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Old 08-09-2009, 12:55 PM   #1
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Double your solar panel's output!

Maybe not double... but a recent blog post from Google about cleaning their solar panels tells of doubling their panels' output after a clean:

"Since the carport solar panels have no tilt, rain doesn't do a good job of rinsing off the dirt they collect. (Also, our carports are situated across from a sand field, which doesn't help the situation.) We cleaned these panels for the first time after they had been in operation for 15 months, and their energy output doubled overnight. When we cleaned them again eight months later, their output instantly increased by 36 percent. In fact, we found that cleaning these panels is the #1 way to maximize the energy they produce. As a result, we've added the carport solar panels to our spring cleaning checklist."

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/ ... solar.html

Cheers!
Mike
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:56 PM   #2
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Re: Double your solar panel's output!

While doing research prior to our build I had the good fortune to talk at length to a rep from Kyocera and one of the things that he emphasized on a flat mounted panel was to keep it free from shadows and clean it regularly .
I clean mine bi weekly and Rain X it once a month .
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:03 AM   #3
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Re: Double your solar panel's output!

I would think that the use of the Refletix dash covers (or window covers) would be put to good use reflecting sun onto the panels to further increase output. Just a thought. I don't have solar yet.

Another thought. The cool roof stuff from energy star lists paints and ranks them in terms of reflectivity. I think the whites score higher than the silvers. Makes me wonder if a white panel might not reflect more usable light to the panel than a mirror????? Not sure which part of the spectrum the panel uses.....
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:41 PM   #4
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Re: Double your solar panel's output!

The reflectix would be tough... it's flimsy and the surface is uneven. You would have to support it, and the light would be reflected every which way, instead of directed to the solar panel.

You could probably test several materials by shading the solar panel and directing sunlight then reading the output... if nobody has done the research already (doubtful that no-one has).

Makes me wish I had solar panels to reflect stuff onto!
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:26 AM   #5
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Re: Double your solar panel's output!

I used the Reflectix type material found on the windshield covers a number of times for backlighting and directional lighting for Macro Photography and on occasion side lighting in low or difficult situations . Works very nicely on Flowers , and Aquatic Insects and anywhere that a little natural fill in light might be needed .
I know that all of the Solar power plants that I have visited or seen use Parabolic type mirror's for the directional gathering of Sunlight so I would assume that Silver would be the choice of color our Solar Panels . Here we go again with another Rube Goldberg experiment .
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