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Panels - Cleaning them.


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If the panels are at a nice angle and you get some rain every month or 2 then mostly the panels will keep themselves nice and tidy.
Most decent panels these days come standard with a protective coating so be careful to NOT use any detergents as that will wash off the coating.

A good hose down with the garden hose will usually do the trick.

If you have excessive fouling from birds then a light wash with a soft cloth will do the trick.

If you are in a very dusty environment then maybe a wash down once a month will keep them in tip top shape.

 

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I'm no longer in the first flush of youth, and this question is of interest to me. I really don't like getting up on roofs anymore. Last time I did was after a huge hail storm in Jhb which shredded leaves and left my panels covered with leaf fragments. I was pretty stiff and sore the next day.

There must surely be a gap in the market for small businesses that will clean panels. My installer mentioned to me that he was putting together an offering whereby owners for whom he'd done the install could pay a modest monthly amount, and then each quarter would get a visit from a crew would clean the panels with suitable cleaning agents AND inspect the panels and the wiring.

He never got back to me. I imagine he is busy with installs right now. Irrespective, there is a gap to be filled here. If the guys are not just glorified window cleaners then so much the better.

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Should probably let sleeping dogs lie. Just thinking that there's no explicit mention of solar panels in my local municipality's water restrictions. Paving, walls, cars, etc. may not be watered down. Would they consider an exception for solar panels in these days of Eskom's demise? My guess is no.

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I vaguely remember a company is the States that does large scale panel maintenance where their system sprays water from the top down, and the run-off is then filtered and re-used. Its an automated closed system that probably runs when the sun is sleeping.

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Just now, Gavin286 said:

I vaguely remember a company is the States that does large scale panel maintenance where their system sprays water from the top down, and the run-off is then filtered and re-used. Its an automated closed system that probably runs when the sun is sleeping.

Just thinking aloud here: wouldn't using that during day time be a way to keep the panels cooler and hence provide better power, especially in the hotter regions of our country?

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3 minutes ago, p_i said:

Just thinking aloud here: wouldn't using that during day time be a way to keep the panels cooler and hence provide better power, especially in the hotter regions of our country?

Agreed. But if water usage is an issue then running it at night won't be prone to evaporation as the water runs over the hot panels

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