in residential) solar panels are produced from one large silicon block and are produced in silicon wafer formats. The manufacturing process involves cutting individual wafers of silicon that can be affixed onto a solar panel. Mono-crystalline silicon cells are more efficient than polycrystalline or amorphous solar cells. Producing individual monocrystalline wafers is more labor-intensive, and consequently, they are also more expensive to manufacture than polycrystalline cells. Monocrystalline cells have a distinct black aesthetic and are often associated with the sleek look.
Polycrystalline solar cells are also silicon cells, but rather than being formed in a large block and cut into wafers, they are produced by melting multiple silicon crystals together. Many silicon molecules are melted and then re-fused together into the panel itself. Polycrystalline cells are less efficient than monocrystalline cells, but they are also less expensive. They have a blueish hue.
Finally, amorphous silicon cells create flexible solar panel materials that are often used in thin film solar panels. Amorphous silicon cells are non-crystalline and instead are attached to a substrate like glass, plastic or metal. For this reason, thin film solar panels are true to their name: they are lean and bendable, unlike a standard panel. Though an ideal use case for versatility, amorphous solar cells are very inefficient compared to mono or polycrystalline cells.
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) is a stable crystalline compound formed from cadmium and tellurium. It is mainly used as the semiconducting material in cadmium telluride photovoltaics and an infrared optical window. It is usually sandwiched with cadmium sulfide to form a p-n junction solar PV cell.
Copper indium gallium selenide is a I-III-VI₂ semiconductor material composed of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium. The material is a solid solution of copper indium selenide and copper gallium selenide.
What are the parts of a solar panel?
The materials used to manufacture the cells for solar panels are only one part of the solar panel itself. The solar panel manufacturing process usually brings together six different components. If you are DIY-minded and curious about solar panel materials, it may even be a question of wanting a hypothetical “ingredients” list to produce one on your own. Here are the common parts of a solar panel:
- Silicon solar cells
- Metal frame (typically aluminum)
- Glass sheet for casing
- Standard 12V Wire
- Bus wire
In addition to the solar cells themselves, a standard solar panel includes a glass casing at the front of the panel to add durability and protection for the silicon PV. Under the glass exterior, the panel has a casing for insulation and a protective back sheet, which helps to limit heat dissipation and humidity inside the panel. The insulation is particularly important because temperature increases will lead to a decrease in efficiency, resulting in a lower solar panel output. Thus, PV manufacturers must go extra lengths to ensure that light is being captured without the technology being overheated.
EXTERIOR SURFACE PROBLEMS
EXTERIOR SURFACE MANUFACTURER DEFECTS
1) Hot spots
Hot spots are places on the panels which are overloaded and therefore become warm. Hotspots on panels are mainly caused by badly-soldered connections, or are a result of a structural defect in the solar cells.
Badly-soldered connections cause low resistance in the part of the panel that receives the power generated by the cell. As a result, the voltage can rise, which leads to a hotspot in the soldered points and/or a cell. This phenomenon can ultimately lead to a short-circuit, and reduces the performance and lifespan of the PV panel. We have identified hot spots in several solar parks, leading to solar panels being replaced, adding significant Opex costs to those projects.
One phenomenon we regularly encounter are ‘micro-cracks’ in crystalline PV panels. These are virtually imperceptible microscopic tears in the solar cells. Micro-cracks can occur during PV modules production, but also during shipping or due to careless handling practice during installation. Micro-cracks do not necessarily result in immediate production loss, incidentally, but can grow over time, for example due to thermal tension, or under the influence of seasonal and weather conditions. Larger micro-cracks will damage the solar cells, and this will lead to production loss.
Damage at the solar cell’s contact points will have a particularly significant influence on the cell’s energy production. Because the cells in the panel are wired in series, this will also impact on the power output in the entire panel. As a result, the panel’s performance decreases in direct correlation.
on to the number of broken cells. Multiple busbars are often installed in the more expensive panels in order to mitigate this problem. We have recently tested several module brands at different solar parks and found out that, on average, micro-cracks affect a high percentage of the modules, resulting in significant production loss (we have seen 2-3% performance shortfall related to micro-cracks).
3) Snail Trail Contamination
Snail trail is a discoloration of the panel which usually only manifests itself after a couple of years of production. Snail trails have multiple causes, but one cause can be attributed to the use of defective front metalization silver paste, in the solar cell manufacturing process. Defective silver paste can lead to moisture in the panel, and as a result of this moisture, an oxidation can occur between the silver paste and the encapsulation material called EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate).
