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Roadtreking: The care and feeding of your solar panels

From the bloggers at Roadtreking.

Since I’ve had more solar panels on my Roadtrek RC longer than anyone else, I get asked occasionally what I have to do to keep them working. The answer is… hardly anything. They really take care of themselves, pretty much. I’m the sort that likes to do all kind of unnecessary maintenance, and all I do is clean them once or twice a year.

Don’t stay up at night worrying about dirt on your panels cutting down on the amount of electricity. The available research on static panels in heavily urbanized areas indicates that dirt only cuts down on yield about 3-5%, and that’s in rain-deprived southern California where they go months with no cleansing showers. Driving helps keep the panels clean, especially driving in the rain, and a decent hailstorm will really clean them off well – even gets the bug splatter off the front edge. I would estimate that the amount of dirt on my panels when they come due for their semi-annual cleaning isn’t enough to knock off a percent or two from the yield – I recently cleaned them and didn’t detect any measurable difference in yield before and after, even with my fancy meters.

To read the full story by Roadtreking, click here.

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