Solar Panel Cleaning Advice

April 7, 2023


Solar Panel Cleaning & Maintenance in Sussex

Solar panels are a significant investment for your home or business, and keeping them in good condition is vital to ensure they last a long time and generate the maximum amount of power. Installing bird protection and employing experts to provide regular solar panel maintenance is an essential part of this. However, basic solar panel cleaning is something that you may be able to undertake yourself. 

Nothing is a substitute for solar panel cleaning undertaken by a professional, but in this guide, we’re going to explore some of the safe and simple things you can do to keep your solar panels clean and working efficiently.

How to Clean Solar Panels

Firstly, many people ask us if they can clean solar panels themselves. The answer is maybe. If you have a roof-mounted solar panel system, we do not recommend cleaning them yourself on the roof. There are a whole host of dangers involved with getting on the roof of your home or business. It may not be suitable to hold your weight, there’s a serious risk of injury or even worse, and you could also damage your solar PV system in the process. If you have a long-handled window brush or wiper, then you may be able to give your panels a quick clean from the ground, especially if you live in a bungalow or have a low roof.

In the UK, the amount of rain we get, combined with the pitch of the panels means that they are reasonably self-cleaning. However, in the summer months, or if you live in an area with a large bird population, dirt, dust and droppings can accumulate. This can affect the efficiency of the system and cause it to generate less power.

If you have a ground-mounted solar system, however, you will be able to give them a regular cleaning to keep them in good condition. Solar panel cleaning kits can be bought that contain everything you need including biodegradable soap, a wiper, and brushes with various length handles. 

For most solar installations, it should be enough to mix the soap with warm water and simply give them a wipe-down. This will remove most of the dirt and grime that’s built up. It’s important to use specialist, biodegradable soap because the harsh chemicals in normal household cleaners may cause costly damage to the covering of the panels. For the same reason, it’s important to use soft cloths or brushes to wipe them clean. Never use a scourer or other abrasive materials. There’s no need to dry your panels, the sun will take care of that for you!

If you have commercial or industrial premises with a large solar installation, any loss in efficiency can be magnified. In this instance, we recommend employing professional solar panel cleaning services as part of your routine maintenance.

How often should you get your solar panels cleaned?

This will vary depending on your installation and where you live. If you’re in an area that’s particularly prone to dirt, dust, bird droppings or other grime then you might need to clean them more frequently. If you’re doing your own cleaning, then typically once or twice a year should be enough. Although they need to be clean at all times to maximise efficiency, we find that giving them a clean in the spring and the autumn is enough. In the summer months and if you haven’t had any rain for a while, rinsing them off with a hosepipe should remove dust and grime.

We highly recommend that you arrange for a professional solar panel cleaning service once every two to three years. This is especially true if you have a roof-mounted solar system. A trained professional will be able to deep clean the surface of the panels, as well as all the mountings, fixings, wiring and any bird protection you have installed. This is essential to guarantee the longevity of your system and to protect your investment.

Solar Panel Maintenance in Sussex

An added benefit of having a professional clean your solar system is that they will also be able to give it a thorough check for any damage or deterioration and recommend suitable fixes. Damage to the wiring or the panels themselves can reduce the efficiency of the system, ultimately costing you money. At Savent Solar, we offer a range of solar panel cleaning services near you. We have clients across the South East including Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent. We can also make alterations to an existing system including adding, replacing or removing panels, adding a solar battery or water heater, or installing an EV charger.

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