This unwanted process releases silver oxide, acetic acid (vinegar) and hydrogen. The effect of this reaction is fed from the back of the panel to the front of the panel, and causes a chemical breakdown on the front of the panel. This becomes visible as ‘snail trails’, resulting in a reduction in the panel’s performance. The snail trails can also arise as a result of microscopic cracks in the panel.
4) PID Effect
PID stands for ‘Potential Induced Degradation’. This problem can arise when a voltage difference occurs between the panel and the earthing. For safety reasons, the solar panel is earthed, which can cause a harmful potential difference between the earthing and the voltage generated by the panel. In some cases, this generates a voltage which is partly discharged in the primary power circuit. The consequences of this effect are an ongoing reduction in performance and accelerated ageing of the PV panel. We have seen PID affecting solar plants and leading to performance loss of up to 10%. We are currently investigating several ways of reducing – or even reverting – PID effect.
5) Internal Corrosion, Delamination
Internal corrosion (rusting) occurs when moisture penetrates into the panel. Panels must be air- and water-tight. In order to achieve this, the components of panels (the glass layer, the solar cells and the back sheet) are laminated under vacuum. However, if the lamination process has been not done properly or was too short, this can lead to delamination during operation. Delamination is the detachment of the laminated components. Delamination – but also incorrectly fitted module trim, for example – can cause moisture to penetrate or bubbles to occur. Moisture leads to corrosion, which becomes visible as darker spots on the panel.
This often starts at the edge of the panel and can – depending on the severity – spread across the rest of the panel. Corrosion on the metal conducting part of the panel – in particular – will lead to significant reduction in the panel’s production. The panel’s production will decrease in direct correlation to the size of these darker (corroded) areas. Frameless/thin-film PV panels and panels manufactured based on glass substrates in particular can also suffer from moisture and corrosion problems.
Oftentimes, the problem that prevents your solar panels from performing to the fullest is faulty wiring. Some of the things that can interfere with the production of electricity are loose connections, as well as corrosion and oxidation. Now, unless you are a licensed electrician, you should not tamper with the wiring yourself. In some countries, such as Australia, this is not only irresponsible but also against the law. So, in these cases, you should contact your trusted solar panel electricians and have them check everything thoroughly.
What are the benefits to clean solar panels?
The Installing solar panels helps you take advantage of the sun’s energy and make the most of the clean energy options. The panels work by collecting the rays of the sun and converting them into energy. The more light the panel is exposed to, the more energy it generates, which is why it’s important to point your panels upward toward the sun and have clean solar panels—but this means they are exposed to bird droppings, pollen, rain, dust, smog, smoke from fires and debris.
To get the most efficiency out of your solar panels and extend their life, it’s important to clean them regularly. Solar panel cleaning can be a chore, but it’s well worth it if you want the benefits of solar energy.
Why Do You Need to Clean Your Solar Panels?
There are several reasons you’ll want clean solar panels.
For starters, cleaning your panels and ensuring they are kept in good working condition protects your warranty. There are some solar power manufacturers that require ongoing cleaning in order to honor the warranty. Unless a homeowner can show proof of regular cleaning their warranty might be voided.
Keeping solar panels clean can also improve their efficiency. Some manufacturers and solar panel users report a jump in efficiency of 30 percent or more after a cleaning. It’s a good idea to keep track of your energy output before and after a cleaning because that alone can be enough motivation to get your panels cleaned.
Finally, cleaning your solar cells extends their life. Solar panel cleaning is a great chance to check your panels over and make sure they are in good condition. Keeping them clean also ensures they will last as long as possible—in some cases, 20 to 25 years.
Won’t My Panels Be Cleaned by the Rain?
Many people assume their solar cells will be cleaned naturally when it rains. Unfortunately, much like your vehicle or house Windows, this is not the case. Have you ever noticed your vehicle in the days after a rainstorm? It might seem a little cleaner at first, but then it’s likely to have a film on it. This is especially true for the windshield. Rainwater is clean water until it mixes with natures elements leaves behind dirt that needs to be washed off of your solar panels.
How Do I Clean My Solar Panels?
There are services that will clean your solar panels for you and many people opt for this because they don’t want the stress and hassle of cleaning them on their own. Not to mention it can be a risky task getting up onto your roof to deal with your solar panels.
Hiring someone to clean your panels can be pricey but remember that whatever money you invest into cleaning is made back by the energy efficiency boost you get with clean panels.
If you choose to clean them on your own, this is what you need to do:
- Check the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning. If there were no instructions provided when you purchased your panels, check online or contact the manufacturer directly. It’s important to make sure there are no special instructions or warnings for cleaning.
- Keep in mind the panels might be hot, so try to clean them first thing in the morning or later at night. Cooler days tend to keep your panels cooler. However, as they are attracting the sun, this isn’t always the case.
