Thursday, February 16, 2006

Solar tips: keepin those panels clean

Hey there solarDwellers:

For those of you closer to making that "solar decision", or for those who are already solarDwellers(me jealous of you), I hereby inaugurate a topic on this humble blog that I shall name "solar tips." Every once in a while, I'll post ideas regarding your system's output, how to size your pv system according to your energy usage, and how to calculate how much juice your pv system should actually produce.

Tip for the surface of those panels: do your best to avoid ANY shade, especially during the peak hours of 12noon-6pm. Even shade hitting a small cell or two within a single solar panel can reduce that panel's production. Check it, from the folks at

"Shading just a few cells will drop the module's output to less than half."

And also check out matthew mcglynn's eclectic blog. He's got a whole section on solar, describing his experience from 2003 forward having a system installed at his home, and then his process of monitoring it. Worth a look. Here's what he said in his post about keeping his panels clean:

Sunday, May 23rd, 2004

time for a bath

Sun Power has done extensive research and has consistently seen that clean panels produce 8% more than those panels that have accumulated dust from the atmosphere. For this reason, we suggest that you wash down your panels at the beginning of the summer. This is as simple as hosing them down with plain water.
Ours were indeed covered with grime. Simply hosing them off didnĂ‚’t do the job, either; I made a pass with a clean scrub brush to knock off the grit.

Keep shining,
--your future solarDweller
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1 comment:

ckkishore said...

Hi Jason

I have a website at that has all the information required to size and design a PV system. I was reading your Solar tips blog and wanted to bring my website to your attention. In I have also built in the calculations to completely design a solar PV system.