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How Much Does Solar Panel Cleaning Cost? A Quick Guide. Local solar panel cleaners

How Much Does Solar Panel Cleaning Cost? A Quick Guide. Local solar panel cleaners

    How Much Does Solar Panel Cleaning Cost? A Quick Guide

    Solar panels are an excellent way to reduce energy costs, but they don’t come without some additional overhead. Regular cleaning and maintenance are vital to keeping your solar panels functioning correctly.

    But how much does it cost to clean solar panels?

    Let’s break down the expenses you need to be aware of when keeping your solar panels in tip-top shape.

    What Is the Average Cost of Cleaning and Maintaining Solar Panels?

    The average cost of cleaning and maintaining solar panels is around 8-25 per panel. Depending on the number of panels you have and the type of panels, such as Rigid Solar Panels or Flexible Solar Panels, that could cost anywhere from 150-300 per visit and around 500-700 annually for basic solar panel cleaning and maintenance.

    For more serious maintenance, such as fixing broken panel glass or wiring, that annual average could increase by a few hundred dollars. That said, the exact cost will depend on several factors. A professional solar panel cleaning company should provide clear pricing upfront so you know what to expect before signing any contracts.

    What Affects the Solar Panel Cleaning and Maintaining Cost?

    A range of 500-700 per year leaves room for variation in price to clean and maintain your solar panels. So, what goes into the total cost? While labor is the highest contributor, aspects such as roof steepness/height, debris buildup, and materials and equipment are all considered when determining the price.

    Materials and Equipment

    Depending on your solar panel array, you may need to purchase specific materials and equipment to clean them properly.

    For example, if you have a glass-paneled system, you’ll need specialized window cleaners or a pressure washer to clean your array thoroughly. In addition, specific brushes can help remove stubborn debris between the panel’s cells. All of these items can add to your overall cost.

    Labor

    Hiring a professional cleaner or installer is often recommended if you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself. It may be tempting to DIY, but — especially with rooftop installations — your personal safety should be paramount. Professional cleaners usually charge by the hour for their services, so keep this in mind when budgeting for your solar panel cleaning needs.

    Some installers may provide maintenance services such as cleaning as part of their contract, so inquire if that applies to your situation.

    Job complexity also goes into calculating labor costs. If you have installed power kits in an RV with solar panels on top, you can easily unplug the array for a quick clean. But complex systems that integrate with the home electrical circuits may require more time and expertise for the cleaners to do their job thoroughly.

    Roof Steepness and Height

    If your array is on a steeply pitched roof or at a significant height, you may need to consider additional safety features when budgeting its upkeep. Any type of roofing work is dangerous and physically demanding, and the labor cost reflects these risks.

    In addition, cleaners or installers may require special equipment to access the array safely. All these factors add to the overall price tag.

    If your system isn’t installed on your roof and is easily accessible from the ground, such as with portable solar panels, you may be able to clean the panels yourself easily.

    Condition/Debris Buildup

    A significant buildup of dirt or debris could require additional labor hours, increasing the overall cost of cleaning and maintenance services. Inspect your array regularly so you can address potential issues quickly before they become more severe and expensive problems.

    Geographic Area

    The geographic area where you live can also affect the overall cost of maintaining your solar array. Some regions may have higher labor rates than others due to local market conditions or the availability of workers with specialized skill sets.

    It’s always best practice to get quotes from multiple companies before deciding who should perform any maintenance tasks on your home’s solar panel system.

    How Often Should Solar Panels Be Cleaned?

    You should clean solar panels every six months, depending on the amount of debris that accumulates and the climate where you live.

    If you live in a dry climate, you may not have to clean them as often. However, if you live in an area with higher levels of dust or pollen in the air, you should plan to clean your solar panels more frequently.

    Additionally, debris such as bird droppings or tree sap can reduce energy output. You’ll want these removed immediately.

    If you live in a climate where snow and ice accumulate, failing to remove it can negatively impact your panels’ efficiency.

    What Are the Benefits of Cleaning Solar Panels?

