Frequently Asked Questions
Solar power and solar hot water systems Brisbane, Townsville and Queensland
Do I need to clean my solar panels?
Over time, solar panels can become dirty and produce less power because light radiation is unable to get through to the solar cells. The loss in production can be anywhere from 1% to 25% in extreme circumstances. As per your general maintenance in your Solar handbook, it is required that you undertake a cleaning/maintenance procedure to ensure your panels are free from:
- Pollution and Grime
- Bat/Bird Faeces
- Shading Issues
This maintenance procedure is normally carried out every twelve months, unless you have had severe weather/dust conditions and are concerned about the conditions of the panels. Please ensure that you follow your guidelines and shutdown procedures for cleaning your PV system. Guidelines are located within your solar handbook.
What do you clean the panels with?
There are quite a few different options for cleaning the panels and they depend on each location.
One popular method is to use straight tap water. This option is also preferred for customers that collect rainwater from guttering around the panels since there are no mild detergents used in the cleaning process.
*Note: This method should only be used occasionally as it WILL NOT remove greasy or built-up film on the solar panel. It is recommended that the second method is used as part of the cleaning schedule.
The second method is to use a mild detergent with water to ensure that any built up grime or film can be completely removed. This method is within your solar handbook and should be carried out every 12 months to ensure the optimal performance of your investment. Apollo Solar offers a wide range of maintenance and service plans for your convenience.
I've had another company tell me I will loose a large amount of efficiency if I don’t clean my panels every 3 months.
Unfortunately in our industry, there are a lot of companies that will see something on the internet and believe that it is the case for everyone. In rare instances where customers live in coastal or desert regions in America or Europe and do not clean their solar panels in line with the maintenance schedule, they will see a significant decrease in returning their panels back to their optimal performance level.
ASK if they GUARANTEE that you will get an extra 30% efficiency after cleaning your panels. The answer will often be that it will be different for each person and they cannot guarantee that efficiency.
The other important thing to note is that if you have another company or individual wanting to clean or maintain your investment, make sure they are a qualified electrician or are certified by the Clean Energy Council of Australia.
Can I clean the panels myself every 3 months?
Yes, of course you can! Many people prefer to maintain their own panels to keep operating at peak performance, however this may be easier for some people than others. We do advise that any cleaning that you do, to ensure that you follow safety procedures and do not place yourself in harm. Also realise that if you are cleaning the panels that the roof may get slippery in the process and try to clean the panels in the early morning to avoid heat and larger amounts of solar energy.
I thought my panels were self cleaning?
If your panels are above 10 degrees your panels are considered to be self cleaning naturally. What this actually means is that when there is rain the natural motion of the water will generally clean the dirt etc from the module. This natural cleaning is widely used across the world in many everyday applications such as windows and street lights, however this does not negate the fact that they do sometimes require extra attention. Dust and grime may build up and cannot be effectively cleaned with the self cleaning method.
Can I get anyone to clean my Solar PV System?
Although cleaning your solar panels doesn’t seem like a hard task, having the wrong person clean them could have negative and serious side effects to not only your system but somebody’s health. Solar PV systems operate with high DC dangerous voltage and should only be inspected by an accredited and licensed electrician.
It is also important to know that if the system is damaged by a unlicensed person that your warranty will be voided. This is not to scare you as a customer but make you aware that there is differences in people’s abilities and accreditations. It is in your best interest to have your system cleaned or maintained by a professional to ensure your system is safe, operational and giving you the best returns possible.
If you are unsure about this please speak to us about your specific system and we can give you some great advice and information.
Who do you provide solar power and solar hot water to?
We provide solar power and solar hot water to homes and businesses all throughout Queensland. Although we our main offices are in Brisbane and Townsville, we provide solar power and solar hot water services Queensland-wide.
For More Information - Click Here for the Clean Energy Councils - Consumer Guide