Monday, May 20, 2024

Do I Need To Clean My Solar Panels

Average Cost Of Solar Panel Cleaning In Burbank Ca

How & when to clean solar panels

The average rates for professional cleaning in the Burbank area are below $200 and can start as low as $70. The cost of cleaning will depend on your system size, and how many of your panels require cleaning.

If you can access your roof but are short on time, we recommend you do a visual inspection before hiring a service. This way, youll know exactly how many panels need cleaning and wont be tricked into a larger package.

Winaico Solar Panels Have Unique Water Grooves To Drain Rainwater Easily

A good way to facilitate solar panel self-cleaning through rainwater is by using WINAICOâs unique WSP frames.

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The WSP corner keys have specially designed drainage grooves to make sure dirty water can run off smoothly and quickly to keep rooftop solar panels clean and maintenance-free.

To learn more about how WINAICO solar technologies can help with your rooftop energy production, please get in touch with us.

What Causes Dirty Solar Panels

Solar panels become dirty over time as they are exposed to dust and pollutants floating in the air.

Dust can build up on PV modules even more quickly if the installation is close to industrial complexes or construction sites.

Solar installations on farms are also known to accumulate fertiliser and nitrogen-rich particles that can gradually corrode solar components.

Bird poop is also a notorious source of shade that not only reduces energy production but can also cause hot spots on solar panels.

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My Panels Are Covered In Snow

Since panels are typically slanted and facing the sun, the snow should melt off on its own and youll be good to go. If your panels are laid flat or if the snows not melting, consider getting a solar panel snow rake to softly slide snow off. Dont use a normal broom or snow shovel to try to knock snow off, you might scratch your panels!

How Often Do You Need To Clean Your Solar Panels

How often do I need to clean my solar panels?

So, youve finally made the switch to solar energy, or youre thinking about it. In order to protect your investment and get the most out of it moving forward, there are some maintenance basics that youll need to keep in the back of your mind.

Now, that doesnt mean that youll have to go all-out and follow a rigid routine of daily cleaning. Fortunately, solar panel upkeep is relatively simple.

In fact, its one of the most low maintenance ways to have a positive impact on the health of the environment. Aside from minor upkeep, they are pretty hands-off.

In this post, youll learn everything you need to know about the ins and outs of solar panel cleaning.

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Is Rain Enough To Clean Solar Panels

The National Renewal Energy Laboratory indicated that cleaning solar panels are much more needed in areas with infrequent rainfall, like Southern California. Rain tends to flush out a lot of the unwanted residue sitting patiently and waiting to devour the sunlight headed towards your panels.

In Southern California, we do not get frequent rain to clean solar panels naturally, said DJ Schramm, co-founder of Green Convergence and 30-year plus roofer. So bird droppings, airborne particles from dirt, pollen, and pollution fall out, mix with dew to create grime and slime that reduces the ability of the solar array to perform at full capacity. Dirty panels reduce the return on your investment. We have seen losses as high as 30%.

Rain, however, is not the cure-all for cleaning solar panels because rain still contains within it airborne dust particles that will still leave a layer of dust on the panels. This means that although rain may wash out the old dust on the panels, it brings with it new dirty particles.

Cost Of Solar Panel Cleaning Services

Solar panel cleaning companies normally either charge per module or charge a flat rate for the entire array. You can expect to pay between $5 and $10 per panel, or $150 to $200 for the entire system, though prices may vary depending on location, season and other factors.

If you don’t have solar panels yet, some installers may offer free cleaning for a limited time after your purchase. However, this shouldn’t be the main factor when choosing your solar provider. Free cleaning is a nice perk, but make sure you’re actually getting a high-quality installation.

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Reasons Why Solar Panels Need To Be Cleaned Regularly

Many solar panel owners ignore the importance of the cleaning their panels regularly. If you dont do this often enough, the performance of your system will be decreased because of the repelling layer of grime on them. For this reason, periodical cleaning is extremely important if you want maximum results.

Following are 7 reasons why you should clean your solar panels regularly:

Will Neglecting Solar Panel Cleaning Cost Me Money

Do You Need to Clean Your Solar Panels?

The rationale is to believe that solar panels could reduce 15 to 25 percent of their efficiency when they are not properly cleaned.

It is a fact that theyll generate 15 to 25% less electricity, which is what you are now required to purchase through the company that provides electricity at cost rates. This will add an additional couple of years to the payback period.

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How To Wash Solar Panels On Roof

If youre a DIYer, locate the tools at your house. In order to ensure that you dont harm your equipment, you should apply only water and a non-abrasive spongy sponge to put soapy liquid on your system.

