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How often should Solar Panels be cleaned?

January 07, 2021

Solar systems are a great source of energy and account for 5.2 per cent of total electrical energy production in Australia. Dirty solar panels are not as efficient, losing up to 50 per cent of their energy output. For optimal performance in Melbourne, it is best to occasionally clean your solar system to remove dust and other buildup from the surface.

Why rainwater does not clean solar panels

Some people mistakenly believe rainwater will ‘wash’ their solar panels, doing the tough job of keeping them clean. Whilst they may appear slightly cleaner than they were before a rainfall, they may have a light film on them due to the mixture of rain and accumulated dust. Rain contains airborne dust particles, so while it gets exterior surfaces wetter, it does not thoroughly clean them. If you are relying on rain to keep your solar panels clean, you likely are losing efficiency. Unsure if your panels are still working properly? Contact our solar system experts to assess whether your panels just need a good cleaning or if they are failing.

Signs your Melbourne solar system requires cleaning

One of the surest signs it is time to clean your solar panels is a downward trend in energy production. Accumulation of dust and debris prevents light from being absorbed by solar cells within your panels. When that happens, your energy production will steadily decline.

Bird droppings are a major enemy of solar energy production. The upward angle of most solar panels makes them a prime target for our feathered friends. If you live in an area where there is a lot of overhead ‘traffic,’ visually inspect your panels for signs of bird poo accumulation and take action if your panels are starting to resemble a birdie loo.

Best cleaning methods

Climbing onto the roof to clean your panels can be risky business. That is why most solar system owners in Melbourne opt to have theirs professionally cleaned. Solar panel cleaning companies use the appropriate cleansers and tools to get the job done effectively and safely. Regular cleaning helps keep your solar system warranty intact, helps your panels maximise energy production, and saves you money over the long haul. We recommend cleaning solar panels at least once annually. More frequent cleaning may be required if you live in an area with greater levels of environmental toxins and dust. Not sure whether you should clean your own panels or hire a professional? Reach out to our team at Solar Miner for a recommendation.

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