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  • Solar Panel Cleaning Cost

    See our guide for cleaning your solar panels or hiring someone to clean them professionally. We discuss the costs of cleaning your solar panels and what the job involves.

    The average cost for cleaning solar panels is:

    Depending on your solar panels, it will usually take: 2-3 hours

    £150

    How Much Does Cleaning Solar Panels Cost?

    Many completely underestimate the importance of cleaning their solar panels, however, failing to do so can lead to a build-up of dust, bird droppings, leaves and soot, which can then cause issues with the performance of your solar panels. This is because the amount of light making its way into the photo-voltaic cells will be limited, resulting in poor energy levels.

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

    Solar Panel Cleaning Prices

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

    Job Description Duration Cost
    Clean less than 20 panels on ground floor 10-30 Minutes £50-£80
    Clean less than 40 panels on ground floor 10-30 Minutes £60-£100
    Clean less than 20 panels above 1 storey 20-40 Minutes £100-£150
    Clean less than 40 panels above 1 storey 60-90 Minutes £150
    Clean over 40 panels 1-2 Hours £150-£300

    What Cleaning Solar Panels Entails

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

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

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

    Will I Need To Hire Any Other Tradesmen?

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

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

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

    DIY Solar Panel Cleaning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    For more information on cleaning your solar panels, how often it should be done and how to get quotes see here.

    Hiring a Solar Panel Cleaner Checklist

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

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

    FAQ's

    Could Cleaning My Solar Panels Affect My Manufacturer’s Warranty?
    Yes. Be sure to read your warranty before cleaning your solar panels. It should give recommended instructions on the best method of maintenance and give indications on methods to avoid, such as using pressure washers or chemical cleaners. Following these guidelines will protect your rights if you happen to have issues with your panels, so that they can be fixed or replaced without question.
    Do Self-Cleaning Solar Panels Exist?
    Yes. Most solar panels on the market are self-cleaning. Their hydrophobic coating allows droplets of water to leak off the surface alongside dirt and debris. Despite this, all solar panels should still be cleaned at least once or twice a year to guarantee maximum performance.
    Does Snow Need To Be Removed From My Solar Panels?
    Generally speaking, snow doesn’t need to be removed from your panels, as it usually slides off on its own. In most cases, solar panels are installed at a tilted angle to allow snow to fall off naturally. However, if heavy snowdrifts are regularly blocking sunlight from your panels, it would be advised to hire a professional to remove the snow safely.
    Last updated by MyJobQuote on 25th February 2020.

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