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Cleaning Services for Solar Panels: Maximising Energy Efficiency

Cleaning Advice / February 5, 2024


Have you ever wondered how to keep your solar panels operating at peak performance? Proper maintenance and cleaning is key to maximising solar panel efficiency. Over time, buildup of dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris can drastically reduce the energy output of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Investing in professional solar panel cleaning services pays dividends when it comes to your return on investment.

Regular scheduled cleanings by experienced service professionals can help maintain optimum solar panel productivity. However, not all solar arrays require the same frequency of washing. Factors like environmental conditions, local climate and weather patterns impact cleaning needs. Working with a reputable solar cleaning company provides customised solutions based on your specific situation.

Why Regular Solar Panel Cleaning is Essential

The accumulation of soil, plant matter, bird droppings, air pollution fallout and other contaminants on solar modules causes a phenomenon known as soiling. This debris blocks sunlight absorption, decreasing the amount of irradiance reaching the silicon cells. Soiling can reduce solar production capacity by up to 50% in high deposition environments according to research.

Over time, soiling builds up through a process called particulate accumulation. Solar panels become dirty via two mechanisms – dry deposition where particles settle on surfaces, and wet deposition which sticks pollutants during precipitation. Areas with high levels of vehicle emissions or agricultural activity tend to see heavier soiling.

In addition to obstructing sunlight capture, soiling also impacts system performance by increasing module temperatures. Dirt prevents heat from radiating off panel surfaces properly, causing overheating. High temperatures degrade the PV cell materials, further inhibiting efficiency.

Professional Solar Panel Cleaning Techniques

Reputable solar cleaning contractors utilise methods that safely remove soil and deposits without damaging the panels. Proper procedures also minimise water usage given the scarcity of this resource in Australia. Here are some of the techniques professionals use:

  • Dry brushing – Soft brush attachments on poles remove loose dirt and caked-on dust.
  • Vacuuming – Industrial vacuums lift deposits from solar array surfaces.
  • Spray wash – A controlled spray washes panels using specialised nozzles, regulated psi levels, and filtered water.
  • Pure water rinse – A final pure water rinse prevents spotting.
  • Panel drying – Proper drying prevents water marks and buildup on framing.

Technicians inspect panels and site conditions to determine the appropriate washing methods. For example, vacuuming is very effective for removing pollen, whereas spray washing excels at removing stubborn particulates. Professionals also analyze factors like panel tilt and position to access all surfaces.

Frequency of Solar Panel Cleaning

How often solar arrays need washing varies significantly. Solar farms in arid desert environments may only require cleaning every 12-24 months. Meanwhile, panels in industrial areas or near the ocean can need quarterly or even monthly cleanings.

When evaluating your solar cleaning frequency, consider these factors:

  • Climate conditions – Areas with high humidity, rainfall, and coastal moisture necessitate more frequent cleaning than dry, desert locales.
  • Environment – Solar arrays near construction zones, agricultural crops, highways, and manufacturing facilities tend to soil faster than rural surroundings.
  • Weather patterns – Seasonal pollen, dust storms, bushfire ash, and sandstorms impact cleaning schedules.
  • Panel tilt & angle – Vertical arrays and tilted panels catch more airborne particulates than those positioned horizontally.

In many cases, setting up a monthly, quarterly or biannual solar panel cleaning routine is advisable to offset soiling. However, working with a solar cleaning company, they can assess your situation and recommend the optimal frequency.

Benefits of Professional Solar Panel Cleaning

While DIY solar panel cleaning is tempting, the risks often outweigh the rewards. Professionals have experience, tools and techniques perfected over thousands of panel washes. Benefits of using a solar cleaning service include:

  • Increased solar production – Cleaning companies optimise procedures to maximise energy output. Gains of up to 30% after washing are common.
  • Equipment – Pressure washers, vacuums, telescoping brushes, and water filtration systems safely and effectively remove grime.
  • Safety – Technicians are specially trained to work on rooftop and ground mount solar arrays at height using proper protective gear.
  • Efficiency – Solar cleaning contractors develop site-specific plans balancing maximum cleaning with minimal water usage.
  • Convenience – Reputable companies offer scheduled cleaning so you can “set and forget.”

When comparing solar panel cleaning companies, inquire about their experience, training, equipment, and customer service ratings. Numerous testimonials from satisfied Australian solar customers is a good sign.

How much does solar panel cleaning cost?

Professional solar panel cleaning costs range from 10 to 35 cents per watt depending on array size, complexity, and frequency. Expect to pay $300 to $1000+ for a standard residential system cleaning.

When should solar panels be cleaned?

Ideally panels should be cleaned whenever output drops 5% or more from soiling buildup. For most systems that equates to quarterly or biannual cleanings depending on environmental factors.

Can I pressure wash my own solar panels?

Pressure washing solar arrays risks damaging panels and voiding warranties if done improperly. It’s best to leave pressure washing to trained professionals using regulated equipment.

What’s the best way to clean solar panels?

The optimal solar panel cleaning solution combines methods like vacuuming, soft dry brushing, controlled wet spraying, and purified water rinsing to lift all deposits safely.


Regular solar panel maintenance performed by a reputable cleaning contractor maximises your return on investment. Eco Cleaning Brisbane has over 20 years of experience providing efficient solar array washing for homes and businesses across the region. Contact us today for a free quote tailored to your system’s unique requirements. Investing in regular professional cleanings ensures your solar PV system generates optimal green energy for decades to come.

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