The Solar Panel Cleaning Guide

The ultimate guide for cleaners interested in the commercial, industrial (C&I), and utility-scale solar segment.

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1.1 billion solar panels will be added in the next 8 years.

The solar panel cleaning service market will be worth an estimated $1.5 billion dollars by the end of 2030.

Solar Panel Cleaning Machinery/Robotics Guide – Commercial, Industrial and Utility-Scale

How to Start a Solar Panel Cleaning Business – Financials?

What drives demand for solar panel cleaning?

The accumulation of dust, soot, snow or other particulates causes a drop in the efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) panels, which translates to a decline in the amount of power produced and lost income for their operators.

According to NREL, Performance loss due to soiling is estimated to be 2-25% annually.

“Site analyses are finding that PV Module soiling is a leading cause of recoverable underperformance.

On utility scale installations, cleaning represents 14 – 25% of the O&M costs.

PV Asset owners clean to improve their revenue not because they want pretty solar panels.

Limpieza de paneles solares en seco y humedo

Table of Contents

  • Disclaimers
  • What drives the demand for solar panel cleaning
  • Solar Installation Projected Growth
  • Our value proposition as SPC
  • Solar panel cleaning challenges – Solar Installations Guide
  • Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Solar Installations Types
  • Utility-Scale Solar Installations Types
  • Typical Utility-Scale Solar Installations
  • Cleaning Agrovoltaics Sites
  • Standard Solar Panel vs BIFACIAL Solar Panel
  • How are C&I solar installations distributed in the USA?
  • Most U.S. solar photovoltaic power plants are 5 megawatts or smaller yet most power is produced by installations with 50+ MW
  • Pitch is important. Can your machinery do the job?
  • Commercial, Industrial, and Utility-Scale Solar Panel Cleaning Machinery
  • Solar Panel Cleaning (SPC) Machinery Guide Commercial & Industrial
  • Solar Panel Cleaning (SPC) Machinery Guide Utility-Scale (Solar Farms)
  • When and where to apply dry cleaning?
  • Solar Panel Cleaning (SPC) Machinery Guide Dry Cleaning and Others
  • Solar Panel Cleaning Equipment Manufacturers with offices (legal entities) in the USA
  • Solar Panel Cleaning Machinery Pros and Cons
  • 12 standard stages in every commercial, industrial and utility-scale solar panel cleaning job.
  • Solar Panel Cleaning Machinery Pros and Cons by Machine Type
  • Does the aerial lift reach all the solar panels?

Table of Contents continued

  • Solar Panel Cleaning Troubleshooting Guide
  • How often should solar panels be cleaned?
  • Does the rain clean my solar panels? – a little humor
  • Solar Panel Cleaning Complimentary Equipment
  • Basic information for starting your commercial, industrial and utility-scale solar panel cleaning business
  • Lead Generation Guidelines
  • How to price each solar panel cleaning job?
  • Standard Costs in any SPC company
  • Sample SPC cash flow statement – To be developed
  • How much can I earn with my solar panel cleaning business? To be developed
  • Do I need a contractor license to clean solar panels?
  • HR and Scaling Solar Panel Cleaning Services
  • Listen and Talk to people in your industry
  • Best of luck in your endeavors

12 Standard Solar Panel Cleaning Stages

Safety – Before we get started, how can we ensure operator and bystander safety? Let’s be “safe-centric”

PV Site Damage Control – Before we get started, how can we ensure that we will not damage the PV site? 

Transportation – How do we move the equipment from the company warehouse or homebase to the jobsite and vice versa?

Arrival / Setup – Once we arrive at the the jobsite with our equipment, how do we get setup? What resources do we need to get to work? 

12 Standard Solar Panel Cleaning Stages

Water Treatment – How do we treat our water? Do we do this at the job site or do we do it at a company warehouse and then transport the treated water?

Water Management – How do we get the water from the source to the machinery and solar panels? How do we handle the long hoses and what tools can we use to make this handling easier and more efficient? Do we need to refill the source?

Array (Row) Cleaning – Once we get the equipment setup and the machinery is on the array, how well do we perform the cleaning? 

  • How many trips to clean the array?
  • Water consumption per trip?

12 Standard Solar Panel Cleaning Stages

Gap Management – It is common that solar installations have gaps within the array or row. How does the solar panel cleaning equipment cross that gap and will it be a problem? Gaps can be problematic and there are workarounds. 

Row to Row (Moving from one array to another) – How do we move the machinery from one row to the next? Rows/arrays are constant in every solar panel cleaning job and each installation requires that you solve the problem in a tailored way.

Equipment Power ManagementHow is our equipment powered and how can we ensure constant and efficient power so we do not have to stop working?

Departure (Basically the same as Arrival / Setup) but not always the same.

TransportationTime to go home or to the next jobsite!

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