cleaning solar panels, cleaning photovoltaic panels, cleaning and maintenance solar panels, cleaning and maintenance PV panels

maintenance photovoltaic panels

Cleanliness - or a lack of it - has proven to be one of the biggest impediments to wider adoption of solar energy. Most solar energy farms are located in deserts (as is Kibbutz Ketura, which is in Israel's southern Arava desert) where the sun is strong, and the spaces are wide open. Both are important factors to take into consideration when building a solar energy farm, which consists of hundreds or thousands of solar panels.

Besides a lot of sun, however, deserts have lots of dust, and as that dust settles on the solar panel collectors, it reduces the panels' efficiency - by as much as 35%, said Meller, in a process called "soling." To clean them, park managers use water, a very scarce commodity in the desert. "Due to the expense of traditional, labor-intensive, water-based cleaning, Ketura Sun's solar panels were only cleaned some nine times a year," he said. "This manual panel cleaning would take up to five days, during which time the field operated sub-optimally and work crews endangered sensitive equipment. In the interim between cleaning cycles, the park suffered significant electricity production degradation due to soiling."