    Cleaning your solar panels has several benefits, including improved efficiency, longer lifespan, warranty protection, better appearance, and more. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

    Proper Cleaning Water

    You have to be careful with the water used in the cleaning process. Hiring a professional ensures they’ll use the right kind of water.

    Local water can have a high mineral content, leaving a residue on your panels and eventually reducing their effectiveness. Professional solar panel cleaners only use distilled water that contains no minerals or impurities. Before cleaning your panels, they may bring their own water supply or use tools that filter out unneeded minerals and pollutants.

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    The Right Equipment

    If you have dirt or debris on your panels, it’s time to hire a professional cleaning service. They’ll use the right tools, like power washers or cleaning solutions specifically designed for solar panel cleaning.

    Check with the manufacturer before using anything abrasive on the panel surface so you don’t damage it or unintentionally void the warranty.

    Longevity

    Keeping your panels clean prolongs their life expectancy and maintains their efficiency over time. Dirt and grime can build up on your panels’ surfaces, reducing their ability to absorb sunlight effectively. If kept in this condition, they won’t produce as much energy as they could if they were clean! Properly maintained and cared for solar panels will last much longer than neglected ones.

    Efficiency

    Clean photovoltaic (PV) panels capture sunlight more efficiently, leading to higher energy production levels. Cleaning panels ensures more energy production for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) generated by your system. It also means lower utility bills since you won’t need to purchase as much electricity from your local provider!

    If you’re relying on your solar panels to work as your whole home backup power solution, routine cleaning to maintain efficiency is worth it.

    Warranty

    Most manufacturers offer warranties on their products, but many can become void if proper maintenance isn’t done regularly—including keeping solar panels clean!

    Read through any warranty agreement’s fine print before investing in new photovoltaic equipment. Look at the terms for proper upkeep and care to keep the warranty coverage valid.

    Appearance

    Keeping your solar panels clean makes them look great! Aesthetics are important, too, when it comes to a property upgrade like solar panels. Having sparkling sun-catching surfaces adds an extra touch of elegance that looks much better than debris-covered, dirty panels.

    Conclusion

    Many factors affect solar panel cleaning costs, from the amount of dirt and debris to the steepness of your roof.

    Investing in regular maintenance typically saves time and money by reducing repair costs or preventing expensive panel replacements, allowing you to enjoy your solar power for years to come — often 25 or more!If you’re ready for the highest efficiency yet in solar panels, consider EcoFlow. With options for rigid, flexible, and portable solar panels and capacities ranging from 110W-400W, you’ll find everything you need to power your home and lower (or eliminate) your electricity bills once and for all.

    EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.

    Santa Rosa, CA Solar Panel Cleaning Service – Improve Your Solar System Productivity

    California has one of the nation’s highest per-capita installations of solar panel arrays. But being green depends on being clean. Let us help keep your solar panel system performing at its best!

    While many factors can adversely affect how much electricity your solar panels produce, dirty panels are the most common and easiest to fix.

    Over time a film of dirt and grime will build up and obscure panels from the sun’s rays, causing a loss of energy production by as much as 10- 30%!

    What causes a reduction in solar output?

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    • Dirt dust accumulation, pollutants, and ash from wildfires
    • Moss, lichen, and fungus buildup
    • Pollens, saps, leaves, and debris left from trees
    • Bird and animal droppings

    Like any home investment, your solar panel system will last longer and work more efficiently with routine care and maintenance.

    We recommend cleaning of solar panels at least once every 3-5 years, and once every 1-2 years for more rural locations. Lower tilting panels, ground panels or panels that get covered in dust, pollen, or ash more rapidly may benefit from more frequent cleanings.

    Not sure if your solar needs a cleaning? Call for a free inspection!

    How We Clean Solar Panels

    Experts at glass care in hard-to-reach places, we have the experience and equipment to take care of your solar panel cleaning needs at affordable rates.

    Through use of state of the art water filtration systems, we deliver only the purest filtered water through water-fed poles and brushes designed specifically for solar panel cleaning. These methods safely and effectively clean panels, leaving them entirely spot-free and ready to soak up the sun!