Use a mild soap, when you think you require some help.

If youre wondering whether you could make use of a pressure washer to clean your solar panels we recommend that you make use of a normal hose. If you use anything that has high pressure, it could cause damage. Make use of a sponge when the birds have caused an mess, but nothing more than the detergent you apply to your dishes. It is not advisable to have any powerful chemicals to mark the panels.

What Does It Cost To Clean Solar Panels Professionally

Thumbtack quoted over a million professional solar cleanings in 2020 and found that the national average cost is $130.* Many professionals charge by the panel or hour. The average 32-panel system typically takes up to 2 hours for professional cleaning. That said, prices and time required vary based on a number of factors, such as your zip code, number of panels, roof pitch, and the accessibility of your system. Check with your solar provider to see if they can clean your panels or if they can provide a recommendation for a company that can do this for you.

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Are Solar Panels Effected By Bird Droppings

Generally in the UK, unless your solar panels have bird droppings on them, you shouldnt need to clean your solar panels.

Theres no doubt that clean solar panels will always perform better. But bird droppings are more likely to have an impact on your solar panel’s efficiency than dust and don’t always wash away with regular rainfall. You may have more of a problem with birds if you have a television aerial that hangs over your panels, as they are able to sit on these – right above your panels.

Bird droppings, especially in concentrated areas, can cause issues with solar panel efficiency as even a small amount of hard shading can reduce output dramatically. If you are having this problem you will likely need to engage in some solar panel cleaning on a regular basis to remove the build-up and could consider employing cruelty free bird deterrents to prevent it in the future.

Another Option: Have Them Serviced

Do I Really Need to Clean My Solar Panels?

Another option, if you dont feel like doing the work yourself, is to have the panels serviced by a professional. If you purchased directly from a solar panel company, then check the manufactures website to see if there are providers in your area that can have them serviced.

Many companies offer service plans upon purchasing the panel itself. These plans might include regular maintenance and upkeep. They might also include regular checkups to ensure that the panels are running as efficiently as they should.

But if it were up to us, we wouldnt choose this option. These services might end up costing you a fair bit. Youre essentially spending money so that you can save on your electricity bill down the line. Youre cancelling out your own cost savings! And since cleaning solar panels isnt a very difficult task to begin with, wed recommend against hiring someone for this job in most circumstances.

Remember, youre essentially comparing the cost of servicing the panels against the cost youd save by generating more energy with cleaner panels. These costs will rarely offset.

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Never Use An Abrasive Material To Clean The Solar Panels

Sometimes, homeowners or salespersons may advise you to use detergents to clean the modules. However, all that you truly need is the dish washing soap and water to clean them.

Using laundry detergents designed for other purposes is not recommended because they can create moisture or delamination at solar cell level which will void the warranty of the panels and will inevitably damage them.

What To Know About Solar Panel Warranties

Solar panels come with warranties in which the manufacturer guarantees that your panels will last for a certain number of years. Warranties often last between 10 and 20 years, but some are as long as 25 years. First, these warranties guarantee that your solar panels won’t fall below a certain performance level. They also cover unexpected damage to your solar panels from storms and other causes outside of your control.

It’s important to note, however, that your solar panel warranty may stipulate that your panels are only covered if they are properly maintained. For example, if you don’t clean your solar panels regularly and built-up debris cuts their useful life short, then your warranty may not cover it.

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Bird Droppings: Enemy No 1

Bird droppings on your solar power panels are more detrimental than a film of dust. Does your array include a string inverter or micro-inverters? This is important because systems with microinverters can show where one part has been covered with droppings. During these instances, the inverter will stop showing current flow.

If you have a lot of trees nearby, especially deciduous ones, they will not only drop leaves on your rooftop, they will also attract birds. Both of these cause build-up and debris over time, making it more important to regularly employ solar panel cleaning services or efforts.

One thing to consider is the angle of your array. Flat panels will need more upkeep as water can pool up and leave a muddy residue when it evaporates. Angled ones take advantage of rain running across them to keep them clean.

How To Save More With Your Solar Panels


Now that you have nice clean solar panels, its time to increase your energy savings. Clean solar panels are often generating more renewable energy than can be used in a home. The excess energy generated is sent to the National Grid.

Storing excess solar energy in a solar battery will allow your solar panels to power more of your day-to-day life.

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Home Solar Panel Cleaning Tips & Checklist

“Do solar panels require regular maintenance or cleaning?”

