Solar panels have been the topic of thousands of articles over the past couple of years. It seems like everyone is going pro-solar, but there is one thing that few people have addressed: Dirt. Solar panels glisten in the sun after first being installed, and make any building look modern, shiny and new when viewed from above. But after a little while, these panels reflect a little less and don’t function as well. Tree branches hanging overhead drop sap onto anything below, flocks of birds leave behind a mess after spending the night overhead while dust, grime and mold adds to the layers of dirt already coloring the solar panels a splotchy brown.
Dirt is a major problem with solar panels, and letting it accumulate over a few months may reduce a solar panel’s efficacy by almost 25%. It is suggested that solar panels are cleaned on a regular basis, but this can be time consuming and even dangerous.
OCS Energy has developed a practical solution with the use of an automated cleaning system. In a recent press release, the company explains why they came up with the novel idea:
“After receiving numerous maintenance inquiries from clients over the years, and seeing no practical cleaning solutions, Rich O’Connell, CEO of OCS Energy, developed the SolarWash system. The patent pending SolarWash system provides a complete solar cleaning solution including maintenance free nozzles, a web?based interface, and a programmable logic controller (PLC). The end?to?end solution allows operators of large PV systems to effectively manage their resources, initiating the washing of panels without the need to schedule a maintenance crew.”
|Panel performance declines without regular
cleaning – OCS Energy has an automated solution.
(Source: OCS Energy, Inc.)
Buyers of solar panels often assume that the work is over after the panels are installed.
Obviously this isn’t the case when cleaning crews need to be hired on a regular basis in order to keep the panels functioning properly.
SolarWash isn’t exactly cheap, but it will pay for itself in under five years by eliminating cleaning costs and increasing the amount of energy absorbed by the panels.
Solar panels will now really be maintenance-free with SolarWash’s fully automated fanning nozzles spraying the panels down whenever they get too dirty.