OCS Energy, Inc. is working to provide a solution that increases the efficiency and maximizes the output of solar photovoltaic systems. SolarWash is a smart panel cleaning system for PV that provides a cost-effective and scalable solution for the removal of soil and dirt. It will automatically and remotely remove the dirt at a fraction of the cost of manual cleaning. SolarWash offers a sustainable solution as it uses no chemicals and recovers and reuses the water from the cleaning process.
OCS Energy Introduces SolarWash™ – The Automated Solar Panel Cleaning System
First of Its Kind Technology Provides a Practical, Safe Solution to Solar’s Dirty Secret
Petaluma, CA, November 3, 2008 – OCS Energy, Inc. introduces SolarWash™, the first commercially available automated photovoltaic (PV) panel cleaning system. The ground-breaking SolarWash™ system increases the energy output and shortens the payback for solar power investments. SolarWash™ attaches directly to an array of PV panels and is controlled by a microprocessor, providing PV system operators a turnkey cleaning solution without having to manually wash each panel.
Solar PV is often hyped as requiring virtually no maintenance; when, in fact, PV installations need regular cleanings to maintain optimal performance. The accumulation of dirt on solar panels has a significant, detrimental impact on the performance of solar power systems. Dirt, however, is only part of the problem. PV system operators must also compete with the build-up of dust, tree debris, moss, sap, bugs, bird droppings, water spots, mold and more.
“We are seeing our 400 kilowatt (kW) system’s energy output decrease by as much as 25% after a few months of dirt build-up, and manual cleanings have turned out to be both time and cost prohibitive,” said Ron Newdoll, CEO of Accurate Solar Power. “I am looking forward to the installation of the SolarWash™ system as an automated and reliable solution to our PV maintenance problem.”
After receiving numerous maintenance inquiries from clients over the years, and seeing no practical cleaning solutions, Rich O’Connell, CEO of OCS Energy, developed the SolarWash™ system. The patent pending SolarWash™ system provides a complete solar cleaning solution including maintenance free nozzles, a web-based interface, and a programmable logic controller (PLC). The end-to-end solution allows operators of large PV systems to effectively manage their resources, initiating the washing of panels without the need to schedule a maintenance crew.
To date, most PV systems are cleaned by maintenance personnel of the PV system owner or outsourced to a maintenance/cleaning company. However, allowing employees or an untrained third-party to manually wash an energized high voltage electrical system without following electrical industry standards, puts many owners at risk.
“The proper procedures for performing solar system cleaning have largely been ignored by most system operators because they are not familiar with National Fire Protection Agency’s recommended practices for electrical equipment maintenance,” said Rich O’Connell. “This includes the safety aspect of protecting employees who are spraying water and chemicals on energized solar electrical systems. This liability along with the lost revenue from shutting down a system makes SolarWash™ the obvious solution to the problem.”
A SolarWash™ system is a cost effective solution that will typically pay for itself in three to five years with PV systems that are experiencing energy degradation of 5% or greater. By allowing system owners such as power purchase companies to clean their panels weekly rather than monthly or bi-annually, SolarWash™ is an especially desirable addition to these owners of multi-megawatt facilities – improving the kilowatt output so that they can increase their revenues.
Large commercial grade PV system owners are encouraged to contact OCS Energy for an on site evaluation. firstname.lastname@example.org