- Use your garden hose to spray down the panels (MAKE SURE YOU ARE CONNECTED TO A FILTRATION SYSTEM WHEN DOING THIS OPTION). In most cases, this will not be enough to get them clean, and you’ll need to do a more thorough cleaning. Just remember, longer you go without cleaning solar panels will mean layer after layers of dirt and the only layer that is removed is the current layer and many cases there could be 1-20 layers of dirt. One year without cleaning can result to roughly 4-5 layers of dirt build up. layers of dirt result in taking longer to clean. This dirt will make your solar less efficient.
- Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water or cleaning solution designed for solar panels. Use a soft cloth or sponge and wipe them down with the soap solution and then rinse them with the hose.
The actual cleaning process for solar panels for easy and the biggest challenge most people encounter is related to getting to the panels. Be sure to use extreme caution if you have a high or slanted roof. There are extension rods available for cleaning if you’re concerned about climbing too high on your roof.
How Often Should I Clean My Solar Panels?
How often you should clean your panels depends on where you live and what your panels are exposed to. It’s a good idea to check them periodically, especially if it’s been awhile since you’ve cleaned them.
At the very least you should do an annual cleaning of your panels. You can include a solar panel cleaning as part of your spring cleaning routine.
Most manufacturers recommend cleaning at least twice a year. This tends to result in a 1 to 60% increase in efficiency.
If you live in the southwestern United States, you’ll want to clean your panels more frequently. It tends to rain less here, so you won’t even get that moderate rinse of your panels every few days or weeks. It’s also a good idea to clean your panels more often if you live near a freeway, airport, or factories because your panels will be exposed to more pollution.
In addition to cleaning your panels of film and dirt buildup, you’ll want to keep an eye on your panels if they are exposed to falling leaves and debris, or if it snows. It’s a good idea to clean your panels at the end of winter if you’ve been unable to clean them due to the colder temps. This washes away snow residue and leaves from the autumn.
One of the best ways to determine if your panels need cleaning is to keep an eye on your power. If you notice a decrease in efficiency it could mean your panels are in need of a cleaning. Not keeping your panels clean will cost you money in the long run and can put the lifespan of your panels at risk. When it comes to cleaning solar panels it’s better to err on the side of safety and efficiency.
Solar Cleaning Schedule Below
Applicators we use when cleaning regular solar mod glass are as follows:
Water Fed Pole Cleaning:
If you’re ready to see your mods sparkle with the latest technology and with safety in mind, we use the state of the art, Water Fed Pole Mod Cleaning equipment today. No longer do you have to worry about how we will reach mods higher than your tallest ladders or ladders in general unless they are on a flat roof or hard to get area.
Water Fed Pole Mod works through a purified water 3 stage filtration system called Carbon-RO/DI unit. Once the water dries, there are no spots left behind on the glass. The purified water has all impurities removed so that spots and streaks are a thing of the past. (It is a lot like taking your car thru a car wash that has a spot free rinse cycle) We scrub the mod with the brush attached to the end of your pole and then rinse. No more wasted time squeegeeing each mod after you clean it.
WFP brushes are unique with longer outer nylon and horse/hogs hair bristles (Our brush system is approved by some solar companies) that scrub as you clean to help reach into corners. The brush features two pencil jets built in to rinse away dirt and grime as you scrub, cutting down on ladder work time. Each pole has enough hose to reach from the brush to the hose coming from the purification system.
The strip washer sleeve we use to clean glass has both amazing water retention and scrubbing power. The strip washer we use is a micro fiber, scrubbing stubborn spots.
Reclaim Lost Power with solar panel cleaning services from Naturally Green!
Save money by using our solar panel cleaning service. Solar panels are an excellent way to produce electricity without the usage of fossil fuels, but they must be properly maintained. A number of connected solar cells make up each panel. Two silicon wafers form the basis of each cell. There is an electric field created when sunlight strikes it. Electricity is produced in this field and then stored in a battery. But if the sun is being blocked by dirt and debris, then the solar panels can’t charge the batteries efficiently.
When solar panels are exposed to things like bird droppings, tree sap, and dirt, their efficiency decreases. In order to maintain the power output of solar panels, regular cleaning is necessary.
How often should solar panels be cleaned?
Solar panels need to be cleaned periodically in order to preserve their functionality. The amount of sunlight that reaches the cells may be reduced if the panel’s surface is covered in dirt and dust. This may result in less electricity being produced and may shorten the panel’s lifespan. At least three to four times per year, the panel should be cleaned. frequent cleanings are advised if necessary.