We get this question a lot. And luckily, the quick answer is no. Nature does the bulk of the work for you, but a quick cleaning once or twice a year, may help your system perform at its peak potential.

Here are some tips for determining when and if you should clean your solar panels, how to clean your panels, and when it’s time to call in professional help.

How Do I Clean Solar Panels On My Home 5 Things To Consider

With hundreds of residential solar systems on the ground, Power Production Management, Inc. is often asked about proper solar panel cleaning methods. Here is what we have to say about solar panel cleaning when it comes to residential solar systems:

1. Do I really need to clean my solar panels? Is the soiling on your panels seasonal or permanent? How heavy is it? If the soiling normally gets washed off with the rain, then it is probably better to wait. The tilt angle of the array often affects the optimal cleaning schedule, as well as pollen seasons. Typically, panels installed at a 22 degree angle or steeper require at least one annual cleaning, if pollen-heavy or dusty geographical regions. However, our customers often find that a light soling may cause a mild reduction of performance that is not significant enough to invest hundreds of dollars to have the modules cleaned. In those cases, it may be feasible to defer the cleaning or choose an altogether less frequent cleaning schedule. Additionally, it is recommended to track the PV system performance to assess the effect of soiling and clearly weigh out the options.

2. I am cleaning my panels and I am doing it myself! Do you have what you need to clean your panels safely and efficiently? Consider the roof access, heights, all other hazards, as well as obtaining proper fall protection. We recommend using an OSHA-compliant fall protection kit a permanent fall protection anchor.

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Tips On Cleaning Solar Panels

Cleaning your solar panels shouldnt cost an arm and a leg, nor should it be an overly complicated process. When its possible, spraying them off from the ground is easiest and best. But the stickier the buildup, the more likely it is that youll need cleaning tools and supplies to wipe your panels down from up close.

For minimal surface soiling made up mostly of dust, try hosing your solar panels off from the ground.

If your panels seem to be underperforming, your roof isnt too high, and your consideration of environmental factors leads you to conclude that a simple accumulation of dust is likely the problem, try hosing your panels off from the ground first. Its the safest, easiest, and most low-cost solution, which makes it the one with the highest return. Just remember, if your roof is low enough to be sprayed from the ground but high enough to require a pressure washer or a nozzle to concentrate the hose pressure, be sure not to blast your solar panels directly with harsh, high-pressure pulses of water. Hitting the dirty surface with high pressure may create scratches. And scratches will cast tiny shadows on the photovoltaic cells underneath the tempered glass layer, permanently depleting the energy output of your solar panels.

For heavier buildup, use soft scrubbers, mild soapy water, and a squeegee to wash your solar panels.

Cleaning supplies youll need:

  • A soft brush and squeegee long enough to reach from wherever youll be working.*
  • Cleaning process:

    Other Factors Affecting Solar Panel Efficiency

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    It has been discovered that solar panels that are mounted at an angle of fewer than five degrees resulted in significant losses in solar panel efficiency. This is due to the fact that deposits slide off the panels when they are at an angle. The location is also a factor when it comes to panel efficiency. Areas that have more dirt may affect the way in which the system operates.

    Dust is not the only factor that can cause the efficiency of solar panels to drop. Other factors, such as bird droppings, should always be cleaned off. This is because the droppings will block the sunlight and are often not naturally removed by weather conditions such as rain. PV panels may also get dirty and require cleaning, depending on the surroundings. An example being that is the panels are directly next to and downwind of a motorway, factory, or agricultural area, this could generate enough dirt to warrant cleaning.

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    Cleaning Solar Panels: Is It Even Necessary


    You Can Clean Your Panel Like A Window

    Its worth checking with your solar providers to find out if they have any specific recommendations, or if any maintenance services come included with the initial purchase or installation price tag.

    Of course, there are a number of situations that can get your panel dirty to the point you need actual maintenance. Lets take a look at problems and solutions.

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    Cleaning Solar Panels: Why When And How You Should Do It

    A car thats well-oiled and serviced runs better, so theres no surprise that solar panels do their job more efficiently when theyre given the same level of attention.

    Beyond the set of wheels in our garages, we like to keep our windows crystal-clear and free of grime, too. So why should cleaning our solar panelsbe any exception? The question should more be focused on when you need to put in the hard yards, and how frequently.

    So in this post, were covering all of your biggest questions around how to adopt a productive solar panel maintenance routine. Well look at all the requirements across what you need to clean them with and how, as well as the main sources of dirt, and when you need to call in the professionals.

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