Photovoltaic panels are constantly exposed to various types of weather and are a target for dirt, dust, industrial residues, atmospheric pollution, algae, moss, bird droppings, etc.
The agents responsible for deterioration of the surfaces also include the chemicals used during cleaning. These form an excellent attraction for dirt and accelerate the deterioration process with negative repercussions on the appearance and function of the structure. The presence of these elements on the panel’s surface prevents the sun’s rays from filtering onto the panel’s photovoltaic cells reducing the solar performance and therefore efficiency.
To reduce this risk, Pro-Shine only uses Pure Water to clean solar panels. Pure Water does not contain any chemicals which can leave behind a residue to continue to attract dirt. By using Pure Water you’re extending the life of the solar panels.
For more information about Pure Water, checkout our Pure Water FAQ.
Accumulated dirt residues reduce efficiency and may damage the material the panels are made from. Cleaning is an indispensable part of the maintenance of these structures and the frequency of the cleaning depends on the geographic area and climate. Industrial areas may require more thorough maintenance than rural areas.
Research and data on solar panels show that the efficiency of panels not cleaned regularly can rapidly drop. Cleaning has been shown to drastically increase solar output.
Static belay system setup and use
With the tools we use, we are able to do most of our work with both feet on the ground.
However, when cleaning skylights, solar panels or cleaning gutters, there are situations when working from the ground or even a ladder is not an option.
This short video, shows one of our technicians working on a relatively low pitch yet slippery roof to clean some windows.
For this job, we used a static belay as a hand hold for a little extra stability and insurance, but on steeper pitches we also carry a full body harness and can use ascent and decent devices to facilitate working on pitches in excess of 14/12.
In this video, you will see us deploy a static belay system over a pitched roof using a target line. The PVC ball allows the heavier rope to be pulled over the peak of the roof without snagging on the shingles or damaging the roof, the leather sheath the rope is running through is pulled into position and also serves to protect the roof from damage by the friction of the rope. Finally, both ends of the rope are secured using a super eight knot and locking steel carabiners.
Let me know if you have any questions about the techniques used or the gear we employ. Be safe!