Solar panels must be maintained in order to function correctly, despite the fact that they might be an excellent method to save money on electricity. Since solar panels are delicate and often damaged, it is advisable to contact professionals to clean them.
How Can a Solar Panel Be Cleaned?
You have two options for cleaning your solar panels: do it yourself or hire a pro. Smaller panels only need manual cleaning. A professional service is advised for larger panels and several panels. They have the know-how and tools needed to clean your panels rapidly.
Three actions are necessary under these circumstances:
1) Choosing the appropriate equipment for a work after determining the type and composition of the dirt
2) Use the right tools to clean surfaces.
3) Check the surface’s cleanliness.
It’s also critical to take any nearby pollution sources into account. This covers heating using local heaters or furnaces.
Solar Panel Cleaning Highlights
Keeping your solar panels in good shape and improving the energy efficiency of your home may both be accomplished with solar panel cleaning. Some of the features of our solar panel cleansing service include the following:
Eco-friendly: To clean your solar panels, we utilize equipment and cleaning agents that are kind to the environment.
Fully insured: With our staff taking care of your property, you can rest easy.
Satisfaction guarantee: We offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on all of our solar panel cleaning services. We exclusively clean your solar panels using the latest cutting-edge tools and procedures. Furthermore, we take the effort to safeguard your investment.
Solar Panel Cleaning Service Cost
Depending on the size, kind, and quantity of panels, solar panel cleaning start at 249.
Call (424) 394-2141
What benefits can solar panel cleaning techniques offer?
As more individuals transition to solar energy, it is crucial to keep the solar panels clean and free of debris. Solar panel cleaning has various advantages, including better performance and a longer lifespan.
Dust, pollen, and other airborne particles can obstruct sunlight and reduce the output of solar panels. Power generation may decrease as much as 30% as a result of this. Regular cleaning will keep your panels operating at their best and avoid this accumulation.
By shielding them from scuffs and other damage, solar panel cleaning can extend the life of your panels. Homeowners with photovoltaic systems would be wise to make an investment in a reputable solar panel cleaning service.
Are there any dangers in cleaning solar panels by yourself?
The majority of people can safely clean solar panels, however there are a few risks to be aware of.
It’s crucial to pick the correct cleaning. Harsh chemicals have the potential to damage the panel’s surface.
Second, exercise caution when using ladders or roofs. Be cautious and move slowly because it is simple to lose your equilibrium and tumble.
Make sure the panel is unplugged from the power grid before you start cleaning.
By following these easy procedures, you can properly clean solar panels and make sure that they keep producing electricity for many years to come. You can always get in touch with a specialist if you have any questions.
Solar Panel Cleaning Services
As solar panel owners ourselves, we understand the importance of maintaining these systems for optimal performance and longevity. That’s why we’re excited to share with you the benefits of professional Solar Panel Cleaning Services. Let’s face it; cleaning those panels can be a daunting task. But neglecting them can significantly reduce their efficiency and output, ultimately costing you in lost energy savings.
So why not leave it to the professionals? Our team of experienced cleaners utilizes specialized care and protocols to ensure your solar panels are thoroughly cleaned without causing any damage. With our eco-friendly soaps and water-fed poles, we can remove dirt, dust, and other debris that have built up over time on your panels while keeping safety a top priority. By investing in professional solar panel cleaning services, you’ll protect your investment and continue generating maximum electricity for years to come. all without lifting a finger!
Why Clean Solar Panels?
You gotta keep those panels clean if you want them to work their best. Solar panels are designed to convert sunlight into energy, but they can’t do that efficiently if they’re covered in dirt and debris. Over time, dust particles, bird droppings, and other environmental factors can accumulate on the surface of your panels, reducing their ability to produce electricity. By investing in professional cleaning services for your solar panel system, you can ensure that it continues to function at its highest possible efficiency.
Not only does regular cleaning help improve energy production, it also helps extend the lifespan of your solar panel system. When left uncleaned, buildup can cause damage to the panels over time, potentially shortening their durability and ultimately costing you more money in repairs or replacements. By keeping your panels clean and well-maintained through professional cleaning services, you can avoid these costly issues and maximize your cost savings.
It’s important to note that many solar panel manufacturers require regular cleaning as part of their warranty agreement. Neglecting this maintenance requirement could void your solar panel warranty and leave you with a costly repair bill down the line. By prioritizing professional cleaning for your solar panel system now, you’ll not only save money in the long term but also protect yourself from any potential warranty issues in the future.
The Buildup Problem
As debris accumulates on your solar panels, their efficiency decreases significantly, reducing the amount of electricity they generate and shortening their lifespan. Dirt accumulation, bird droppings, and dust buildup are common culprits that can obstruct panels and cause reduced efficiency. The more debris that accumulates on your panels, the greater the energy loss you’ll experience.
