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The Impact of Weather on Solar Panel Soiling Loss

Weather can have a significant impact on solar soiling. The accumulation of contaminants on solar panels is often caused by natural weather conditions such as rain, wind, and snow. The impact of soiling loss can be significant, with some studies showing reductions in energy output of up to 30%.

The impact of weather on soiling loss can vary depending on the location of the solar panels. In arid regions with little rainfall, dust and sand accumulation can be a major problem. In humid regions with more frequent rain, organic matter such as pollen, leaves, and bird droppings can cause soiling loss. In areas with high wind speeds, the accumulation of debris can be even more significant.

Rainfall can both help and hinder the performance of solar panels. Rainwater can wash away some of the accumulated debris, which can improve the energy output of the panels. However, if rain is infrequent or if the panels are installed at certain angles, it can make rain less effective at cleaning the panels.

Wind can also have a significant impact on soiling loss. Windblown dust and debris can accumulate on the surface of solar panels. In some cases, wind speeds can be so high that the debris can cause damage to the panels, which can lead to even greater losses in energy production.

Snow is another weather condition that can cause soiling loss. When snow accumulates on the surface of solar panels, it can block sunlight and reduce the amount of energy that the panels can produce.

While the impact can vary depending on the location and weather conditions, soiling loss can be a significant problem that can reduce the energy output of solar panels. Proper installation, maintenance, and cleaning can help to minimize the impact of weather on soiling loss and ensure that solar panels continue to provide a reliable source of renewable energy.

Fracsun can help account for weather conditions in your maintenance plans

Our tools take the guesswork out. Our software is integrated with Visual Crossing's industry-leading weather API which enables us to consider weather patterns for solar panel wash forecasts.

The green diamonds represent the financially optimal wash dates for this particular solar array. The blue dots indicate weather events from previous years. Notice how all wash events are recommended to occur during dry months, whereas rain in November - April causes the software to hold back on wash event recommendations.


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