Clean Solar Solutions Ltd have completed the solar panel cleaning on a 50KW solar array, mounted on top of a grain store on a Lincolnshire farm. The solar array on a farm at Spilsby, north of Boston consists of 204 Suntech 245W solar panels and SMA Sunny Tripower inverters. We were able to work alongside local company MN Solar Cleaning with this project.
The farm owner, Mr Hall-Jones, has three solar arrays and used the largest of his arrays as a test case. Our company was not aware Mr Hall-Jones owned three arrays, we thought it was only one. He wanted to have one array cleaned in order to determine if it was worthwhile having his other systems cleaned.
He had noticed that his solar panels quickly accumulated a build-up of dust during harvest time. Was he losing enough output so as to justify the cost of cleaning? Mr Hall-Jones said “Due to the proximity of the grain dryer to the solar panels it meant that the dirt quickly built up on the largest array during harvest at the end of August and early September.”
Mr Hall-Jones kindly sent us the readings from all three of his solar arrays. The results are quite remarkable. Below is a graph showing the data readings from the daily output of each of his three solar arrays. The solar panels on arrays 1 & 2 were not cleaned, only array 3 was cleaned on 4th October 2013.
Array 1. A 32KW solar array. The day before the clean on 3rd October, the array produced 51.6KWh. The day after the cleaning on array 3, on 5th October, the array produced 52.76KWh. This is an increase of 1.16KWh or 2.2%. The increase can be put down to weather and irradiance levels on that day.
Array 2. A 42KW solar array. The day before the clean on 3rd October, this array produced 69.81KWh. The day after the cleaning on array 3, on 5th October, the array produced 73.45KWh. This is an increase of 3.64KWh or 5.2%. This again can be put down to weather and irradiance levels.
Array 3. A 50KW solar array. The day before the clean on 3rd October, this array produced 59.3KWh. The day after the cleaning on 5th October, the array produced 88.94KWh. This is an increase of 29.64KWh or 50.23%. Even if we generously reduce this by 7% due to weather and irradiance levels, that still gives an increase of 43.23% which can only be attributed to our solar panel cleaning service. Solar panel cleaning is the only differing factor between the three arrays.
Mr Hall-Jones was amazed by the increase in output our solar panel cleaning service brought and that was part of the reason he was so happy to share his findings. He commented “You can see that before the clean the 42KW system was generating more than the 50KW which clearly shows how much the dirt was reducing the generation. Fortunately I had other systems to compare the performance and it was this that made me aware of the reduction. People with a single system should have at least an annual clean in order to maximise generation.”
As a company, Clean Solar Solutions Ltd have compiled our own data from inverter readings before and after cleans. To have a client compile their own data independently and then forward this to us adds real credence to the benefits of our solar panel cleaning service.
Does the extra output from his solar array justify the cost of the solar panel cleaning? Would Mr Hall-Jones use Clean Solar Solutions Ltd for his solar panel cleaning in the future? He concludes “I believe the clean will pay for itself in approximately ten days which makes it worth every penny. We will definitely be looking to clean each system regularly in order to keep the performance of the system at it’s best. Clean Solar Solutions were quick to respond to my enquiry and I was booked in for the clean the following week. Clean Solar Solutions provide a quick and efficient service that I would highly recommend to anybody with their own solar array.”
The findings and comments of Mr Hall-Jones caught the eye of Clean Solar Solutions Ltd Managing Director, Steve Williams. He said “I would like to thank Mr Hall-Jones for his research and complimentary words about our company. He showed above average diligence when monitoring his solar array output and we appreciate him sharing his findings with us. Solar panel cleaning in the UK is still a relatively new industry. It still has sceptics who doubt the financial benefits that solar panel cleaning can bring. This is one of many cases where we have seen our service bring real financial benefit to solar panel owners. It is the testimonies of people such as Mr Hall-Jones that will build and drive consumer confidence in our industry. We look forward to carrying out future cleans for Mr Hall-Jones.”
Clean Solar Solutions Ltd provide solar panel cleaning in Lincolnshire and across the whole of the UK. We provide our services on large scale solar farms owned by investment companies, local councils and to O&M departments of solar panel installers. Please feel free to contact us for more information.