Solar Panel Cleaning with Fuller Custom Brush
We are always looking for ways to help companies that need our custom industrial brushes. We’ve long served a wide variety of industries, including commercial baking, agricultural, woodworking, aerospace, printing, material-handling, mass transit, machine tool, and the list goes on and on. One of the more recent additions is the renewable-energy industry. Consider if you will, the challenge of the solar panel:
It has a tempered glass face, laminated with an antireflective coating. The slick surface of uncoated glass, like a window, helps keep it clean and shed dust, so the surface of a photovoltaic cell is more prone to soiling.
Solar panels are usually mounted at an angle, instead of vertically. This, of course, is all the better to catch the sun’s rays directly. As anyone who has a skylight set in a pitched roof can attest, it’s the vertical positioning of windows that help keep them clean.
Because of the shadow, placing them beneath a shelter won’t work: Solar panels have to be out in the elements, and, exposed as they are, they get rained on, dust collects on that dull surface, and of course, passing birds occasionally…. find ways to hamper their effectiveness.
Plus every grain of dust or bird dropping on that glass surface makes the panel less efficient, and the effect is multiplied over time.
Often in the solar energy industry, we see those economies of scale at work. That is to say, if it’s a good spot to place ten photovoltaic cells, then it’s a great spot to place a hundred of them. That will add up to a fair amount of easy-to-soil anti-reflective glass. Multiply it across several locations and you’ve got yourself a cleaning job that can use more power than you’re generating.
These are some of the considerations that were brought to us by a client who needed a way to clean large numbers of solar panels efficiently, regularly, without leaving them soiled, but also without damaging or abrading the antireflective surface.
The way we set ourselves apart from other brush companies is by establishing a relationship with our customers so that we know we understand the nuances and details of their specific brush needs. We work with our clients to deliver exactly what they’re after, using our expertise and experience, knowledge of materials and brush design, trim, and shape to meet the goal of the specifications as well as the measurements.
In this case, the client presented us with the specifications they needed to meet, and we came up with the right brush design, the right size, and diameter to ensure a clean sweep of every surface it touches, quickly and efficiently. The design keeps those solar panels clean, beyond a shadow of a doubt.