To prevent performance degradation caused by buildup, it’s important to prioritize maintenance requirements for your solar panel system. Regular cleaning frequency is key to ensuring optimal performance. Without proper care and attention, your solar panels will be less efficient in generating power which means higher costs in the long run.
By investing in professional cleaning services for your solar panel system, you can ensure that it continues to perform at its highest possible level. In addition to routine cleaning and maintenance checks offered by cleaning services, minor repair work can also be done if needed. This way you can enjoy maximum efficiency from your solar panel system for years to come without worrying about decreased performance or other issues related to a lack of maintenance.
Solar Panel Efficiency and Performance
To ensure optimal performance and longevity of your solar panels, it’s important to prioritize routine maintenance checks and invest in professional care for maximum efficiency. The efficiency of solar panels can be affected by a variety of factors, including temperature effects, weather patterns, solar angles, dust accumulation, bird droppings, seasonal changes, shade coverage, rainwater runoff, air pollution, and snow build up.
These factors can cause the panels to work less effectively over time. For example, dust accumulation on the panels can cause a reduction in sunlight absorption which will decrease their overall efficiency levels. Similarly, bird droppings that are left unaddressed may lead to corrosion or permanent staining of the panels’ surfaces. As such it is vital to have your solar panel system cleaned regularly by professional solar panel cleaners who understand how these issues can impact your investment.
Investing in professional solar panel cleaning companies services not only helps maintain peak performance but also ensures that you get the most out of your investment in renewable energy. Regular cleaning sessions keep the system optimized throughout its lifespan regardless of seasonal changes or environmental impacts on the panels’ surface. In our next section about residential solar panel cleaning solutions we will highlight key benefits for homeowners looking to maximize their return on investment with sustainable energy solutions for their home.
Residential Solar Panel Cleaning Solutions
If you’re a homeowner looking to keep your renewable energy investment performing at its best, it’s important to consider investing in regular maintenance and specialized care for your solar system. While there are DIY options available for cleaning residential solar panels, professional benefits cannot be overstated. Professional solar panel cleaning services have the necessary equipment and experience to provide the thorough cleaning that is needed to maintain optimal performance.
One factor to consider when choosing a professional service is water quality. Hard water can leave mineral deposits on panels, which can affect their efficiency over time. Additionally, frequency needs will vary depending on factors such as climate and surrounding environment. Cost comparison may also play a role in choosing between DIY or professional cleaning services. While hand-cleaning may seem like an affordable option, chemical-free options or using solar panel coatings may provide longer-lasting protection against buildup and damage.
Seasonal considerations should also be taken into account when scheduling routine maintenance checks with a professional service. Some homeowners may opt for more frequent cleanings during periods of heavy rainfall or high wind speeds that can cause additional debris accumulation on most solar panels. It’s important to note that neglecting proper care for your solar system could impact its warranty coverage in the future. With regular attention from experienced professionals, however, you can ensure that your residential solar panels continue to produce clean energy efficiently for years to come.
Commercial Solar Panel Cleaning Solutions
Maintaining the performance and longevity of a commercial solar system can be made easy with professional care from experienced experts. Commercial solar panel cleaning solutions are tailored for industrial applications and are designed to ensure optimal energy output from your own solar panels. When it comes to commercial systems, panel cleaning is crucial due to their larger size and exposure to harsher environmental conditions.
Professional solar panel cleaning services come equipped with specialized cleaning equipment that ensures efficient removal of dirt, dust, and other debris without damaging the panels. The use of water-fed poles helps conserve water while eco-friendly soaps reduce the need for harsh chemicals that may damage the coating on your panels. Cleaning frequency depends on various factors such as location, weather patterns, and surrounding environment which determine how often you should have your solar panels cleaned up. By scheduling routine maintenance checks with a reputable provider, you can keep track of when your panels need attention and avoid costly downtime.
At our company, we maintain high standards for our commercial solar panel cleaning solutions. Our team undergoes rigorous training in all aspects of panel inspection, cleaning chemicals, panel coating techniques as well as safety protocols during the cleaning process. We also offer customized scheduling options that cater to specific client needs while keeping in mind industry standards for regular maintenance checks aimed at ensuring maximum efficiency from your commercial systems. With our commitment to quality service delivery at competitive prices, we guarantee reliable results every time!
As important as commercial solar panel cleaning is for maintaining peak performance levels of your system; it’s just one step towards optimizing its usage. In the next section about ‘solar panel cleaning methods and techniques,’ we’ll explore more ways you can keep your system running smoothly by discussing some common practices used by professionals in the industry.
