Cleaning PV Panels
As the snow is quietly piling outside it is reshaping the city view, turning it into a fairytale. It brings the Christmas spirit in the hearts of many, and it is the source of joy and laughter for all children in the winter vacation. But not for those, who own a photovoltaic installation. The emotions they experience are on the other end of the planet. For one, the production is reduced, second, if the snow is too heavy, the installations are at risk.
Here are a few tips for the second kind of people.
First of all, you need to ensure the protection of your photovoltaic installations. You can do so by adjusting the panels at 40 degrees or even more so that the snow cannot pile over them. You can also clean them manually, depending on the size of the installation and whether you can easily access it.
You can also get yourself an automatic snow cleaning system. It is similar to a windshield wiper. It activates itself whenever a snowfall occurs. There is a wiper that moves vertically over the panel non-stop in both directions to make sure snow does not stick to the surface, therefore preventing layering of snow that could damage the panel.
Your last option is by far the most up-to-date method, but it could be a little pricy. It is better to use that in a country where there is lots of snow and such an expensive equipment can actually be worth its price.
The same company offers another product that works against dust. In areas where pollution is an issue, the panels can get too dirty to function. Just like snow in wintertime, dust and dirt can pile up forming a thick enough layer to prevent the panel from doing what it is supposed to. The product the company sells is similar to the previous one I described only the wiper in this one is equipped with water sprinkler. It moves up and down and not only wipes, but also rinses off and washes the panel. It is, of course, not recommended to be used in winter time when low temperatures can cause the water to freeze and potentially damage the surface of the panel.
The snow, however, has a positive effect as well. If the panels are cleaned well enough the reflection of the sun the shiny snow cover provides increases the absorption of light. It is pretty much like a sun enhancer! The low temperatures have been proven to increase the work capacity of the photovoltaic panels. The highest amount of produced energy ever recorded was in a cold sunny day, when the snow had covered everything in sight. The panel actually exceeded the manufacturers’ predictions that day!