    Benefits of a Professional Solar Panel Cleaning Service

    Cleaning your solar panels isn’t just for appearance. Benefits include:

    • Maintaining your investment, and extending the life of your system
    • Ensuring peak performance year round
    • Saving money, clean panels produce more electricity
    • Most solar manufacturers recommend professional cleaning of panels periodically
    • Avoid the risk of self-injury or solar system damage by hiring a professional

    Free Estimates!

    We can estimate your window cleaning, solar panel cleaning or gutter cleaning with some basic information.

    Call or click the button below. Our estimates are always free!

    Solar and photovoltaic panel cleaning

    It was originally said that cleaning and maintenance of photovoltaic systems was not necessary. But now it has become apparent that weather and air pollution do leave their mark. In order to use solar power as efficiently as possible and to keep the electricity yield at the highest possible level, regular professional cleaning with the right equipment is necessary.

    Cleaning and maintenance of photovoltaic systems

    All types of photovoltaic systems should capture sunlight for as many hours as possible and withstand external influences. These include snowstorms, rain, storms and hail as well as, depending on the location, soot, pollen, dust from road traffic, leaves, needles or bird droppings. In agricultural areas, additional films of dirt containing grease and oil form due to particle emissions during the ventilation of poultry houses.

    Why should I clean solar panels?

    Clean the panels regularly, not only because of their appearance. Contamination can reduce the electricity yield by up to 30 percent. Thorough, professional cleaning is necessary, and this does not only apply to the surfaces of the solar collectors. Deposits build up at the junctions between the glass and the frame, which over time can lead to the formation of moss and lichen over a wide area.

    Proper cleaning of the solar panels requires the right cleaning technique due to the heavy soiling. The modules are often mounted on roofs at a steep angle of 45°, so take measures to ensure operator safety.

    When should I clean photovoltaic panels?

    You should clean solar systems using the right technology and, depending on the location, using professional service providers.

    In the agricultural sector, we recommend you clean them two to four times a year, for example after flowering or after harvesting, when the pollution is very heavy.

    Panels that are exposed to less pollution from the environment can be cleaned once a year or every two to three years. In this case green electricity can be generated even more sustainably. a topic that will become increasingly important in the future.

    The right tools for cleaning solar panels

    A professional high-pressure cleaner in combination with a brush attachment or a roller brush and a telescopic lance are among the best ways to clean solar panels efficiently and ergonomically.

    With the right cleaning technique, it is possible to clean a solar panel area of up to 1,500 square metres per day.

    Brush attachment

    We recommend an attachment with two disc brushes that reach a working width of 800 millimetres. The effort required is reduced because the system neutralises the drifting movement with the help of the counter-rotating movements of the two brushes. In addition, the large working width ensures a high area output, which reduces the amount of work required for solar cleaning. The disc brushes have ball bearings and are driven by the water from the high-pressure cleaner. Low-pressure operation with cold water and a delivery rate of 700 to 1000 litres per hour is sufficient.

    A nylon bristle ensures scratch-free cleaning to protect the sensitive surfaces of the solar panels during cleaning. Models with harder bristles on the outside of the plates also ensure very good cleaning results on the module frames.

    It should be possible to control the amount of water comfortably via a lever on the lance while the brushes are guided in paths over the solar modules. Turning the water up a little at the beginning creates a sliding layer that makes it easier to move the brushes on the surface. A self-adjusting articulated joint to which the brush head is attached can help compensate for different working angles.

    Telescopic lance

    Choose the length of the telescopic lance to match the size of the system, or use an infinitely extendable lance. Longer lances made of carbon or carbon composite are lighter and therefore more comfortable to handle.

    If you value more flexibility and have to clean large façades in addition to photovoltaic systems, you are better off with a variable lance system. Pole systems that are suitable for vertical and horizontal surfaces are available and can be combined with different attachments. Use a high-pressure nozzle for spot cleaning, an attachment with disc brushes for working on horizontal PV elements or a rotating high-pressure roller brush, which is also suitable for vertical façades.

    Roller brushes

    The advantage of roller brushes is that they are driven by high pressure and work their way up independently. meaning you need to be holding them with a significantly less force. The roller brushes can work with water flow rates from 350 litres per hour. Brushes with soft or hard bristles are available for different surfaces. We recommend soft brushes for cleaning photovoltaic systems.

