A watch, a satellite, a calculator and a house. The commonalities of these four things? They can all run, more or less, on the rays of the Sun. Solar electricity is becoming increasingly common in households throughout the world as costs drop and the effectiveness of photovoltaic (PV) systems rise. So why do maintenance and cleaning costs get such a bad rap for being expensive and trivial?
It’s easy to see how a system’s panels can collect grime from time to time with pollution and dust, dirt and leaves, sometimes even bird droppings…. All this debris blocks the most efficient absorption of the sun’s shine which put a damper on the effectiveness of the system. But should it be such a complicated or costly fix?
Solar Panel Maintenance Costs
Solar panel maintenance costs vary depending on the system. Here are some options:
A cleaning service. Much like windows, solar panels can invoke the help of a cleaning service hired to get up on the roof and tidy up. But cleaning services charge an arm and a leg. They generally charge a base fee (around $149), a fee for climbing up on a roof and then they charge panel by panel. Most houses are powered by 10 or 20 panels according to National Renewable Energy Lab, and charging per panel adds up quickly.
An automated cleaning system. Simply said, these systems are like sprinklers, but instead of for the lawn they are for solar panels. Most systems recommend using their soap mixture or they won’t take responsibility for any damage done. That fact combined with a warranty of only a year and the pricing of renewal, and maintenance costs on a cleaning system that is only guaranteed for a year? The prices just went up indefinitely.
Self-cleaning panels or films. This technology is in the market, but is still being tested… by NASA... to operate on Mars. If those boys are still toying with it, then it doesn’t bode well as an inexpensive investment. Aside from the costs of buying into uncharted territory, replacing parts or upgrading parts would set any person back a pretty penny, astronaut or otherwise.
None of them are especially appealing, so what does that leave?
Solar Panel Maintenance Requirements
The truth of the matter is simply this: most solar panel maintenance should be a preventative routine. Since PV systems don’t have any moving parts there aren’t any pieces that need to be constantly replaced. In fact, the bulk of the regular spending on a solar system comes down to paying for maintenance on a cleaning system, their warranties and the associated labor costs.
So what can be done instead?
Most solar panels can be taken care of with just a garden hose. Wanting to get a little more scrub-a-dub? PV systems are built to last with lives that span across decades. Because solar panels consist of cells that are protected by glass much like a windshield protects a car they should be cleaned similarly. While they should be treated with attention and care, it’s recommended that the panels are cleaned with dish soap, water and a long-reaching squeegee. Better yet… is it raining? Consider that a free panel wash from Mother Nature.
Don’t bury yourself in extraneous costs. With Superior Solar, you don’t need much more than a garden hose to keep your panels clean and functioning at full capacity. This means no hassles, no handymen and no maintenance costs for a system that will last for decades. Contact us today for a FREE quote and savings analysis on the addition of a PV system to your home.
Topics: Solar Panels & Maintenance