Best Practice

The Importance of Cleaning Panels

The cleaning and maintenance of panels is important in order to protect the asset owners’ investment. Solar farm sites are a relatively long-term investment, which means that solar panels must be kept in good working order to reduce maintenance and panel replacement costs.

If solar panels are not regularly cleaned, dirt and other foreign bodies are likely to reduce productivity and diminish the owner’s ROI.

“Regular cleaning of solar panels reduces the build up of hard to remove materials.”

Robert Mack, Site Supervisor

Frequency of Cleaning Panels

We recommend that solar farms are cleaned annually. However in situations of neglect or heavy soiling this may need to be increased. Sites near industrial / agricultural operations or close to roads may also need to be cleaned more frequently due to higher levels of contaminants.

Neglect Could Affect Panel Warranty

Dirt build up could damage panels and may invalidate your warranty. Neglect could be used against you and compromise a claim should your solar panels fail or become inefficient. The best practice is to clean solar panels regularly. We provide a cleaning report following each cleaning job. This can be used as proof that a site has been cleaned and maintained should a warranty issue arise.

Pollutants

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    Bird Droppings

    Heavy soiling by bird droppings can corrode solar panels. Droppings are not effectively washed off by rainwater alone and are especially stubborn once dry.

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    Pollen

    Pollen is an adhesive substance which is unlikely to be removed by rainwater alone. Pollen can also aid other substances in sticking to panels.

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    Pesticides

    Pesticides can be very sticky, especially in hot weather when their water content has evaporated. They can leave an adhesive residue on the panels to which dust will bind.

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    Rain

    Rainwater can, in certain conditions, clean dust and some types of dirt off solar panels. However, rain can also leave it’s own residue that could reduce your solar farm’s production. This is more likely to happen during summer months when evaporation can leave a mineral or fine dust residue. Solar farm sites within close proximity to the coast should be monitored for an additional build-up of salt.

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    Air Pollution

    Solar farms close to roads or factories can be subject to increased pollution build-up resulting from combustion of fossil fuels.

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    Dust

    Wherever you go in the UK there will be a degree of atmospheric dust; some areas have a higher concentration than others. Solar panels located in areas with higher concentrations (near factories, roads, arable fields etc.) will be more prone to a build-up of dust.

“Our focus is always to give our clients the service that is the best possible fit for their site requirements and project objectives”

Michael Collis, Operations Coordinator

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