Is it dangerous to clean solar panels?
Mine are looking a bit dirty, but it doesn’t feel safe to get up on the roof and give them a clean.
So the answer to that is twofold. Firstly, it doesn’t do much good. You’ll get a little bit of increased output, but not as much as you’d think, and by that I mean you don’t lose much output from normal dust settling on the panels. Also, when it rains the dust washes off.
For example, here in our Solaray office, we’ve had a work site across the road here for quite some time now and it gets very dusty.
But when it rains, the dust washes off and the output from the panels goes back up to where it was before. But we’re only talking about a very small percentage, it’s not a major decrease in output. We are talking about $5 or $10 in lost savings over a year, literally that small.
So importantly, it doesn’t matter most of the time.
However, if it’s like really bad, for example, you’ve got a big gumtree dropping sap or bird droppings or something like that and it’s really bad, then you can give them a clean.
We recommend, if possible to try and do it from the ground level. The idea of someone getting up on a ladder with a hose and spraying down the panels on a slippery roof… it’s just a little bit dangerous. For someone to fall off their roof to try and save $10 is not something we want to see happening.
If you’re the type of person that’s up on your roof a lot clean cleaning the gutters, for example, I know my dad used to do that when I was a kid because we had big trees around us and there was a bush fire risk, you know, sure. Get up there, just do it safely with a hose and give the panels a spray.
In terms of getting electrocuted, that’s not really a risk, but again, it’s technically possible that it could happen if there was a loose cable and you’re standing on a metal roof with bare feet. So again, a bit of common sense, but also just stay clear from taking any risks.
In terms of paying a company to come out and clean your roof every six months as I see advertised, it’s generally not worth the money because the benefit is so much smaller than the money it costs to pay for someone to clean the panels.