    The Facts About Commercial Solar Panel Cleaning

    Regular maintenance is key to keeping any investment running smoothly. This is especially true of solar systems, where a routine inspection and cleaning keeps panels generating more energy. If ignored, dust, dirt, and grime tints panels, blocking light and reducing electricity production. Dirty environments can even slow the output of solar energy by as much as 30% in one month.

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    If you have a solar partner like King Energy that covers operations and maintenance, they’ll make sure your panels stay in top-notch condition. A partner handles commercial solar panel cleaning, servicing, and repairs for the life of your system. They’ve built the system on your multi-tenant building at no cost, so they’ll want in keeping it running smoothly.

    If you don’t have a partner, maintenance is challenging at commercial scale. You could task an in-house team with cleaning your panels, but it’s time consuming and you’ll run the risk of accidental damage or improper servicing. You could also try contracting a third-party agency, but that’ll cut directly into your margins.

    Regardless of how you approach the dust and grime on your commercial solar system, having a firm understanding of what’s required for cleaning helps you understand your options. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about commercial solar panel cleaning:

    How do you know when to clean commercial solar panels?

    In most cases, you’ll know when to clean a commercial solar system because the dirt and grime is visible to the eye. But, unlike residential installations, you’ll never be able to tell from the ground. Your commercial building’s flat roof and parapet walls hide solar systems from view. So, you’ll have to inspect your panels up close to know when it’s time to clean.

    Commercial roofers recommend that you check panels during your standard roof walk, which should occur about every 6 months. While you, or your roofing contractor, are scanning for pooling water or loose flashing, they also suggest that you look at each of the panels for buildup.

    It should be easy to spot the dirt and grime collecting on the glass front of the panels. You’ll likely see a layer obscuring the panel’s black silicon insides, often enough to smudge with your finger. The type and consistency of the dust depends on the environment, but it can be a mix of pollen, sand, dirt, soot, and more.

    Dirt accumulates on solar systems and lowers panel efficiency.

    You may also find solid debris obstructing your systems. Just like on vehicles, bird droppings are a common occurrence and create larger blockages. Wet leaves also harden into a paste after rain, clinging to the panel or siding depending on tilt.

    If you have a solar partner, they can monitor the efficiency of your solar system and know precisely when to clean without coming on site. They digitally measure the solar system’s output, creating an efficiency percentage. When productivity drops below a certain level, the partner knows it’s time to clean the panels and sends a specialist to your commercial building.

    How do you clean commercial solar panels?

    Cleaning commercial solar panels can be fairly labor intensive at commercial scale, but there are some high tech tools to help. If you’re cleaning manually, expect to spend some time and energy cleaning the entire system.

    To start, you’ll need a ready source of tap water and a bucket, as well as a little dish soap. Then, scrub each panel gently with a soft brush or rag and rinse with the solution. It’s not required, but you can also finish with glass cleaner. Repeat this process for every panel.

    You’ll also want to plan cleanings in the early morning or evening, as panels can get hot during the day and dry unevenly or cause burns. It’s also recommended to plan cleanings during mid-spring and mid-fall, as winter and summer can have the most buildup of dirt.

    Don’t use a high pressure hose or power washer to clean commercial solar panels. These can damage fragile hardware and crack glass, requiring expensive replacement parts down the line. You’ll also want to stay away from laundry detergent or abrasive chemicals, as they can strip coatings off glass or scratch the surface.

    When cleaning, it’s also important to avoid touching any of the connections on the underside of the panels or shift the ballasted mounting racks from their position. This can loosen wiring and create electric hazards or move panels into bad positions.

    This manual process isn’t very cost effective for commercial solar systems, so solar partners often use robotics to clean solar panels instead. This solar panel cleaning equipment ensures consistency, speed, and safety, keeping panels in peak condition to improve their lifespan.

    Although the type used may vary by project, the robots are battery powered and operated by an OM specialist. Once on site, the operator mounts the robot to the solar system and controls its cleaning cycle with a remote control.

