Washed my solar panels 5% improvement

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Washed my solar panels 5% improvement

Postby Monkeytom » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:49 pm

Hi I was on the roof the other day and noticed some flying fox bat droppings and general fallout on the panels
I noted the daily production sunny and clear sky's at 11.82 KWh and the next day went up with detergent in a spray bottle and a soft broom washed all the panels and hosed them off in the rain, it's been two days and today was sunny and clear when the inverter was done for the day we had 12.56 KWh approx .74 KWh better or 32 cents more feed in for the day or aprox $30 for the quarter or $120 for the year.
think I will try and keep them clean.
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Re: Washed my solar panels 5% improvement

Postby lantern » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:01 pm

5% is a big increase they must have been quite dirty.
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Re: Washed my solar panels 5% improvement

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:31 pm

Indeed, but we dont know if the days were identical in amount of cloud and temperature, which can also have a significant effect.
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Re: Washed my solar panels 5% improvement

Postby Monkeytom » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:15 am

Yes the panels were quiet dusty with some bat poo unfortunately we have a flying fox colony about 1km away and some times they fly over, luckily they more often go west of here, I didn't know they eat glue cause they sure poo it! I have been waiting for another cloudless day to check the output again, has anybody tried that stuff they use on race car windscreens Rainex on their panels? supposed to be self cleaning and stops water beading, it's probably expensive?
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Re: Washed my solar panels 5% improvement

Postby bpratt » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:08 am

Monkeytom wrote:has anybody tried that stuff they use on race car windscreens Rainex on their panels? supposed to be self cleaning and stops water beading, it's probably expensive?


Rain-X is great stuff, and is around $15 or so from memory (haven't bought any for several years).

Personally I wouldn't bother with it for your panels, as I reckon it would be too hard to apply to gain any real advantage.

Bat crap will still stick to your panels with or without rain-x

I'm considering getting a extendable pool scrubber pole, and attaching a soft broom and a hose with a tap down the end of it, and regulary cleaning my panels that way.

Rain-X is fantastic product for your car windscreen, but you basically have to polish it in to the windscreen, and with the amount of panels you'd have on your system, you'd do it once and never ever do it again. :)
They recommend re-applying it monthly to windscreens, but it can last up to 6 months... I can't see you wanting to do your panels every 12 months with it, let alone every 6 months.
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Re: Washed my solar panels 5% improvement

Postby Monkeytom » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:09 pm

Thanks Brendan, yes sounds like too much work with the RainX, we have had a whole string of fine clear days and my system has been doing about 13-13.5Kwh/day or there abouts which is even better than I had measured the day after I cleaned them, I bought a floor cleaner from Bunnings its like a broom but the head is about a meter across and about 150 wide has many small material flaps, I use it to soap up and clean panels with a little dish washing detergent it really lets me get around my 100 panels in good time, cheers Tom VK4DDG
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Re: Washed my solar panels 5% improvement

Postby bpratt » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:01 pm

Monkeytom wrote:Thanks Brendan, yes sounds like too much work with the RainX,

cheers Tom VK4DDG


Rain-X is brilliant stuff for your car windscreen... when applied once you get to around 80km/h you don't need to use your wipers, the rain just beads off.

Nice to see another AR operator too.

Brendan vk4blp. :)
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Re: Washed my solar panels 5% improvement

Postby Helipos » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:07 pm

Silicone grease does a similar job to rainex.
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Re: Washed my solar panels 5% improvement

Postby APR » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:02 am

Below is a graph of the daily production from my 2 hybrid inverters.

The blue bars are for an inverter with 3.5kW of east oriented, and 3.5kW of west oriented solar panels connected to it. This inverter also has 20kWh of LiFePO4 connected to it. This system has been in service for well over 2 years, and the panels have never been cleaned.

The black bars are for an inverter with 2.5kW of north oriented panels, and 3.64kW of west oriented panels fitted to it. The inverter and panels have been installed for around 8 months, and the panels have never been cleaned.

I live in northern NSW in close proximity to a river island that harbours a flying fox colony. Some years the colony is larger and more active than others. When the flying foxes move at night in search of food, they often overfly my house, and when returning to roost I think they see solar panels as a good target for their droppings. Flying foxes have not been all that active in my area this year, although I expect to see more of them as we progress into summer. The newer solar system panels have not seen a lot of flying fox activity so far this year and are still relatively clean.

My earlier installed solar panels do need cleaning as they do have flying fox droppings on them, and surface dust is noticeably evident. The below graph makes clear that the earlier installed 7kW of panels is putting out noticeably less production than the later installed 6.1kW of panels, however, the earlier installed system will have some production losses through battery charge/discharge inefficiencies, although I expect this to be minimal.

In the not too distant future I hope to get my young bloke on the roof on a rainy day to wash the panels, and then assess over a few weeks what production improvement can be seen from the older installation when compared to the later installed system. I will graph the results and post the graph here. The graph is graphing the production so far for this September.

Image

One issue to understand with the graph is that energy going into the battery is not added to the daily production. Energy coming from the battery is added to the daily production.
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Re: Washed my solar panels 5% improvement

Postby australsolarier » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:24 am

apr,
it is probably not such a good idea to go on the roof on a rainy day. things get slippery even on a flat roof. to clean my 15kwp panels 4 10l buckets of water suffice. i use a mop like device with an extendable rod. i do not really need to clean them as such, but do it from time to time.
and yes the flying foxes ..... the neighbour has a tree they really like .
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