30 Mar '15, 6am

Back page basics: clean to be greener

Dirt and dust buildup on the modules can reduce your PV array’s energy output, so implementing a regular cleaning protocol can be important. The newly updated PV energy calculator PVWatts assumes that module soiling can cause a 2% reduction in array energy output—making losses over the array’s lifetime add up. In some locations that are particularly dusty and have little rainfall, losses in dusty or heavily industrial areas could easily be 25% to 30% of the array’s potential output. On the other hand, if you have no local industrial polluters, but have regular rainfall—­and your PV modules are at a steep-enough angle to allow rain to wash down the glass­—the effects of soiling on the system’s output could be minimal, and not worth worrying about. Determining if it is worthwhile to spend time cleaning a PV array is a value judgment that calls for more information than just ...

Full article: http://www.homepower.com/articles/solar-electricity/desig...

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Back to Basics

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