One of the most common issues that can affect solar panel performance is the accumulation of dirt, dust, and debris on their surfaces. This buildup, known as soiling, can reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the solar cells, leading to energy losses and decreased performance.
In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of paying attention to energy losses that come from dirt on solar panels.
Why monitor solar panel energy losses?
Reduced Energy Production
The most obvious reason to pay attention to energy losses due to dirt on your solar panels is that it reduces the amount of electricity your system generates. When dirt, dust, and debris accumulate on the panels, it reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches the cells, which, in turn, reduces the amount of energy produced. This means that your solar panels will generate less electricity, which can be a significant issue for those relying on their solar panels for their energy needs.
Increased Maintenance Costs
Dirty solar panels require more maintenance to keep them working efficiently. The buildup of dirt and debris can damage the panels, leading to increased repair costs. Additionally, cleaning the panels can be a time-consuming and expensive process, especially if they are installed in hard-to-reach areas or require specialized equipment. Keeping your panels clean can help to reduce maintenance costs and extend the lifespan of your system.
Keeping your solar panels clean can also lead to financial savings. Dirty panels cause loss in energy production, but cleaning too often is expensive and will eat into your bottom line.
How We've Solved the Problem
At Fracsun, we've written software that will recommend the best wash schedules for your solar plant. It does this by consuming by multiple methods including plant production data, cost-to-wash analysis, and the value of your energy. We also factor things such as local weather data into our calculation.
This site-specific prediction model is critical to assessing soiling loss. We look at every possible scenario to see which is most financially optimal.
For a complete overview of the technology behind Fracsun and our approach to soiling management, read "The Dirt on Soiling Loss Mitigation in Solar", an interview with co-founder Catlin Mattheis.