Do photovoltaic solar panels need to be cleaned?
PV solar panels need their surface to be clean and clear in order to guarantee full operation and maximum efficiency. Any type of dirt that may be on the surface of the panel, be it dust, soot, pollens, tree sap, bird droppings, salt crystals, etc., will reduce the incision area of the sun’s rays, that is, reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the cells, so the panel will produce less energy.
Are my solar panels cleaned?
To the naked eye, the panels may appear clean, however, there will be dirt accumulated even if only by the air pollution itself. A simple test will be to wipe the panel surface with a white cloth or a little cotton before cleaning.
Are dirty solar panels less efficient?
A recent study has shown that a heavily dirty solar panel can lose up to 50% of its efficiency compared to a clean solar panel. However, a power loss of 10 to 15% can be seen with regular dirty panels.
A study has estimated the cost of PV project soiling may increase from €3-5 billion last year to €4-7 billion by 2023 due to more extensive deployment in high insolation and soiling-affected regions.
Can climate alone keep Solar panels clean?
We know that rain, snow or wind alone cannot wash solar panels because wind carries particles, snow blocks the sunlight and rainwater is mildly acidic that when it dries it leaves stains that quickly attract grime again making the solar system less efficient.
However somehow some solar panel companies believe that their solar panels can be washed with rain water alone, and not being informed or misinformed may lead to higher costs in energy bills.
A good way to illustrate why wind, rainwater or snow won’t wash your solar panels is by looking at your vehicle’s windshield. If your car’s windshield was left unclean for a long time you would lose visibility due to accumulated grime, but thanks to windshield washer fluid and wiper blades you can wash your windshield and gain your visibility back.
Solar panels are like your vehicle’s windshield, but solar panels don’t have solar panel washer fluid nor wipers blades just by clicking a button to regain clarity and will start losing power fast.
Which products can i use to safely clean my solar panels?
Usually pH neutral products, tested by international laboratories ruling out any negative effects of their use in washing the panels and which have been approved by the panel manufacturers themselves. All of this to ensure that the warranty remains valid using a product that complies with the manufacturers’ requirements. (example: SWP)
Which is the dilution ratio for the concentrate SWP?
ChemiTek SWP300 dilution ratio is 1kg to 300liters of water. Different dilution criteria can be applied in specific cases.
What type of dirt can be cleaned with SWP?
Solar Wash Protect effectively removes bird droppings, jet fuels, dust, ash, pollen, salt, cement dust, lichen and any other type of debris.
Is there any recommendable amount of SWP solution to use?
ChemiTek recommends the use between 105mL to 206 mL per sqm of PV solar glass.
As an example, if you have a PV solar panel with 1 sqm surface then the use per solar panel is between 105mL to 206 mL but if you have PV solar panel with 2 sqm surface then the use per solar panel is between 210mL to 412 mL
How many sqm or solar panels can I clean with one 1kg of SWP300?
With 1kg of product you will be diluting it into 300liters of water.
As an example, if you use an amount of 105 mL of SWP solution per sqm then you should be able to clean up to 2850 sqm of solar glass.
If you have 1sqm solar panels than you would be able to clean up to 2850 solar panels.
Is there a way to prevent the panels from getting dirty so easily?
Solar Wash Protect, as cleaning product, besides removing efficiently different kinds of dirt it does not allow the dirt to adhere so easily on the surface of solar panel, due to its antistatic characteristic. Therefore, you avoid the panels to get dirty faster and avoid the fast decrease of solar panel power output. As the dirt is not stuck to the surface on the panel, on next cleanings you will notice even a quicker and fast removal of the dirt.
Which cleaning methods and equipment’s can be used with SWP diluted solution?
Solar Wash Protect is compatible with all the equipment’s and cleaning methods available in the market for Wet Cleaning.
1. Industrial sprayer to apply the SWP solution and then clean with manual brush;
2. Industrial sprayer to apply the SWP solution and then clean with rotating brush (or similar);
3. Robot connected to deposit with SWP solution;
4. Industrial sprayer to apply the SWP solution and then clean with robot;
5. Tractor with brush and deposit with SWP solution;
6. Trucks with deposit of SWP solution connected to hoses (On-Off hoses or hoses with capacity to regulate the flow recommended);
7. Industrial spray to apply the SWP solution and Trucks with deposit of water to rinse the panels with small amount of water (On-Off hoses or hoses with capacity to regulate the flow are recommended)
Does pressure influence the amount of foam created in the washing procedure?
Yes, it does. When applying the SWP solution with equipment’s that will eventually induce pressure on the outlet you should regulate it in order to reduce it or in specific cases contact the supplier for further recommendations or suggestions.