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Solar Panel Cleaning Is Conditional

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2013-05-02 20.37.46Solar Panel Cleaning Is Conditional.

When considering the frequency or regularity of cleanings, the conditions surrounding your solar panel array matter.  The typical weather and environmental conditions of Sonoma, Napa, and Marin Counties warrant cleaning solar arrays at least twice each year.  Because of the position of the sun, we recommend cleaning your solar arrays in the early Spring (sun highest – most light)and early Fall (sun lowest – least light).   Yet, how often your solar panels need to be cleaned will also depend on your neighboring environment. 

One of our customers in Mendocino County enjoys a neighboring water treatment field to the east, a landfill to the south and a lumber yard to the west.  As you might imagine, these panels could be cleaned every month.  Hiring BLUETAIL INDUSTRIES to clean this array every month does not make budgetary sense.  So together, we have created a plan where the customer rinses their panels with filtered water between our quarterly cleaning visits.

Manufacture Recommendation

One manufacturer (who shall remain unnamed to protect the innocent) suggests the following cleaning methods (with which Bluetail strongly disagrees);

  1. “Cleaning Frequency: Panels should not require regular cleaning.  Seasonal rainfall is usually enough to keep the panels free of normal soiling.
  2. Recommended surface cleaner for photo-voltaic (solar) panels: In cases where excessive dirt has accumulated due to dust caused by forest fire ash, local farms, exposed dirt, et., (the unnamed manufacturer) strongly recommends using ONLY water from your garden hose and a soft cloth to remove debris from the panels.”

2013-07-30 14.52.12

Oops! Problem!!! 

Another customer in Napa County was regularly rinsing their solar array with their garden hose (as following recommendations from the install and manufacturing companies).  THE PROBLEM? Their water is filled with clay.   Our BLUETAIL INDUSTRIES team of trained technicians cleaned this array.  The result: PG&E crews visited this property 3 times the following week.  Apparently the increase in electrical production was enough to cause PG&E to come take a look…not once but three times.  WHY? SUNLIGHT COLLECTION = POWER PRODUCTION. 

In closing, how often your solar panels need to be cleaned will depend on your neighboring environment.

Unleash your greatest potential…Call Bluetail Industries today!  707.543.6680

 

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