EcoShine Solar is New Zealand’s leading solar panel cleaning and maintenance company, providing professional cleaning and maintenance services to keep your solar system operating at peak efficiency.
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Eco Shine Solar is owned and operated by three brothers, Edwin, Sam, and Ben. All born and raised in the Bay of Plenty with a love for adventure and the outdoors.
Out of high school, we pursued a career in professional sports, representing New Zealand in beach volleyball and picking up a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games.
Transferring our work ethic from the sand to the roofs has come naturally. Our goal is to be New Zealand’s leading solar maintenance company, helping everyday Kiwis get the most from their solar PV investment.
Take a look at what we check to make sure your solar panel system is working at maximum efficiency!
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The solar industry in New Zealand has been experiencing steady growth in recent years as more people are becoming aware of the benefits of renewable energy. New Zealand’s climate with ample sunshine, particularly in the North Island, makes it an ideal location for solar power generation.
More recently lenders have made it more appealing for home owners to invest in solar with green loans and low interest rates for renewable energy. This paired with the decreasing cost of solar and increases in efficiency has led to more adoption.
The industry has become much more established, with many solar companies now operating locally. With that said, Eco Shine Solar believes there is still a lot of potential for further growth and innovation in the sector.
Residential solar power systems have become increasingly popular in recent years as more people look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills. An increase in energy costs and a rise in electric vehicles have also contributed to more people opting for solar systems.
A residential solar system typically consists of solar panels, an inverter, and a battery. The panels convert sunlight into DC electricity, which is then converted into AC electricity by the inverter, and the excess energy is stored in the battery for later use. By generating their own electricity, homeowners can reduce their dependence on the grid and lower their energy costs.
Commercial and residential solar customers have several differences in their motivations, needs, and approaches to solar power.
Commercial solar customers typically require larger systems to meet their energy needs. This is because commercial buildings have higher energy requirements due to their larger size and the need to power equipment such as air conditioning, lighting, and machinery. Commercial customers are generally more focused on the financial benefits of solar, such as reducing operating costs, enhancing their brand image, and meeting sustainability goals.
In terms of financing, residential solar customers often have the option to purchase or lease their solar system, while commercial customers may also have access to financing through commercial loans or power purchase agreements (PPAs).
The industrial solar industry is rapidly expanding here in New Zealand, driven by the increasing demand for renewable energy and the decreasing cost of solar technology. One particular segment of the industrial solar industry that has seen significant growth is solar farms. Solar farms are large-scale solar installations that generate electricity by using rows of solar panels on the ground or mounted on structures.
Solar farms have several advantages over other forms of renewable energy, such as wind or hydroelectric power. Solar energy is more predictable and consistent, with solar panels generating energy even on cloudy days. Solar farms are also modular, allowing for easy expansion as energy demand grows. Moreover, solar farms have a relatively low environmental impact and can be installed in a wide range of locations, including rural and remote areas.
Solar farms are typically developed by private companies or utilities and can range in size from a few megawatts to hundreds of megawatts. The energy generated by solar farms is often sold to utilities or commercial and industrial customers through power purchase agreements (PPAs).
The majority of solar panel models in New Zealand require regular inspections and cleaning to maintain warranties. Panels are prone to collecting debris, which affects performance. Salt spray, pollen, bird droppings, dust, and lichen are all common enemies of solar panels in the New Zealand environment.
Maintaining peak performance is not the only goal of maintenance. Heavy salt buildup and rampant lichen, moss, and mould can cause permanent damage to solar panels if not remedied. Seal damage, hot spots, staining, delamination, and microcracks are common issues we see with systems that have been left to fend for themselves. Manufacturers will not honour warranties for issues that have been caused by neglect. Therefore, customers are left having to replace panels or live with a permanent decreased energy production.
An annual maintenance check and clean will ensure your panels are not only at peak performance but also reach their full lifespan.
The frequency of cleaning required for solar panels in New Zealand will depend on the environment and the specific location of the panels. For example, panels in a rural area with few trees and low levels of air pollution may require cleaning annually. On the other hand, panels located in a heavily polluted urban area may need to be cleaned biannually. As a general guideline, we recommend an annual cleaning. Factors that may require a more regular service include proximity to heavy pollen, salt spray, and areas prone to lichen.
Commercial and industrial clients can be as frequent as quarterly. Often, with larger systems, a minor drop in production due to soiling can mean a large amount of lost revenue from solar power output. Each case is considered and communicated individually based on the client’s needs.
The core factor of any professional solar panel cleaning service is pure water. Solar panels are prone to staining from mineralisation. New Zealand water supplies, be they council, tank, or bore, can all have heavy mineralisation content. There are many methods of making pure water, but none better than Reverse Osmosis. Many panel manufactures warranties exclusively state that pure water must be produced via RO/DI. Pure water produced through less sophisticated filtering methods such as deionization will still contain some heavy minerals. Most importantly, silica, which is responsible for the nasty white chalky stains to which many New Zealanders are accustomed.
Curious how heavy your water supply is? Ask us on the job, and we can easily test and then show you the difference once it has passed through our RO/DI filter.
We use a range of synthetic and natural fibre brush heads, all specifically made for solar panels. Our lichen removal process is performed manually with special tools specifically designed for solar panels.
Depending on the angle, some solar arrays can be accessed from the ground. In most cases, ladder access and the use of a harness and anchoring point are the most practical options. Difficult pitches or large commercial buildings require an EWP.
Heavy water: Water with significant mineral content should be avoided when cleaning solar panels. The minerals can cause permanent staining and corrosion on the metal frames, racks, and housing.
Pressure washers or water blasters: The use of any high-pressure tool is a big no-no and something we see far too often in New Zealand. The solar panel manufacturers’ warranties clearly state to avoid high-pressure spraying. High pressure can cause microcracks in the panels and seal damage. This will lead to eventual water ingress and cause short circuiting and module failure. Unfortunately, this isn’t common knowledge yet, and we are far too often called in to assess damage from high-pressure activities.
Chemicals: Almost all chemicals must be avoided when cleaning solar panels. The way a chemical works is when it comes in contact with a surface, a chemical reaction is initiated, which causes agitation, which assists in the cleaning process. Solar panels have thin films lining the glass called nanocoatings, the most common being the anti-reflective coating (ARC). These coatings are designed to improve module performance. The ARC for example helps trap the rays from the sun into the cells instead of having them rebound off of the glass. The use of chemicals will erode the ARC and other nanocoatings, causing the system to lose performance permantley.
Brush heads: Only soft or medium brush heads made for solar panels or window cleaning should be used. Anything too firm or abrasive can leave permanent scratches and/or erode the nanocoatings.
If you experience an issue with your solar panel system, the first step is to check your inverter to make sure no warning lights are displayed and it’s functioning properly.
If you have an app connected to the system, it may also help you troubleshoot some basic problems. Failing that, it’s best to contact your installer or a qualified solar panel technician for assistance. If the panels are covered under warranty, a repair or replacement may be provided for free.