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How Much Does Solar Panel Cleaning Cost? Factors to Consider

solar panel cleaning cost

Solar panels are a significant and long-term investment that can provide a sustainable source of energy for your home and business. With a lifespan of 25 years or more, these low-maintenance energy sources are designed to last, and many come equipped with automatic monitoring technology to alert you of any decrease in efficiency. To protect your investment and ensure your solar system operates at its peak performance, it is essential to schedule regular solar panel cleanings.

Are you looking to save money on your electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint? Solar energy is the perfect solution! Energy Matters can help you get up to 3 FREE quotes from pre-qualified and vetted solar firms in your area.

Energy Matters has been a leader in the renewable energy industry since 2005 and has helped over 40,000 Australian households in their journey to energy independence. With Energy Matters, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible deal on solar energy. We only work with reputable solar firms with a proven track record of delivering high-quality solar systems.

Understanding solar panel maintenance

Solar panel maintenance encompasses various activities to ensure your photovoltaic (PV) system operates efficiently. It typically includes regular cleanings, inspections, and necessary repairs. Experts recommend scheduling professional solar panel cleaning services at least twice yearly, and many solar panel warranties require periodic cleaning. Moreover, an annual inspection is often part of a comprehensive maintenance plan.

Professional solar panel cleaning is a crucial aspect of maintenance. Dirty solar panels can lose up to 30% of their efficiency, which can significantly impact your system’s energy production. The cost of these cleaning services can vary depending on several factors.

Solar panel cleaning costs

The solar panel cleaning cost varies based on the number of panels, location, accessibility, and additional factors. However, the specific cost can fluctuate due to the following factors.

Number of panels: On average, a standard Australian home has 20 to 25 solar panels. The typical cost for cleaning a 20- to 25-panel system ranges from $240 to $600.

SOLAR PANEL CLEANING

ESTIMATED COST

20 panels

$240 to $600

40 panels

$480 to $1,200

More than 40 panels

$500+

  • Solar Location: The cost of maintaining solar panels on the ground level is substantially lower than those on the roof. Expect to pay extra if your roof is significantly steeper than normal. 
  • Property location: The cost of solar panel cleaning services also depends on the property’s accessibility and location. The cost of living, office expenses, and gas will impact your budget if you live in larger cities or more rural places.
  • Solar panel condition: The level of dirt and grime buildup on your panels affects the cost. The cleaning service will cost more if your panels require extra labour to clean due to severe dirt accumulation.

Factors affecting solar panel efficiency

Ensuring the efficiency of your solar panels is essential to maximise your energy production. Several factors can impact your solar installation’s efficiency:

  • Climate: Regions with consistent rainfall may require less frequent cleaning, while areas with low rainfall and dry conditions may need more regular cleaning.
  • Pollution: High levels of smog can deposit grime on your panels, reducing their efficiency by blocking sunlight.
  • Organic debris: Residues like tree sap, bird droppings, and tree resin can form hard deposits that need cleaning solutions to remove.
  • Pollen: Pollen during certain seasons can create a film on your panels, reducing their efficiency.

Related services

In addition to cleaning, there are other essential services to consider as part of your solar panel maintenance plan. 

Inspection: Solar panel inspections are crucial to ensure your system operates at peak performance. A basic inspection, costing between $250 and $1,100, checks for issues such as corrosion, loose wires, or cracked glass.

ESTIMATED COST

6.6kW

50kW

99kW

500kW

Basic Inspection

$250

$650

$850

$1,100

Detailed Inspection 

(inclusive of electrical testing)

$400

$1,000

$1,350

$2,900

Repairs: While smart monitoring systems can signal the need for repairs, annual inspections may also uncover issues. Common repairs include fixing cracked glass and loose wires. More complex repairs, such as inverter replacement, can be more expensive, potentially reaching $2,500.

SOLAR PANEL REPAIR

ESTIMATED COST

Panel cracks and damage

$200 to $400

Loose wiring

$135

Broken panel glass

$75 to $400

Broken inverter

$1,000 to $2,500

Panel corrosion

$200 to $500

Benefits of solar panel cleaning

Regularly cleaning and maintaining your solar panels offer several advantages, including:

  • Improved efficiency: Clean panels operate at full capacity, ensuring you get the most energy from your system.
  • Increased energy output: Dust, dirt, and other pollutants can accumulate on solar panels, reducing their efficiency by up to 25%. Regular cleaning can restore panels to optimal output, resulting in significant energy savings.
  • Extended lifespan: Solar panels are a significant investment, and proper maintenance can help extend their lifespan. By removing corrosive materials and preventing the buildup of dirt and grime, regular cleaning can help protect panels from damage and prolong their lifespan.
  • Improved aesthetics: Solar panels are visible in many homes and businesses, and dirty panels can detract from their appearance. Regular cleaning can help keep panels looking clean and new, enhancing the overall appearance of your property.
  • Reduced maintenance costs: Over time, the buildup of dirt and grime can cause problems with solar panels, such as hotspots and electrical faults. Regular cleaning can help prevent these problems from occurring, reducing the need for costly repairs.
  • Compliance with warranties: Many solar panel warranties require that panels be cleaned on a regular basis. Failure to do so can void the warranty, leaving you responsible for the cost of any repairs.

Professional, DIY Cleaning vs Upgrade solar cleaning technologies

solar panels professional cleaning

While professional solar panel maintenance is highly recommended, DIY options for cleaning your panels are available. However, following specific guidelines to avoid damage is essential:

  • Soft cleaning: Clean your panels with a soft brush, water, and soap. Avoid using a pressure washer, which can lead to damage and leaks.
  • Cleaning tools: Use water-fed poles and brush systems to clean your panels effectively.
  • Sprinkler-based solar cleaners: These are put in place close to your solar panels and are set up to clean them. You will only need to spend a short amount of time and effort maintaining them by refilling and replacing water filters—around 50 of these cost around $2,260.
  • Automatic cleaning systems: More expensive solutions include automatic cleaning systems or cleaning robots. Your solar panels can be cleaned each day by these robots without water. They clean off dirt and dust with microfiber cloths. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pressure wash my solar panels?

No, using a pressure washer can damage your solar panels. It’s best to use a soft brush, water, and soap for cleaning.

Should I remove snow from my solar panels?

In most cases, snow removal is unnecessary, as the heat generated by the standard operation of the panels can melt snow. However, you can invest in a specialised snow rake in areas with heavy snowfall.

Can I clean my solar panels if I have hard water?

It’s best to have your solar system professionally cleaned if you have hard water, as it can leave mineral deposits on the panels. Professional cleaning companies typically use clean water to prevent mineral buildup.

solar-panel-cleaning-diy

Still can’t afford to switch to solar power?

Are you considering getting solar panels but are currently short on funds? You can still invest wisely, and Energy Matters can help you. 

Powow and Energy Matters have teamed up to provide consumers with an alternative to switching to solar power and battery storage. 

The biggest obstacle to installing solar and battery storage is typically finance. With Powow’s PPA and VPP, our customers will have a $0 upfront option and financial stability in the uncertain energy market.

Get up to 3 obligation-free quotes by getting in touch with us right away. Find out what payment plan options suit your needs and budget!

Get a quick solar quote, or contact us today toll free on 1800 EMATTERS or email our friendly team for expert, obligation-free advice!

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