Solar Panel Cleaning Methods and Techniques
Professional care for solar systems involves various techniques and methods that experts use to ensure optimal energy output, which is crucial for maintaining the longevity of your investment. When it comes to cleaning solar panels, there are several methods available, including dry cleaning, chemical cleaning, water-fed poles, and even robotic cleaners for larger arrays. DIY solar cleaning may seem like a cheaper option, but it can be risky and may not provide the same level of expertise as professional services.
Frequency recommendations for solar panel cleaning vary depending on factors such as location and weather conditions. Some experts recommend seasonal cleanings or at least twice a year to ensure maximum efficiency. Professional cleaning can also impact how often you need maintenance work done on your system since regular upkeep helps prevent issues from arising in the first place. Cost comparison between professional and DIY options should also be taken into consideration when deciding which route to take.
In addition to method selection and frequency recommendations, it’s important to consider the impact of proper cleaning on your investment’s overall performance. Neglecting maintenance can result in decreased efficiency or even damage over time.
The Importance of Safety
Ensuring safety is crucial when dealing with fragile and sensitive equipment, which is why it’s essential to prioritize the well-being of both workers and panels during maintenance. Before any work begins, our team takes several safety precautions to minimize risk. Our crew undergoes extensive training requirements on equipment maintenance, hazard identification, emergency procedures, and protective gear. We also provide fall protection systems for anyone working at heights above six feet. By following these measures, we are confident that we can complete the job safely while maintaining OSHA compliance.
In addition to worker safety, protecting the solar array and panel systems from damage is vital during cleaning and maintenance. Our team conducts thorough job site inspections before beginning work to identify potential hazards such as loose or damaged panels that could cause harm if not handled properly. We also use specialized tools like soft bristle brushes and water-fed poles that are gentle yet effective in removing dirt without causing any scratches or other damage.
By prioritizing safety throughout the cleaning process, we can ensure optimal performance of solar panel systems while minimizing risks to both workers and equipment. When you invest in our professional services, you can rest assured knowing that your solar panels will continue functioning at peak efficiency for years to come. In our next step about routine solar panel maintenance checks, we’ll discuss how regular upkeep can further enhance your your solar energy system’s longevity and performance.
Routine Solar Panel Maintenance Checks
As we discussed earlier, safety is a crucial aspect of solar panel cleaning services. However, it’s not the only factor that contributes to the optimal performance and longevity of solar panels. Routine maintenance checks are equally the most important thing in ensuring that your solar panel system continues to function at its highest possible efficiency. Here are some key points to keep in mind when it comes to routine maintenance:
- Cleaning frequency: How often you need to clean your solar panels depends on various factors such as weather conditions, location, and surrounding environment. A professional cleaning service can advise you on the ideal cleaning frequency for your specific situation.
- Panel inspection: Regular inspections can help identify any potential issues before they become major problems. This includes checking for cracks or damage to the panels themselves, loose connections, and other signs of wear and tear.
- Maintenance cost: While routine maintenance may seem like an additional expense, it can actually save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs or replacements down the line.
In addition to these points, there are also preventative measures you can take yourself between professional cleanings. For example:
- DIY cleaning tips: If you’re comfortable doing so safely, you can use a soft-bristled brush or squeegee with a mild soap solution to gently remove any debris from your panels.
- Weather impact: Extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain or snowfall can affect how frequently you need to clean your panels. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and adjust your maintenance schedule accordingly.
By following these guidelines for routine maintenance checks and taking preventative measures where possible, you’ll be able to ensure that your solar panel system remains in top condition for years to come.
Minor Solar Panel Repair Work
Don’t forget about the importance of minor repair work for your solar panel system to ensure it continues running smoothly and efficiently. Some common damages that may require repair include cracked or broken panels, loose wiring, and malfunctioning inverters. While some DIY repairs are possible, it’s important to seek professional assistance for any major issues to avoid causing further damage or voiding your warranty coverage.
Cost-effective solutions exist for minor repairs such as tightening loose connections or replacing damaged wiring. However, preventive measures like regular maintenance checks and equipment upkeep can also help prevent more significant issues from arising in the first place. Troubleshooting tips provided by a professional service can also help identify potential problems early on and minimize repair costs in the long run.
When it comes to replacement of entire panels or larger components, seeking professional assistance is crucial not only for safety reasons but also to ensure proper installation and optimal performance. Equipment maintenance should be done regularly by a trained technician who follows safety guidelines and has experience handling solar panels. By taking these steps to address minor repairs promptly, you can protect your investment in solar energy for years to come.
