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Solar panel cleaning



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Adam Bartlett

I have been going 3 years started with nothing not even a driving license to no now having a nice new van top of range thermopure setup and have chap working for me very busy,

I'm currently truly hitting big commercial side of things (big £1350 for one property quote went in last week) so no disrespect but I don't think I am missing bigger picture I'm actually living the bigger picture and I'm only 22.

Like I say I wasn't knocking you I was just thinking if I was to do an hour a week say locating solar panels - leaflet drop - and say only get odd few jobs in - is the overall time involved in the job worth it :/ or am I better to chase contracts with solar panel installers :/ and I was asking experienced guys such as yourself how you find gaining the solar panel work.

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Guest OoO

Thats great news, once you get more than one van and more than worker you really feel the benefit.

 

I think so far just this year I am close to spending £5000 spent on Gardiner poles and its only April lol. New and second hand though.

 

TBH you still haven't even mentioned the obvious, i am not typing it on here so will PM you instead.

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Guest OoO

Pm sent ;)

 

And FYI i know you wasnt knocking me, and wasnt knocking you lol

 

The PM will make it all very clear bud :)

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Guest Solar Steve
I have been going 3 years started with nothing not even a driving license to no now having a nice new van top of range thermopure setup and have chap working for me very busy,

I'm currently truly hitting big commercial side of things (big £1350 for one property quote went in last week) so no disrespect but I don't think I am missing bigger picture I'm actually living the bigger picture and I'm only 22.

Like I say I wasn't knocking you I was just thinking if I was to do an hour a week say locating solar panels - leaflet drop - and say only get odd few jobs in - is the overall time involved in the job worth it :/ or am I better to chase contracts with solar panel installers :/ and I was asking experienced guys such as yourself how you find gaining the solar panel work.

Our websites do the trick for us. We got a good USP at the moment. It is getting us the big contracts. Other guys have heard this next bit Adam, but evidently you haven't. It has taken me 4 years of research primarily, then leaflet drops, which are pretty much a waste of time to be profitable and networking to get where I am now.

 

The odd-job as a window cleaner doing a residential 16 panel system is achievable and relatively simple to get. But if you want to hit big commercial, you won't do it. You need to know the players and get in with them. That takes time and again, research. You don't just canvass a 5MW site and get the job. It needs a lot more which, no disrespect at all, you don't seem to have yet.

 

IMHO, concentrate on spending your time researching the whole solar industry, not canvassing. Do you know how and why people are putting panels on their houses? What are FiTs, ROCS, AC, DC, how do panels work, where will the industry be in 5 years? You seem to be dead set on hitting the big commercial stuff for your windows so I am assuming you want the same on solar. You won't get them unless you know the above and a shed load more.

 

I was dead keen to get into this and it has taken me 4 years to do the research. There isn't a degree in solar panel cleaning, but if there was, I would virtually have it. I have been asked by professors in THE top solar researching university in the UK to help them with their solar research. If you are excellent you will do the research in less time than me, but it will take time.

 

I write all of the above, not to criticise, but to help you have realistic expectations of what lies ahead. If you want residential stuff, canvass hard enough tomorrow and you'll do your first job on Monday. If you want the big commercial contracts, the door is locked until you know the field. It will take you time mate, but I'm sure you will get there. :-)

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Adam Bartlett

I agree to some extent Solar Steve - connections/networking cannot agree more, but I feel for only cleaning solar panels you may well be overestimating the amount of knowledge required as we're not installing or repairing just cleaning. I certainly agree we need to know basic-moderate functions of solar panels which I will brush up on but I don't see why I'll need to become a solar panel expert unless I decide to open a solar panel installation/repair company.... But hey its clearly your passion that's provided you with your success in the cleaning side so congratulations. But yeah I totally agree good networking connections is without doubt the main component for commercial jobs just like the window cleaning side, but I just disagree that I'm going to have to research for years before I start to have success in this side venture. But that was a very detailed and appreciated reply. Thanks Steve!!

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Guest Solar Steve

No worries mate. I can only talk from my experience obviously. Al, I know is that I met with the UK operations manager and European operations and maintenance manager of a very large company who asked me some very detailed questions about solar panels. If I didn't know the answers, I doubt I would have got the contract. If I had blagged my way through it, these folks would have seen through me and sent me on my merry way. Knowledge was the key to getting the contract. I know I had to draw in that 2 hour meeting upon all my knowledge of solar. It got me the deal, without doubt. It was my USP.

 

 

We all could teach a monkey HOW to physically clean solar panels in 10 mins. Moving a brush on a pole up and down is not rocket science. But to make it profitable and hit the big boys, more is required than knowing HOW to physically clean. I used to think that if I could get some residential stuff and the odd 50KW installation, I would have hit the big time. Now I have roughly 600 50KW or more installs in the pipeline, some of which are multi-MW installs, (I know, I still can't believe how big the contracts are either!), I realise that an odd 50KW is neither here nor there in the big scheme of things. These companies only sought me out cos I knew the field.

