Solar panels . Do you need to clean them ?

Submitted: Monday, May 26, 2008 at 03:06
ThreadID: 124750 Views:3528 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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Howdy ,

I washed down my solar panels last week in preparation for my trip to the WA goldfields .

Is it neccessary to do this regularly ie after travelling on a dusty road ? How much is the operation of the panels affected by a bit of dirt ?

Thanks a lot ,

Willie .
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, May 26, 2008 at 04:33

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 04:33
Hi Willie

It should shake off. We never needed to clean ours. Mind you they should be sparkling clean after all the rain we had the first day on the road. It has been discussed before, and i think is in Steve's tips. I recall one owner fell off and broke his leg, so cleaning not recommended!

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Willie - Monday, May 26, 2008 at 07:00

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 07:00
OK , thanks Mr Hen . I was going to run the car alongside and stand on the roof racks and clean it with a mop ! Won't bother now .
Have a great trip with the Rooster .
Willie .
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Follow Up By:- Monday, May 26, 2008 at 22:40

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 22:40
Hello to both. And I hope you have a wonderful time in the Kimberley Motherhen - any decision on Kalumburu?. Willie I hope that youy find some gold - missed you on the other forum.

Kind regards

Theo

Still waiting for my BT! Haven't sold that property yet but all in good time.
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Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 05:33

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 05:33
Hi Theo ,

Retiring the camper and going for a bit of luxury ? I found that I never used my camper because I am travelling by myself 90% of the time . The swag got a bit wearing after six weeks in WA last year . Now I take the swag so I can leave the BT somewhere and go off for the more rough adventures . That's what I am doing this June . I will go prospecting in Cue , then leave my van in Newman for two weeks . Then pick it up again and head off to Halls Creek for more prospecting .

What do you mean "you missed me on the other forum " ? I am always on there !

Good luck unloading the property . Don't despair - I nearly did when it took me 18 months to extricate myself from my business in a very ugly battle . But it all worked out in the end cos I hung in there .

Cheers ,

Willie .
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 06:22

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 06:22
Hi Theo

Good things come in good time to those who wait. We'll decide about Kalumburu when we get there and see how the road is. Most likely will go - but it depends on the 'driver'.

Having a bit of power trouble at present. We have a new fridge - 130 litre Vitrifrigo same as previous one, and using nothing else, power not keeping up. I suspect we may have a sick battery. Will get them checked before we move on.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By:- Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 20:43

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 20:43
Hi Willie,

Thanks for the encouragement! I'm at work and more than a little green with envy about your travel plans. I have spoken to the bride and WA will be our first port of call once we retire (looking more and more like Xmas 2010). The way the world is heading fuel wise it is probably smart to do the distance early - she has previously said no longer than 6 months but recently she entertained a 12 month suggestion. Pretty sure even 12 months in WA will not be enough but we'll see.

Looking at propsecting as well - not done it before but just seems like a great past time and a perfectly good reason to research and go to places.

You are right I have seen you on the other site but not as often as before.

Kind regards

Theo
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Follow Up By:- Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 20:56

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 20:56
Hi Motherhen,

I am a patient man, so I will wait. I have been looking at some of the 2nd hand BT's and they haven't been suitable for a number of reasons so it looks like it will be a new one.

Lis and I are joint drivers (so she says and who am I to argue?). Strangely, we haven't argued about destinations as yet other than she is not interested in cold places. I have been organising my life after work through lots of interests and fishing is certainly up there. We both enjoyed our time at Kalumburu and the fishing was great - that is enough reason to go.

I hope you sort out that power problem it certainly seems like black magic at times. We have had the odd issue over the years and have found the answers to be simple once we located the problem. Certainly worth understanding where the problem is and why it is a problem sometimes we thought it was the battery only to find a poor earth or low charging to be the culprit (in one instance low charging almost killed the battery).

Hope the family is looking after the farm long enough for you to enjoy the trip.

Kind regards

Theo
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Reply By: Kiwi1 - Monday, May 26, 2008 at 09:05

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 09:05
Willie,

Dust usually blows on and blows off again. But if you get dust, then overnight dew, then dust again, then dew again, it's called mud and it might start to add up. Depending on the number of panels and sunlight/cloud it may not matter. If you have a layer of dirt on your truck, your panels will be the same and it may be worth giving them a rinse, especially if your set-up is marginal. Don't forget that a bird on the wrong diet can take the edge off a panel's performance if you park under its night roost ;)

Michael
AnswerID: 575192

Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 05:20

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 05:20
Thanks Michael ,
I will check them out when I get to Cue ,
Cheers ,
Willie .
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Reply By: Wilmo7 - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 04:43

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 04:43
I have been full time on the road for 5 years and have installed a ladder at the back to check and clean the panels. Normally a run over with a soft broom does the job but a combination of dust and dew means a clean. It is my experience that a shiny clean panel absorbs slightly less enargy than a dusty one. Perhaps it is the shiny surface reflecting the sunlight before it gets to the elements under the glass.
AnswerID: 575193

Reply By: Agnes Lifestyle - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 08:03

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 08:03
Hi Willie,

We clean our panels whenever it takes our fancy,especially on the dusty roads.Weather conditions near the ocean sometimes call for a clean. Cleaning off dust, salt , leaves ,sap etc has always made a difference. Don't make it a daily chore though.There are better things to do!

Regards
Dianne
AnswerID: 575194

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