To keep your solar energy investment safe and secure, it’s important to take all necessary precautions and measures such as investing in professional care and regular maintenance checks to ensure you’re not throwing caution to the wind. Professional solar panel cleaning services offer an array of benefits that can help prevent damage, increase the lifespan of your panels, save time and money, and protect your warranty. By hiring experts who specialize in cleaning solar panels, you can be confident that they have the knowledge and experience required to clean your panels efficiently without causing any damage.
Professional expertise is essential when it comes to maintaining the performance of your solar panel system. DIY cleaning methods may seem like a cost-effective solution but they carry significant risks that could result in costly repairs or even replacement. over, weather conditions can have a significant impact on the efficiency of solar panels over time. Seasonal cleaning by professionals ensures that debris buildup is avoided before it has a chance to affect performance. This means better cost savings for homeowners since their systems are operating optimally.
Investing in professional care also protects your warranty and increases the lifespan of your panels. Most warranties require routine maintenance checks by certified professionals which includes regular inspections and cleaning services from an authorized cleaner at least once per year. Solar Panel Cleaning Services keeps track of these requirements for you so there’s no need to worry about voiding any warranties due to neglect or improper care practices. With proper investment protection through professional cleaning services, homeowners can enjoy reliable energy production from their systems for many years ahead.
Furthermore, investing in professional solar panel cleaning services not only protects your investment, but it also increases the longevity of your solar panel system. Routine maintenance benefits your panels in various ways that extend beyond just keeping them clean.
Firstly, routine cleaning and maintenance prevent any major issues from arising. This preventative measure saves homeowners cost savings by avoiding expensive repairs or replacements down the line. Secondly, regular cleaning ensures the durability of the panels and enhances their performance. With improved power output, and reduced downtime due to malfunctioning panels, homeowners can expect long term value from their investment.
Overall, professional expertise is crucial for maintaining solar panel systems efficiently. Homeowners and companies who invest in these services can expect many advantages such as extended warranties on their panels and increased property values. By ensuring the optimal efficiency of solar panel systems with regular cleaning and maintenance checks, homeowners can reap all these benefits while doing their part in protecting the environment.
You might be surprised to know that investing in professional maintenance for your solar panel system can have a positive impact on the environment. By keeping your panels clean and well-maintained, you are contributing to reducing emissions and promoting sustainable energy practices. Solar panels are an excellent example of clean technology that utilizes renewable resources, such as sunlight, to generate electricity without producing harmful greenhouse gases or pollutants.
The environmental impact of solar panel cleaning services extends beyond just reducing our carbon footprint. By improving the energy efficiency of your solar system through regular cleaning and maintenance, you’re also supporting green initiatives that promote more responsible consumption of energy resources. This means fewer fossil fuels being burned to power homes and businesses, less reliance on non-renewable energy sources, and a brighter future for generations to come.
Ultimately, hiring professional solar panel cleaning services is not only good for your wallet but also for the planet. With eco-friendly solutions tailored to meet your needs, these services help ensure that your solar panels operate at maximum efficiency while minimizing their impact on the environment. So why wait? Contact a trusted provider today and start reaping the benefits of green energy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any potential risks or downsides to cleaning solar panels?
When it comes to cleaning solar panels, there are a few potential risks and downsides to consider. First off, the environmental impact of using water and potentially harmful chemicals on dirty solar panels can be a concern. Additionally, excessive water usage can lead to runoff and other issues. There is also the risk of equipment damage if proper techniques and tools are not used during the cleaning process. However, perhaps most importantly, improper cleaning can actually reduce panel efficiency rather than increase it. Safety hazards should also be taken into account when considering DIY cleaning options. It’s generally recommended that professional services be utilized for optimal cost effectiveness and frequency recommendations, as well as weather considerations specific to your location. Overall, careful consideration should be given before undertaking any solar panel cleaning efforts in order to ensure both safety and effectiveness for your system.
Can solar panel cleaning services work on all types of solar panel systems?
When it comes to cleaning solar panels, panel compatibility is a crucial factor. Different types of solar panel systems require specific cleaning techniques and maintenance frequency based on their system specifications. Dirt accumulation can significantly reduce the efficiency of panels over time, which can have a climate impact by decreasing the amount of electricity generated. While DIY cleaning may seem like a cost-effective option, professional equipment and expertise are necessary to ensure optimal efficiency improvement without causing damage to the panels. A cost analysis should be conducted to determine if hiring a professional cleaning service is more beneficial in the long run for your specific type of solar panel system. By investing in routine maintenance checks and professional cleaning services, we can ensure that our solar panel systems continue to function at their highest possible efficiency and contribute positively towards sustainable energy production.
