Cleaning Solar Panels

Wondering how cleaning solar panels works? In this blog Smartly solar experts explain everything you need to know about cleaning your solar panels. Explore now!

One of the best things about solar panels is that they don’t require much maintenance.

Semi-regular cleaning is required to ensure your solar panels work to the best of their abilities by ensuring that no debris or dirt is shading any photovoltaic panels.

However, the elements often take care of general upkeep, meaning professional cleaning is only needed a few times a year.

This blog will explore everything you need to know about cleaning solar panels. Let’s dive into it!

Why Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?

Solar panels and solar tiles are made up of photovoltaic cells. All these cells are linked within a panel, which means when one cell isn’t performing to the best of its abilities, the others can’t either, and your panel will decrease in efficiency.

‘Solar shading’ is the main reason this happens, and it is commonly caused by dirt build-up on part of your solar panels. This can be anything from bird debris to trapped leaves from a nearby tree, but it’s important to clean the panel to regain maximum efficiency.

How Often Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?

Solar panels will only require cleaning sometimes, and this is because things such as rain often wash away any build-up, leaving your solar panels clean. As they are usually designed to be placed at an angle, the rainwater will clean them as they run off them.

Additionally, many solar panels installed in the UK have a hydrophobic coating that protects that panel’s surface by preventing water droplets from sticking or leaving a mark. This prevents the build-up of water minerals on the surface, keeping them cleaner. 

However, to get rid of any more hidden or stubborn dirt, it is recommended that you get your solar panels cleaned at least twice a year or as needed based on visual inspection. If you live in an area with little natural rainfall or high dust levels, you may need to do this more often to increase your panel’s efficiency.

How Do You Clean Solar Panels?

There are two main ways to clean your solar panels:

Hire a professional service – hiring a professional to clean your solar panels can be the simplest way to ensure they are cleaned correctly. It’s similar to hiring a window cleaner, and they come with the ladders, washers and equipment they need to do their job quickly and efficiently. 

Clean them yourself – it is possible to clean your solar panels yourself if you have the right equipment. Using a ladder, a long brush and solar panel cleaning solution (you can also make this at home with warm, soapy water), you can polish your panels to get rid of any dirt. If your solar panels are on your roof, this is only recommended if you are confident with the heights involved.

What will be more cost-effective for you largely depends on your area. If you live in an area with high dust levels or tree-shedding, you might want to invest in a home-cleaning set to keep up with the demands.

Likewise, if you live in an area where it rains a lot, it might be more cost-efficient to hire a professional cleaner once a year.

How Much Does A Solar Panel Cleaning Service Cost?

A solar panel cleaning service will vary in price depending on the size of your installation and the company you choose to work with. 

For a standard home, it shouldn’t be more than £4-15 per panel (for a UK average). Therefore, having your solar panels professionally cleaned for an average home should cost no more than around £200 a year.

Final Thoughts

Though cleaning solar panels may appear to be a big task, it is less time-consuming or costly than most people expect. Solar panels are notoriously easy to look after, making them a popular choice for domestic and commercial properties alike. 

If you are interested in finding out more about solar panels’ benefits and their up-keeping needs, get in touch with our Smartly solar experts today. We are happy to discuss what type of solar installation might fit your needs and the type of upkeep they will require.