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When it comes to green energy generation, solar panels are a cost effective and very low maintenance investment in your property. Unlike generators, solar panels don’t need refuelling and haven’t got multiple moving parts that can wear out over time.
However, if you want to protect and extend the life of your solar panel investment, it’s still a good idea to clean and service your solar panels at least once a year.
Clean and well maintained solar panels are much more efficient at producing energy than panels that are installed and forgotten about by home or business owners.
Book a solar panel clean and service today, to lower your electricity bills and increase the money you earn from feed-in tariffs!
Solar Panel Cleaning
Airborne pollutants, dust, tree sap, leaf litter, bird droppings, industrial residues, ocean salts and other substances can collect on your solar panels (especially if they have a fairly flat tilt) and reduce the amount of electricity they generate. Even if grime is only blocking the light to part of a solar panel, the whole system’s performance can be affected.
Regular cleaning will wash away these potentially corrosive pollutants, making your system run more efficiently for longer.
Dirty solar panels can reduce the amount of money you save on electricity by up to 30%, so it makes sense to consider the cost of the energy you’re losing in comparison to the cost of hiring a professional to conduct your solar panel cleaning.
Hire a Professional
It’s best to get a professional to take care of your solar panel cleaning, as cleaning solar panels involves many hazards including:
- Introducing water to an electrical system, which could cause a serious electrical shock if there is a crack or corroded part you’re unaware of.
- Gaining access to your rooftop and bringing all your cleaning equipment up with you.
- Working high above the ground on a slippery, wet roof.
- Working on solar panels that can become dangerously hot, even when switched off.
Hiring Green Spark’s professional solar panel cleaners means your panels will be cleaned safely, quickly and effectively. Plus, you won’t risk accidentally invalidating your solar system warranty by using improper cleaning methods or products.
Our Solar Panel Cleaning Method
At Green Spark Electrical we use non-abrasive equipment and pure, de-ionised water to wash away all of the grime on your solar panels. Using chemical cleaning products can leave your panels with streaks, spots or residue, which can attract dust and reduce the efficiency of your system shortly after cleaning.
We never use chemicals when cleaning solar panels, so you can be assured that your panels will stay cleaner for longer, and the quality of the rainwater in your home’s tanks stays unaffected.
Hint: if you want to save time and money cleaning your solar panels, book in a clean on a cloudy day or in the early morning when the dew has settled on the panels and softened up the grime. This will make the job easier and quicker.
How Often Do My Panels Need Cleaning?
Under normal conditions, solar panels should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year. However, where your house is situated will affect how often your solar system needs cleaning.
Gold Coast homes enjoy a close proximity to the ocean, but this also means their solar panels are more prone to corrosion by salt water exposure. Green Spark Electrical recommends cleaning panels in coastal regions every quarter.
If you live near the airport, downwind from a highway, or in an industrial area that experiences a lot of smog or pollution, it’s a good idea to get your solar panels cleaned at least every six months.
Solar Panel Servicing
In addition to cleaning, if you want to get the most out of your solar panels, they also need to be serviced annually.
Investigations by Australia’s Clean Energy Regular have revealed that as many as 20% of Australia’s solar systems are not delivering the maximum returns they are capable of.
At Green Spark, we offer a solar panel service and efficiency check to evaluate the electricity generation of your system and diagnose and fix any problems we find.
Some of the most common problems our technicians encounter include:
- Dirty or damaged photovoltaic modules
- Corroded or damaged cabling/connectors that increase the risk of fire
- Damaged wires touching the roof or hanging from panels that present a shock hazard
- Degraded grounding systems, especially in old solar panel systems
Our Solar Panel Service Method
As part of our servicing and solar efficiency checks, our accredited solar panel service technicians check of all the major components of your solar panel system.
We also issue you with a complete mechanical issue and energy efficiency report, including an in-depth assessment of your unit and any recommendations.
Our solar panel service includes:
- System performance evaluation: Comparison of your system’s performance with typical or expected electricity generation for its model.
- Shade impact analysis: Recommendations for pruning any trees or bushes that are affecting or will affect the performance of your solar panels in the future.
- Detailed hardware check: visual inspection and checks of all of your system’s major components.
Servicing your solar panel system annually will not only prolong its life and ensure maximum electricity generation, but it will also help maintain your system’s manufacturer’s warranty as well as any warranties provided by your installation company.
Detailed Hardware Check
When you book any trade or electrical service, it’s important to know just what you’re getting for your money. At Green Spark Electrical we are committed delivering services in a transparent and honest way. The detailed hardware check included in our solar panel service and efficiency check audits all of the major components of your solar panel system, including:
- Check of panel mounting hardware
- Visual inspection of the panels for any damage, including cracks, browning or yellowing, moisture penetration or frame corrosion
- Check of cabling and conduits to ensure they are secure and free from water or vermin damage
- Check the voltage of each string is appropriate
- Check the earth connection for continuity
- Verification of any external bypass diodes
- Check the tightness of connections, water accumulation, integrity of lid seals, integrity of cable entrance and/or conduit sealing, and integrity of clamping devices
- Check of any blocking diodes and surge arresters for deterioration
- Check of connections for tightness and possible corrosion
- Visual inspection of fuse boxes for any damage or water entry
- Check of fuses and connections for resistive joints
- Check of breakers/isolators for suitability or damage
- Check of breaker and connections for resistive joints
- Measurement of open circuit voltages and short circuit currents
- Verification of the operation of isolation devices
- Visual inspection of the inverter for any damage
- Detailed cleaning of the inverter to stop pollutants affecting electrical components
- Check of connections for resistive joints
- Check the DC voltage applied to inverter input
- Ensuring there’s enough space surrounding the units to allow them to cool
- Check the alignment and rigidity of the framing system
- Check for loose fittings.
Basic Preventative Maintenance
Following a few basic maintenance steps can help safeguard your system against future mechanical problems it might otherwise have. Know you are getting the most out of your investment every day of the year by:
Once a Week
- Checking the LED light on your inverter indicates that it is operating under different sunlight conditions
- Checking your inverter is recording energy generation
Once a Quarter
- Ensuring there are no trees or large plants growing near your system that are blocking sunlight to its panels, particularly between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
- Checking for leaf litter around your panels and framing
- Checking to see if your panels have a build-up of grime or bird droppings
- Checking your electricity bill to make sure your electricity provider is crediting you for the correct amount of excess energy your system generates.
Once a Year
- Booking a solar panel clean
- Having a Green Spark technician conduct a solar panel efficiency check and service
Book Your Green Spark Clean & Service Today
If you’re looking for a reliable, local and certified solar panel technician to conduct your solar panel cleaning, solar panel service, or solar efficiency check, contact Green Spark Electrical today!
Our solar experts can provide 24/7 solar panel service and support for Gold Coast home and businesses.
For a quote on any of our services, or if you have any questions about solar power feel free to: