Maintenance costs

Some cleaning companies are trying to lure more clients by offering low-cost cleaning. Price is, of course, very important part of the deal between owner of a powerplant and cleaning company, however it is directly connected with quality of the service. We strongly discourage you from evaluating offers only by the price. Very often company, which offers the best price,  won't be able to keep it's promises and clean the powerplant. Those companies often emerge for a short duration as an experiment of people, who are new to cleaning industry. They need any contracts and they need work, they are able to promise anything to get the contract. As soon as they meet reality and start cleaning, they realize, that it's not possible to work for such a cost. Very often those deals lead to a canceled, or poorly executed cleaning. Costs for you rise every day, which your panels will stay dirty. Buying service from such companies might result into heavy loss.

Costs can be divided into variable costs (could be calculated for each square meter) and fixed costs (those could be calculated for a day or whole contract)

Any numbers are strictly orientational. Costs can be different in every area and country. This article serves for you to realize and understand what type of costs does a cleaning company have. Quantification must be made directly for every contract.

Variable costs

  • Demi-water - filtering the water, for it to be demineralized, it is nescessary to use ionex. This mix-bed resin pull minerals from water and binds it to itself, the result is demi-water (mineral free water). Ionex however will saturate in time and it is nescessary to regenerate the ionex. Regeneration is chemical process, in which the minerals binded to resin are dissolved. This process costs money of course, so it is nescessary to calculate costs for filtering water (costs could be calculated for 1l)
  • Consumables - water is not the only thing, that is needed for cleaning. Brushes, mops and any other tools used for cleaning are not eternal. As they wear off in time, company have to change them, buy new. Costs for new brushes are not low. A brush can last for tenths of thousands square meters.
  • Chemicals - if needed, its compumtion has to be calculated into variable costs. Chemicals specialy developed for cleaning solar panels are not cheap. However it is often nescessary to use them in big-scale. Every trustworthy company has to test the cleaning and if the chemicals are nescessary, use them. If a company does not calculate with using chemicals, it could be devastating for their profit.
  • Labourers can clean several hundreds of square meters each hour. Practicaly, if they dont use chemicals, it could be up to 200m2/hour. If they use chemicals for cleaning, its roughly half (100m2/hour). Depending on how expensive is labour in your region, you can easily calculate, what will be the costs for a company for labour.

Fixed costs
  • labour transportation
  • accommodation
  • water transportation
  • costs for a teamleader
  • costs for cars, machines
  • service of machines/technology
This is basicly a rough list of fixed costs. Those are mostly dependant on how far from the powerplant does the cleaning company reside and where is the nearest water source. Basicaly company can offer better price, if it resides up to 100km away from the powerplant and if there is a water source at the powerplant.

Every trustworthy company will ask you, where is the powerplant situated and if there is any watersource nearby. Of course, if the company resides nearby the powerplant, it is most likely, that they will use their own water source. Otherwise if a company from a town 200km away won't ask you about the water source, it is a sign of amateurism. Additionaly, cleaning companies have to calculate with costs for gaining the contract and its execution.

It is not possible to even roughly estimate fixed costs in general. Every single contract has different conditions, therefore only a company with full knowledge of information regarding the powerplant is able to calculate it.

No-one will clean for free and any company offering this service will need a margin. Margin is mostly based on a % addition to total costs. Margin additionaly works as a safeguard - if there will be any unexpected problems during cleaning, cleaning company will have to cut part of the margin to cover additional costs. If a company works with margins around 10% it is not safe to do business with such a company. Why? Because they might bankrupt or give up on a contract easily.

If you thought, that proffesional cleaning comes for cheap, you were mistaken. Often we encountered contracts, where owner of powerplant choosed a company with lowest price and was dissapointed, because the quality of the service was low, or the service was not delivered in the end. Choose wisely, you panels are not cheap and easily replacable. Only proffesionals should work with such a technology. Cheaper does not mean better in this industry!