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Old 10-12-2018, 13:27   #31
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Uhh, sunscreen screens out UV, which is the only light that solar panels USE.
I hope that was in jest !

Umm,no.



Sunlight energy that reaches the ground is around 4% ultraviolet, 43% visible light, and 53% infrared. Solar panels mostly convert visible light into electrical energy, and they also can make use of almost half the infrared energy. But solar panels only use a small portion of ultraviolet


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Old 10-12-2018, 14:09   #32
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Uhh, sunscreen screens out UV, which is the only light that solar panels USE.
I hope that was in jest !

I think your are wrong, but feel free to debate. I would like to hear more about this. However, my understanding is that panels used very little in the UV, which starts at 400 nm (both rigid and semi-flex panels use crystalline cells, to my understanding). In fact, they use considerable energy in the near infrared.


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Old 10-12-2018, 17:01   #33
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

I read that somewhere on the internet, glad to be proven wrong.
The gist of the statement I read was that clouds stopped most UV and that was why solar panels output drops so precipitously at that time.
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Old 10-12-2018, 17:20   #34
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

Sunblock might even be a good idea with flexible panels, I doubt if UV does them any good.
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Old 21-12-2018, 09:54   #35
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

I rinse with fresh water from a garden sprayer, then a dry cloth. A squeegee helps too.
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Old 21-12-2018, 10:43   #36
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

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Old 21-12-2018, 11:47   #37
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

In the 13 years I have had my 130W solar panel (cost $1000 when new),-I have cleaned it less than a total of 10 times. It still looks new and I have noticed zero difference in output.

The only time I have cleaned it is when I have found birdshit on it, but for some or other reason birds don't seem to sit on it,-might be too slippery.
Some people are clean freaks, I'm not one of them.

Life is too short to go around cleaning all the time and worrying about other people's opinions.
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Old 21-12-2018, 20:58   #38
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

The 'wet panels increase amps' phenomenon has been much commented on by home PV owners.

In high heat direct sun, it can often be down to the slight lowering of temperature increasing the panels efficiency, as it is also well known panels work less so when hot.

I got my partner to water the roof on a hot day while I watched the inverter display. Definite and noticeable improvement that lasted for a minute or two after the 'rain' stopped.

The PV forum even debated whether on our (often hot) summer days it might make sense to have a solar-powered pump spray misted water on the panels during hottest part of the day.

Don't know if anyone ever did the 'research' to prove/disprove this....

And subsequently the host of the forum closed it down - so can't go back to check.
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Old 22-12-2018, 05:51   #39
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

Squeegee and fresh water.
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Old 22-12-2018, 07:47   #40
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

Is rainx a viable solution?
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Old 22-12-2018, 09:02   #41
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

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Is rainx a viable solution?
yes it works just like any other wax like substances would . IE: make it easier to keep the panels clean.
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Old 22-12-2018, 09:13   #42
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

I just toss a bucket of seawater on them, lightly brush enough to loosen the bird poop, and toss another bucket of water on them

I doubt being "clean" as compared to "dirty" makes much difference unless it's covered in bird poop
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Old 22-12-2018, 09:43   #43
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

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I just toss a bucket of seawater on them, lightly brush enough to loosen the bird poop, and toss another bucket of water on them

I doubt being "clean" as compared to "dirty" makes much difference unless it's covered in bird poop
actually Don it does make a difference a light coat of dust will significantly affect the output of the system. As can residual dried salt from seawater spray. . Anything that reduces the amount of visible light getting to the cells will have a detrimental affect.
While you may not notice a .25 amp loss on a 30 amp output it is still a significant amount of power lost over the longer term. .25 ah over a full summer day here 48N is equal to half of the power to run my rice cooker. ( 300 watts and takes 20 minutes to make 2 days cooked rice.)
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Old 22-12-2018, 09:50   #44
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

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actually Don it does make a difference a light coat of dust will significantly affect the output of the system.
Well of course it does on paper, but does it make much practical difference? From my direct experience the past 2 years it makes little practical difference. I've had dirt and some bird poop on the panels, took note of the amps and cleaned the panels, the difference was small.

So in my experience dirt for the most part is not significant compared to other factors line the shadow from a line/boom.

I never clean my panels to remove dust, that's what rain is for. I mostly only clean it when the bird poop is on it because I think birds see poop on something and they think to themselves "that must be the approved place to poop".
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Old 22-12-2018, 10:06   #45
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Re: Best method for cleaning solar panels?

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Well of course it does on paper, but does it make much practical difference? From my direct experience the past 2 years it makes little practical difference. I've had dirt and some bird poop on the panels, took note of the amps and cleaned the panels, the difference was small.

So in my experience dirt for the most part is not significant compared to other factors line the shadow from a line/boom.

I never clean my panels to remove dust, that's what rain is for. I mostly only clean it when the bird poop is on it because I think birds see poop on something and they think to themselves "that must be the approved place to poop".
I did the same on my last boat ( had a single 100 watt panel) and it did make a difference .
On this boat it is even more pronounced (400watts) when near shore or like when the fires in Bc were smoking us out . There was a layer of ash that did cut the output by a full amp.
For you where you are now there isn't much dust in the air to get on the panels. Just the ever present seagulls .
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