Increase earnings by using the right technology to clean solar power systems

Cleaning of photovoltaic modules with an UNGER nLite brush

The global energy transition is having long-term consequences, also for the cleaning industry. Above all, the impending change in energy supply means more solar systems. Even today, more and more solar panels are being put into operation each year. This growth trend is ex-pected to continue. As production progresses, new solar technologies are also coming onto the market. Solar modules are already being integrated as building elements in house façades and installed as roof elements for carports and hall buildings.

For cleaning companies this means new surfaces requiring high-quality cleaning. After all, a dirty solar cell means less power collected and thus less revenue for the operator. So it has to be cleaned regularly.

This means setting the right course for your future business now, as demand grows. Developing this speciality within glass and building cleans not only requires targeted customer acquisi-tion, but also the appropriate technical equipment.

The pure water method is especially suited to cleaning photovoltaic systems. This is the only way to ensure that all the dirt and grime are removed without residue. Simple tap water leaves limescale as it dries, which can lead to shadowing and thus a reduction in electricity yield. You can't clean with chemicals because some of the surfaces are hyper-sensitive. For free-standing systems, you can't allow wastewater contaminated with surfactants to run off.

What you should know about pure water cleaning

Depending on your business volume, there are a number of devices and technologies available for pure water cleaning. Among the recognised methods for producing pure water for use on solar power systems are deionisation (DI) and reverse osmosis (RO).

In deionisation, the water flows through an ion exchange resin which binds the solids. Deionisation removes at least 99% of the dissolved solids and gives you high quality water. All of the filtered water can be used for the cleaning process. DI filters require a relatively low initial investment and are designed for use on the go. Just hook up a supply hose to tap. As needed, all you will need to change are the resin bags. Ideal are devices equipped with a TDS meter so that water quality can be checked on-site at any time. When used for window cleaning, for example, the resins should be replaced when they are allowing 10 ppm in particulates through. DI systems are suitable for periodic, low production quantities of pure water and/or tap water with a medium or soft water hardness.

With reverse osmosis (RO), ideally after pre-filtering, the water is pumped at high pressure through a high-performance membrane that filters out up to 98% of the dissolved minerals and contaminants. The water flow is divided into wastewater (concentrate) and pure water. High-quality equipment will then pass the pure water to a DI filter to extract the remaining minerals from the water with ion exchange resin. This results in 100% pure water for instant use on-the-go. The pump, however, does require electric power. Reverse osmosis units are suitable for constant, high production volumes of pure water and/or situations where the water is hard. The initial investment is higher than for DI devices.

Find the right devices for expanding your business

Reverse osmosis devices are especially suitable for entering large-scale photovoltaic cleaning. Our most powerful system, the HydroPower RO XXL trailer, is battery operated and has a 700 litre water tank. This self-contained pure water system can be used anywhere, even without electricity and water on-site. Applications include solar panel fields, farms, or daily pure water cleaning rounds. At the same time, several people can work in parallel and thus make the most efficient use of your investment.

For information about our completely self-contained HydroPower RO XXL pure water system trailer, please contact a UNGER sales partner in your region directly.

Information on our other RO pure water systems can be found here.

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