How often should solar panels be cleaned and maintained?
When it comes to maintaining solar panels, cleaning frequency largely depends on various environmental factors such as location and climate. Generally speaking, a thorough cleaning should be done at least once or twice a year. Regular maintenance checks are also crucial in ensuring optimal performance and longevity of the panels. While some may opt for DIY cleaning methods using basic household materials, professional cleaning services offer several benefits including specialized equipment, expertise, and safety precautions to prevent damage to the panels. The impact of regular cleaning on energy production cannot be overstated as an efficient system can lead to significant savings over time. Additionally, considering water usage concerns, it is important for both professionals and DIY cleaners alike to use eco-friendly soaps and minimize water waste during the process. Ultimately, conducting cost effectiveness analysis and seasonal cleaning needs assessments can help determine the best approach for maintaining your solar panel system.
Will cleaning solar panels increase their lifespan?
Cleaning frequency is an important factor to consider when it comes to extending the lifespan of your solar panels. Regular cleaning can help prevent soil and dust accumulation, which can significantly reduce the efficiency of your panels over time. While DIY cleaning may seem cost-effective, using professional equipment and techniques can ensure a deeper clean without damaging the panels. It’s also essential to consider environmental impact and water quality when choosing a cleaning method. Rainwater cleaning can be effective in some areas but may not be sufficient in regions with heavy pollution or high mineral content in their water supply. Seasonal cleaning is also recommended, as weather conditions can affect the buildup of debris on your panels. Ultimately, investing in regular professional cleaning services can save you money in the long run by extending the lifespan of your solar panel system while ensuring maximum energy production.
Do solar panel cleaning services offer any guarantees or warranties for their work?
When it comes to hiring a professional solar panel cleaning service, we understand the importance of knowing what guarantee options are available. That’s why our solar panel cleaning services offer a satisfaction guarantee for all of our customers. Our team receives professional training and uses quality equipment to ensure that your panels receive the best care possible. We also provide customized solutions and service packages to fit your specific needs, while maintaining competitive pricing in the market. Our eco friendly cleaning methods not only protect the environment, but also help increase the efficiency of your panels. Additionally, we offer referral programs and seasonal discounts to show our appreciation for our loyal customers. At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is our top priority and we stand behind our work with a solid guarantee.
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If you need residential solar panel cleaning in Los Angeles, you have come to the right place!
We’re here to serve e ach home with excellence and mindfulness. We will provide a professional cleaning with deionized water filtration tanks attached to a water-fed extension pole and a non-abrasive solar panel brush so your panels stay cleaner for a longer time.
Solar panels are often placed in hard-to-reach areas, on elevated roofs, surrounded by slippery or fragile tile and at difficult angles. We are equipped with the proper tools and take the proper safety precautions to clean your panels safely and effectively. You don’t have to risk personal injury or damage to your property, give us a call and let our team of professionals handle it for you. We are fully licensed and insured to protect our customers property as well as ourselves.
With clean solar panels, you can see production jumps of up to 30% after our cleanings. Saving money has never been so easy! We provide each customer with before and after pictures of their panels to show the difference our cleaning has made on the appearance of their panels, in addition to their ability to perform at their best.
How Often Should I Clean My Solar Panels?
Industry experts suggest cleaning your panels at least twice a year. Doing so keeps your investment in its best shape and performing as expected.
Failing to give your panels the maintenance they deserve may also mean losing energy. Remember that losing energy means losing money.
Does cleaning solar panels make a difference? Yes, indeed. Below are energy percentages you may lose per quarter if you fail to give your panels the required maintenance.
- Year 1 Q1: 5% Energy Loss
- Year 1 Q2: 10% Energy Loss
- Year 1 Q3: 15% Energy Loss
- Year 1 Q4: 20% Energy Loss
- Year 2 Q1: 25% Energy Loss
- Year 2 Q2: 30% Energy Loss
- Year 2 Q3: 35% Energy Loss
- Year 2 Q4: 35% Energy Loss
If your panels require heavy upkeep, leaving the task to the professionals can never go wrong. Get a free estimate today!
Other services we offer
We offer detailed Yard Cleaning Services in Los Angeles. Maybe you need to tune-up your backyard for the season or a party, or you have neglected it too long, or your regular gardener doesn’t remove ALL the leaves and weeds. we’ll ensure a yard clean up that is thorough and efficient.
- Removal of cobwebs and grime from plants and fencing
- Weeding, mulching and planting
- Organizing, cleaning and storing patio furniture, pool supplies, and toys
- Don’t forget about our Pressure Washing. Deck Cleaning and Gutter Cleaning service!