Clean Solar Solutions Ltd have completed the cleaning of 1,209 solar panels in West Bromwich for Indian food giant, East End Foods. When installed, the solar array was claimed to be the largest rooftop solar array in Europe, covering 110,000 sq.ft. These solar panels generate on average about 45% of the sites energy requirements. Any extra electricity generated is fed back into the UK’s National Grid.
Clean Solar Solutions were asked by the UK’s leading energy efficiency services company, Anesco, to clean the solar panels. Anesco both installed the array and closely monitor it’s performance with their Anescometer monitoring system. When a drop in output was automatically flagged up on their system, upon inspection it was clear that the drop was due to the accumulation of dust and other detritus that had built-up over time.
East End Foods obviously deal with some dusty ingredients, such as powdered spices and flour and as a result, extractor fans remove dust from inside to outside the building. An extractor fan is situated right next to the array and as a result, there was a thick white film of what appeared to be flour on the solar panels. This made cleaning the panels all the more difficult because it congealed when we applied water to the solar panels. A whole section of the array needed cleaning 3 times before we were satisfied that the solar panels were clean.
Another reason that the solar panels were so dirty is due to the pitch of the roof. It is only around 5 degrees, meaning there is minimal water run-off when it rains. This lack of run-off means that the panels hold their dirt quicker than those mounted on a house roof for example. You can see from the picture above that there is a clear difference between the first two rows which had been cleaned and the rest of the array, which hadn’t.
Because of the dusty working atmosphere and the shallow pitch of the roof, we expect East End Foods and Anesco will now employ a regular solar panel cleaning regime so that they reap maximum financial benefit from their solar array.
If you own or maintain a rooftop solar array and would like advice about cleaning or a price for cleaning, please contact us.