Solar panels are generally self-cleaning, but in particularly dry areas or where panel tilt is minimal, dust and other substances such as bird droppings and pollen can build up over time and impact on the amount electricity generated by a module. Grime and bird poop don’t need to cover an entire panel to have an effect. This is where cleaning solar panels may have to be done.
How often should solar panels be cleaned?
Unfortunately, it is often the case that the installation date the last time a solar system owner ever looks at their panels – until something goes wrong.
It’s recommended that solor panels need to be cleaned every six months. Cleaning at regular intervals prevents buildup of residue and keeps your panels operating optimally at all times.
Regular checks can also prevent cracks or fire risks from developing into something worse – but you’ll need to know what you’re looking for in order to identify these issues in the first place.
What are the benefits of having your solar panels cleaned by a professional?
Tap water and chemicals can leave a residue on your panels that can inadvertently encourage dirt to accumulate. This is one of the reasons that having your panels cleaned professionally is a good idea. Using a de-ionised water system to give an effectively spot free finish that is more resistant to becoming dirty will also give you a better result with a longer-lasting impact. De-ionised water systems are not generally worth the investment for individual homeowners who plan to use them only for window cleaning, but a good professional cleaner will have one as a matter of course.
Another part of having a trained professional do the job is that they can check other aspects that can affect the health and performance of your system. These include potential fire safety issues, cracks, hot spots and nests from uninvited guests like birds, rats and possums. Detecting issues like crazing (ie. webs of small cracks) and delamination (i.e. peeling off laminate layer) are also essential to ensure a system running well.
Another reason to go professional is safety: Getting on your roof can be a dangerous business, especially without good safety gear. Without the right gear and experience, you could put yourself at risk or potentially injure yourself (not to mention potential run-ins with wasps…).