 

I'm sure you will have success. Go forth!!! :-)

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Adam Bartlett

I agree - we totally need to have a basic-moderate knowledge, but I think we don't need to know the nitty gritty technical stuff. But I do agree connections and moderate technical knowledge is key for commercials side of things. Thanks as someone who's doing what I would strive for should I place more focus to my solar panel cleaning you've confirmed my thoughts so thanks mate

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Guest Solar Steve

No worries.

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Tuffers

Some guy on ciu is charging between 85p and £1.66 per panel Steve. Some here are charging £3/£4 per panel. Bit of a difference isn't it.

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Guest Solar Steve

It is yes. That's why they only get the small domestics! ;-)

You try charging a utility company £3 per panel for an 800 panel site. Watch their reaction, after they have passed out and recovered of course!

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rcproperty
Some guy on ciu is charging between 85p and £1.66 per panel Steve. Some here are charging £3/£4 per panel. Bit of a difference isn't it.

yer thats solar steve, those prices might be what he pays the sub-contractors that he sends out to do the work, but i bet thats not the real price he charges!!!!

 

there is one company that charges around £115 for a 4kw system!

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Guest Solar Steve

£115!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Really??? You must be minted RC!!!!! ;-)

That's the highest price I've heard anywhere. Do you know who it is?

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rcproperty
£115!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Really??? You must be minted RC!!!!! ;-)

That's the highest price I've heard anywhere. Do you know who it is?

 

thats my price per panel! lol

 

i only found it today, will google what i googled and have a look, it came one above your website on the google listing!

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rcproperty
£115!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Really??? You must be minted RC!!!!! ;-)

That's the highest price I've heard anywhere. Do you know who it is?

my mistake it was Quote from site:- 'Cleaning of panels with ultra-pure water (see below): from £125 for sub-4kW (excl VAT).'

 

http://www.spiritsolar.co.uk/servicing.php

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Guest OoO

How many KW is an 8 panel system then?

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Guest Solar Steve

Between 2-2.5 probably. Depends on the panel.

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Guest Solar Steve
my mistake it was Quote from site:- 'Cleaning of panels with ultra-pure water (see below): from £125 for sub-4kW (excl VAT).'

 

http://www.spiritsolar.co.uk/servicing.php

 

Good spot. That's astonishing and I will be bold enough to say a complete rip-off too. An inverter service and a clean is £250 exc. vat. That's saving £45 too! It will take less than an hour to do the whole lot. I'd love to know how many take them up on their 'special offer'. When. Was at the solar seminar a few weeks ago, I did say in my bit about there being charlatans around, I should have mentioned highwaymen too. Amazing!

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Guest OoO

Interesting

 

"However, dirt will tend to accumulate in the bottom corners of the panels and as a precaution we recommend the panels should be cleaned every two to five years. This will ensure efficiency is maintained and output is not reduced. Dirt on the glass covering the solar cells will absorb sunlight and as a result less light will penetrate through to the solar cells."

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rcproperty
Good spot. That's astonishing and I will be bold enough to say a complete rip-off too. An inverter service and a clean is £250 exc. vat. That's saving £45 too! It will take less than an hour to do the whole lot. I'd love to know how many take them up on their 'special offer'. When. Was at the solar seminar a few weeks ago, I did say in my bit about there being charlatans around, I should have mentioned highwaymen too. Amazing!

 

yer thats what i thought! would be interesting to see how many that they do! its a joke really what some people try to charge for things!

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Guest Solar Steve

That's not nearly as frequent as it should be. That's not my opinion. Look at the American, German, Spanish and Portuguese markets, six months to a year is industry standard.

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rcproperty
Interesting

 

"However, dirt will tend to accumulate in the bottom corners of the panels and as a precaution we recommend the panels should be cleaned every two to five years. This will ensure efficiency is maintained and output is not reduced. Dirt on the glass covering the solar cells will absorb sunlight and as a result less light will penetrate through to the solar cells."

yer it is, most people reccommend 1-2 times a year,

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Guest Solar Steve
yer thats what i thought! would be interesting to see how many that they do! its a joke really what some people try to charge for things!

I'm not gonna worry about that company at all. Between you and I we will take every job off them if we are the second quote...

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rcproperty
I'm not gonna worry about that company at all. Between you and I we will take every job off them if we are the second quote...

that's true, most people get several quotes first, unless they like the sound of the first one! As I found out today quoting a clean, not solar, i quoted £75 and he said will round it up to £80 lol

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Guest OoO
yer it is, most people reccommend 1-2 times a year,

I need to take some pictures of my friends house, as his front door is around 10 meters from the A1 and he has solar panels on the front. 5 years? They would be working at 5% efficiency after 5 years lol

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Guest Solar Steve

I'll come in cheap for him at £110!

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