    The equipment allows for a variety of cleaning types. For simple systems with low buildup, the robots can run on a dry cycle and conserve water by cleaning with just brushes. For dirtier panels with more residue, the robots can also run wet, using reverse osmosis and deionized water to remove tough buildup.

    Can I clean solar panels with vinegar?

    Yes, some people add vinegar to their cleaning solution to break down tough dirt and reduce streaking. Mix an 1/8th cup of vinegar for every one cup of water to create a cleaning solution–no soap required.

    Vinegar is natural, non-toxic, and inexpensive, making it a solid alternative to soap or other glass cleaners. Just be sure to limit contact with other plastics or metals, as it can dull or discolor materials other than glass.

    How often do you clean commercial solar panels?

    Most commercial solar operators clean their systems every six months to a year, although the exact timeline can vary. If your building is in a heavily polluted area or close to major roadways or industrial sites, it’s recommended to clean more often because of the quick buildup of hard-to-remove smog and grime.

    Also, serious environmental events like local wildfires or wind storms can create an unnatural buildup of ash or dust on your panels. Check panels after these special circumstances, as they may require cleanings outside of your regular maintenance.

    For large partners, frequency is usually determined by panel efficiency. They’ll set cleaning timelines based on energy generation and environment. For example, in drier desert climates, they may recommend regular dry cleaning with robots to remove the constant stream of sand and dust.

    Do you need to turn off solar panels to clean?

    In a commercial setting, you shouldn’t need to turn off your solar system to clean the panels. They function during rain and other environmental events, so there isn’t too much risk for a robot operator or manual cleaner. But, it’s likely that maintenance and repairs will happen during cleaning, so your system may require a shutdown on a case-by-case basis.

    If you have a solar partner, they’ll handle every aspect of the system shutdown and know which steps to take to ensure safety.

    Solar partners use a variety of tools and work in teams for safety.

    Since your commercial building is still connected to the grid, your tenants won’t experience a blackout when cleaning requires a shut down. Tenants most likely won’t even know that the system is off, and regular utility electricity keeps flowing to units.

    If you’re managing cleaning in house, you might want to turn off your solar panels to clean the system just to ensure safety. Water and electricity can be a potent mix to an untrained hand, and shutting down the system reduces the risk of accidental shocks if loose connections become damp.

    How much does commercial solar panel cleaning cost?

    The cost to clean solar panels at a commercial site varies widely depending on the size and location of the solar system. Estimates can range from five hundred to a few thousand dollars. Maintenance companies often bundle cleaning with other package items in the operations and maintenance category.

    The cost also varies by contractor. Some charge by the square footage of the system, taking into account roof space and placement of the panels. Others charge by the panel and include additional time-on-site fees. Large-scale cleaners even charge by the megawatt size of the system for industrial systems.

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    If you have a roof rental solar partner, cleaning commercial solar systems is free. They’ll handle all of the operations and maintenance work for the life of the solar system.

    Does rain clean solar panels?

    Yes, rain can clean solar panels by washing away light residue, offering a free alternative to manual labor or robotic cleaning. Rain also cools panels to optimal temperature and briefly increases their efficiency.

    But, rain has the potential to create a larger issue for unmaintained systems. Rain can turn stubborn, built-up dust into a thicker mud that acts as a major light blocker. In some cases, rain water can also dry unevenly or come mixed with environmental debris, creating a film that traps more dirt on the panels.

    How do I maintain commercial solar panels with King Energy?

    While it can be tempting to handle commercial solar panel cleaning in house, having a partner like King Energy is the easiest and most cost-effective way to keep operations running smoothly for your commercial property. We’ll handle the details, and you can FOCUS on the big picture of your investment.

    King Energy rents roof space at multi-tenant properties, installing and maintaining solar systems at no cost to owners. We handle the program from start to finish, managing everything from cleaning solar panels to billing tenants for their energy use. It’s a hassle-free way for property owners to access solar, increase rent roll, and boost the value of their investment. Plus, it’s an easy way to save tenants money on energy costs.

    Contact our team for a personalized proposal for your commercial building.

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