Dirty solar panels are a common dilemma for residential and large-scale solar installations of photovoltaic panels (solar panels). Typically, dirt from air pollution, agriculture, construction, and unpaved roads accumulates on the panels. The dirtier the solar panels are —the lower the electricity they will produce. But the question remains, are the benefits of regularly cleaning dirty solar panels worth the effort?
Dirty Solar Panels Mean Less Power
Research into the impact of dust and other types of air pollutants on solar panels shows that the accumulation of airborne particles on solar cells can slow the energy output down by more than 25% in some regions. Some individual dealers report energy losses as high as 30%. Experts agree dirty solar panels do not produce as much power as clean panels.
Will Cleaning Dirty Solar Panels Help?
For many solar panel farm operators and solar panel owners, cleaning solar panels seems like a natural solution to increasing energy output from dirty solar panels. However, the answer is more complicated. Even in the best conditions, solar panels only absorb a fraction of the sunlight that hits them. There are several risks and costs associated with cleaning solar panels, which may mean cleaning them is not the best resolution.
Hidden Dangers of Solar Panel Damage When Cleaning
After a few weeks of getting dirty, cleaning solar panels can lead to an increase in solar panel efficiency. However, the more you clean them, the higher the risk of damaging them. Solar panels can be fragile, and the wrong cleaning technique can damage the glass or the entire panel. Recent studies show the increase of energy efficiency was negligible compared to the regular cost of water and professional solar panel cleaning.
Dust Control to Prevent Dirty Solar Panels
For large-scale solar farm operations, the best way to prevent dirty solar panels is to invest in dust control methods. Dust control products can bind dirt particles and prevent them from being lifted into the air by wind and accumulating on solar panels. Long-lasting dust control products, such as polymer alternatives, mean that solar panels will be kept cleaner, and dirt is less likely to impact panel efficiency.
Cost-Effective Solution For Dirty Solar Panels
The Envirotac line of polymers offers a durable and cost-saving solution for reducing dirt on solar panels. Envirotac products are non-corrosive to equipment and solar panels. They do not require constant reapplication to keep fugitive dirt off of solar panels.
Environmental Products & Applications, Inc. can help save you time, money and provide peace-of-mind for your solar panels. Contact us to find out how Envirotac can help reduce the costly problems caused by dirt.