With the march of solar panels continuing across the UK, more and more owners of solar panels are concerned about keeping them clean. Many companies are also following in our footsteps and are wanting to offer a solar panel cleaning service. Both companies and consumers find themselves asking "Can I buy a solar panel cleaning kit?" whether on a commercial level, or for home use. Here we discuss what solar panel cleaning kits are available in the UK for home users.
Many home owners have had solar panels installed on the roofs of their houses and garages. They have come to realise they need cleaning. Many are ready to clean their own solar panels but do not know what to use. Here are some general guidelines:
- Work safely.
- If using ladders, make sure they are secured or footed at all times.
- Work within arms reach, not at arms reach.
- Protect yourself from the risk of electrocution.
- DO NOT use liquid chemicals to clean solar panels.
- Ultra-pure water is needed.
- If desired, dry the solar panels with a lint-free cloth.
Regarding the actual cleaning of the solar panels, there are solar panel cleaning kits commercially available that allow you to purify your mains water to the necessary high standard, suitable for cleaning your solar panels. Such solar panel cleaning kits cost around £350.00. The principle of them is that they link on to your outside tap, purify the mains water as it is fed through a vessel and then up through a telescopic pole with a brush on the end, designed for scrubbing and rinsing.
These solar panel cleaning kits usually include a telescopic pole with an extended length of 18' to 27'. Such a pole is ideal for garage or bungalow mounted panels, but is not long enough to reach those mounted on a two-storey house. A pole length of about 45' is needed.
These kits also come with a bag of de-ionising resin which goes into a vessel which links on to your outside tap. As mains water is pushed through the vessel, it changes the chemical makeup of the water whilst purifying it at the same time. This makes the water ultra-pure, suitable for solar panel cleaning. The resin will need to be replaced periodically for around £70.00 per bag.
Even more important than having right correct equipment though, is knowing how to clean your solar panels safely.
Firstly, if using ladders, please exercise extreme caution. Ladders are the second highest cause of personal accidents in the UK and often result in serious injury or fatality.
Secondly, you need to know how to protect yourself from the risk of electrocution. Your solar panels are producing a high amount of voltage which again can cause serious injury. In order to clean solar panels safely, some knowledge about how they work and how to protect yourself from the risks is required.
So while solar panel cleaning kits in the UK are very good, they are limited and the use of them involves a number of safety risks. The alternative choice, using a professional solar panel cleaner, also involves some serious safety considerations.
You should always ask anyone who professes to clean solar panels for a full Risk Assessment and Method Statement. Should the individual cleaning your solar panels be injured, you may be liable as they were working on your property. Many people choose to use a specialist solar panel cleaning company rather than a company or tradesperson (eg. window cleaner, handyman, electrician) offering solar panel cleaning as a secondary service.
The cost of cleaning represents good value for money, there is none of the hassle of purchasing, maintaining or storing a solar panel cleaning kit and, most important of all, a professional solar panel cleaning company will know how to clean your solar panels safely.
Other articles in this series include:
How To Remove Snow From Solar Panels
How Much Does Solar Panel Cleaning Cost?
Why Is Solar Panel Cleaning Important?
Posted on June 2, 2013
by Steve Williams filed under