email mark@rosher.net

Soaking the Solar

Spring comes and with it the onset of solar generation… But the panels have been up more than three years now and it shows. Today, they got a quick pre-summer wash down by a man in a van with a tank full of specially clever water and a long brush. I noticed his advert on the village Facebook group, and once I realised he was a local lad and not a speculative advertising spammer I asked for a quote. And then smiled and asked again.

He turned up in a Transit van with a metre cube full of filtered water and pumps, and a very very long handled brush with incorporated hose line. As it happened, with the pitch of the roof, his brush wasn’t in fact long enough, and he ended up working from a ladder for the most part instead of working from the ground. There was no need for isolation of the panels; it was not really different from their being rained on. They were doing about 650 Watts on this particular cloudy morning.

The extra shows what the panels were like before he started – really quite grimy. They ended up nice and shiny and very much like the photo on the main solar page. I have no real idea if the cost of this little grooming will be paid back in improved generation figures. The argument is clear, clean panels will let in more sunklight. It’s hard though to make a factual judgement because every year the weather and the sunlight is different.

I thought it might be worth a try though. Time will tell; I may have been taken in by the idea of spring cleaning… When he’d finished the panels were generating more than a kiloWatt – but by then the Sun had started to come out. 🙂

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