Why is it important?
Solar panel cleaning and maintenance is the best way to maximise the power output from your solar system and avoid bill shock from underperforming panels. It’s also the only way to ensure the electrical safety of your solar system and your home.
- Ensure maximum efficiency for your system
- Ensure safety and peace of mind for your home and your family
- Have your system cleaned by a registered (A Grade) Electrician accredited by the Clean Energy Council
Get the most from your solar
Regular solar panel maintenance is essential for maximizing your solar energy production and electricity bill savings. It’s also essential for ensuring the electrical safety of your solar power system and your home according to the Australian Clean Energy Regulator and the Clean Energy Council.
Solar panel cleaning is also important for maximizing power generation. Whilst dirty solar panels don’t pose an electrical fire safety risk, it’s good practice to ensure your solar panels are properly cleaned on a regular basis.
How do I know if I need solar panels cleaning and maintenance?
Signs your solar panels need attention include a bigger than expected electricity bill, a warning light on your solar inverter, or solar panels that are noticeably grimy. But these warnings are a bit late in the day. A much better way is to use a solar monitoring app if your system has one. If not, we can supply the best-in-class solar monitoring software which we can retrofit to your solar system. You can even pass the job of solar monitoring to us. We can check your system performance remotely, receive system alerts and address any issues proactively.
What’s the biggest risk if I don’t get my solar panels serviced?
Getting your solar panels system regularly maintained is the best way of protecting your home from the risk of electrical fire caused by a faulty solar system. Whilst this is a relatively small risk, it’s worth taking precautionary measures to keep your home safe.
DC isolators, the biggest fire risk
According to Fire and Rescue NSW, the biggest cause of solar fires are faulty DC isolators. DC isolators are small devices installed on the roof beside solar panels to ensure the safety of firefighters in the event of a house fire.
From December 2021, Australian Standards for solar power systems have changed and no longer require a DC isolator to be installed (other safety measures have been specified to ensure firefighter safety).
3.3% of solar systems installed up to 2018 potentially unsafe
However, all solar systems installed before December 2021 will have DC isolators on the roof beside the solar panels. If the DC isolator switch has a cover over it and was correctly installed it shouldn’t pose a fire risk. However, the Clean Energy Regulator undertook a comprehensive survey of 30,000 residential solar systems and found that 3.3 per cent of solar panels systems installed between 2010-2018 are potentially unsafe. Whilst standards for DC isolators improved for the period 2019-2021, there is still a risk if the system was poorly installed.
Solar panel maintenance. A cheap form of insurance
Solar panel maintenance is like a cheap form of insurance and protects the safety of your home. It’s important to check the company undertaking your solar panel maintenance is a Registered Electrical Contractors with Energy Safe Victoria – also that the technicians carrying out the maintenance are Registered A-Grade Electricians. Read more about what makes us different from other companies.
What should a solar panel maintenance service include?
The Clean Energy Regulator has published a list specifying what should be carried out as part of a solar panel maintenance service. This includes checking:
- DC isolator switches don’t have any defects
- access to the isolator switches has not been compromised
- electrical components are operating correctly
- wiring is not damaged and hasn’t deteriorated
- no parts have deteriorated or corroded
- solar panels are clean, secure and defect-free
- vents don’t have any debris
- fittings and cables are securely attached
- the inverter display panel doesn’t show any recorded faults
- emergency procedures for isolation and shutdown are clearly displayed.
What should solar panel cleaning include?
Cleaning solar panels involves using:
- purified water – as tap water can leave residue on your solar panels
- a soft sponge – make sure nothing abrasive is used on the panels
- a hose – but not a pressure hose as this may cause damage
- dishwashing soap – if the dirt is particularly hard to get off
Can I do solar panels cleaning myself?
Yes, you can. Here are the pros and cons of DIY solar panel cleaning versus bringing in the professionals:
Pros and cons of DIY solar panels cleaning
|Do it whenever you think necessary||Risk of damage to panels|
|Less chance of spotting faults|
Advantages of professional solar panels cleaning include:
- You aren’t risking your personal safety by going up on your roof.
- They can check for faults that you might not spot – such as hot spots, micro-cracks and water seepage onto the DC isolator.
- Solar panel cleaning can be undertaken at the same time as solar panel maintenance – this can be more cost effective.
Is it worth paying for solar panel cleaning and maintenance?
Yes, in our opinion it is worth paying to get your solar panel system professionally cleaned and maintained. The benefits include:
- Improved electrical safety
- Increased solar panel efficiency
- Optimised solar energy production
- Lower electricity bills
- Prolonged useful life of the solar system
- Any faults identified quicky before they cause damage
How often should I get my solar panels cleaned and serviced?
Solar panel maintenance: Energy Safe Victoria recommend that solar panel systems should serviced every two years. They state that “the best way to identify faults and avoid house fires is regular servicing, especially for those systems installed prior to 2018.”
Energy Safe Victoria also states that solar panel system maintenance should be undertaken by a registered (A Grade) electrician who is employed by a Registered Electrical Contractor. They also recommend that the electrician is accredited with the Clean Energy Council.
Solar panels cleaning: How often you get your solar panels cleaned depends on how prone your roof is to grime, dust, leaf letter and bird droppings etc. If you live in the inner city, near factories, the sea (think sea salt), in the bush etc, you may need your panels cleaned more frequently.
A quick visual check will tell you whether the panels are dirty or not. But some forms of dirt – like from pollution – are not so easy to spot.
The best way to check whether panels need cleaning is with a solar power monitoring system that shows any loss in power output. If this is of interest, get in touch for a quote.
We recommend that your solar panels are cleaned every two years at the same time your solar power system is serviced. However, if your panels are susceptible to higher-than-average levels of grime, an annual clean may be advisable.
Why choose Specialized Solar and Electrical for solar panels cleaning and maintenance?
- We are a Registered Electrical Contractor and Clean Energy Council Retailer, adhering to the highest electrical solar safety standards in the industry.
- The personnel we employ to undertake solar panel maintenance checks are Registered A-Grade Electricians.
- Our solar panel maintenance checks cover all items specified by the Clean Energy Regulator.
- We supply a written report after the maintenance check which:
- Itemizes exactly was checked.
- Includes full written details of any faults that need to be fixed as well. (We can also provide a fully costed quote for rectifying system faults if the equipment is out of warranty).
- We can advise, and where appropriate, supply third-party solar monitoring systems that provide early fault detection and remote monitoring.
- If you wish, you can outsource the entire job of monitoring your solar system performance to us. We can put in place a regular maintenance schedule so that your are fully covered against any risk of system underperformance or failure.
Get in touch if you’d like a quote for solar panels cleaning and maintenance. No matter where you live in Melbourne, Victoria, Sydney or southern NSW we can help you out!