How to secure your success cleaning photovoltaic systems

Photovoltaic systems are popping up everywhere and will continue to gain in importance in the years to come. Photovoltaic modules, whether as a façade element or set up as a free-standing field, are only really useful if they are clean. Dirty surfaces can cause losses of up to 30% yield in the short term. But given that these systems are planned to operate for 30 years and more, only considering the short-term yield falls short. Deposits can lead to long-term damage, shorten the life of the modules, and thus substantially endanger the overall profitability. Regular cleanings make sense for warranty purposes, too, since a clean system will detecting any shortcomings on the modules faster. There is no alternative to a professional cleaning of photovoltaic systems. This is not a DIY job.

Large-scale cleaning of photovoltaic systems with the UNGER pure water system

Cleaning companies with good contacts to PV system installers, the appropriate expertise, and the right cleaning equipment enjoy an excellent positioned in this segment. In order to avoid damage to the module surfaces during cleaning, it is essential to observe the cleaning instructions of the module manufacturer. Since some of the surfaces are particularly sensitive, using chemical cleaners is usually a no-go. And for free-standing systems, you can't allow wastewater contaminated with surfactants to run off into the soil.

Various techniques and tools for photovoltaic system cleaning are now available on the market. Not all are equally well suited or effective. The most effective method is to use pure water. This method is also recommended by leading suppliers of photovoltaic systems. One advantage: pure water is the only way to ensure that all the dirt and grime are removed from the modules without residue.

Information about this method and suitable tools can be found here.

What to consider when choosing your equipment

In principle, different methods for demineralization are available. Recognized methods for producing pure water include deionization (DI) and reverse osmosis (RO).

RO filters are recommended when cleaning larger photovoltaic systems. They are designed for a higher pure-water output than DI filters and thus ideal for large fields of photovoltaic modules. For smaller systems, DI filter systems can also be used.

Safety first

The choice of further cleaning equipment is made after examining the surface and its environment. One advantage of the UNGER product range: UNGER pure water cleaning systems include lightweight waterfed UNGER nLite carbon telescopic poles with special brushes that can extend up to 20 metres, depending on the model. This makes safe and fast work from the ground possible, even for systems high up in the air.

UNGER nlite water fed pole for cleaning of photovoltaic systems

Use UNGER nLite water-bearing brushes with special bristles, both split and unsplit, made of natural hair or nylon, to ensure optimal removal of dirt. Especially recommended are brushes with an angled brush body. This allows for better cleaning of frame edges. All equipment should also be adapted to the surfaces being cleaned and allow for ergonomic operation. In the UNGER pure water system, for example, the pure water is discharged at the upper end of the telescopic pole and distributed through the brush body evenly onto the bristles and then onto the solar cells being cleaned. Brush bodies in various shapes can also reach difficult angles. Also advantageous are super lightweight brushes that protect the arms and back of the user. Special nozzle technology ensures optimal water supply. An additional plus for health and safety. Moreover, in terms of efficiency, the pure water method is convincing, because the savings in not having to bring lift trucks or scaffolding quickly pays off.

Invest appropriately: UNGER offers the right solution for every size business

A basic professional setup for cleaning smaller photovoltaic surfaces includes a small DI pure water filter system, a waterfed pole, and brushes with nozzles especially developed for photovoltaic modules to loosen and risen away the grime. The best systems are those that can be readily expanded as your business grows.

Reverse osmosis (RO) devices are the way to go if you decide to start large-scale photovoltaic cleaning. The most powerful RO pure water system from UNGER is the self-sufficient HydroPower RO XXL trailer system. The battery-operated system with integrated water tank (holding up to 700 litres) allows you to use pure water without any power or water connections anywhere in the world, really. Two cleaning specialists can use the UNGER HydroPower RO XXL trailer system simultaneously, covering more area more quickly and paying back your investment that much sooner. Applications include solar panel fields, farms, or daily pure water cleaning rounds.

We recommend consulting with an authorized UNGER dealer. To find an authorized UNGER dealer in your area, visit us here.

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