Is air pollution affecting solar generation?
Solar Performance Specialist
Not seeing a good generation lately? And it makes sense because after Diwali, Delhi's air quality has deteriorated to the "severe" category as per Central Pollution Control Board. In addition to firecrackers, farm fires and stubble burning have also contributed to Delhi's PM2.5 pollution. The capital city of India has become a gas chamber.
On 4th November 2022, Delhi saw its worst AQI of the year at 450 AQI. This led the government officials to impose level 4 GRAP restrictions. Pollution in the atmosphere reduces solar power generation. There are two main ways in which this effects: by absorbing and scattering the sun's rays and by soiling solar panels. Your solar panels will lose their efficiency as soon as they are out in the open, whether in clean air or not so clean air.
Mitigating air pollution is one way to improve solar power generation and can be done on a broader scale. However, on an individual basis what should be done by you to increase the generation of your solar plant? Well the answer is simple. You can keep them clean!!
According to a study, in heavily polluted regions particulate matter can cause a drop of more than 50 percent in photovoltaic power generation. But you don’t need to worry. You can just clean up your solar panels and increase the generation.
Solar generation ought to be poor because it’s November and post diwali week. Even though we thought the same, it's our everyday routine to monitor the performance of all our solar plants. And guess what we found out? We found that some systems are generating better than the others. At first, we thought it could be a shadow issue, or maybe something got disconnected or maybe the area has more smog than the others. So, at the beginning of the month we conducted a cleaning drive. We found eight of our 10 sites to be in very poor condition, with the panels extremely dirty and covered in pollutants.
After cleaning of those panels the very next day there was a 45% increase in the generation. We understand that the weather is bad but not cleaning the panels makes it worse. Your system has the potential to support all your consumption even during winters.
Benefits of cleaning your solar panels:-
- Cleaning your solar panels on a regular basis makes a huge difference. Depending on the amount of dirt and dust deposited on your solar panels, after cleaning the panels the efficiency of solar panels increases up to 50%.
- Most solar plant owners have this assumption that the rainwater will automatically clean up the solar panels. However, unlike your car your solar panels also need to be cleaned on a regular basis and necessary after the first shower of rain.
- If you don’t clean up your panels for a longer duration of time, the durability of your solar panels will reduce. Also, in the long run your solar panels may start developing hotspot defects.
- The best part about cleaning your solar panels regularly is, you get an opportunity to inspect them as well.
- You have made a lot of investment while installing solar panels. So it is necessary to ensure that the ROI of your solar plant does not exceed. Cleaning them regularly will maintain a good generation thus helping you to achieve your ROI early or on the scheduled time.
Do you want to achieve your ROI soon and reduce your payback period? Schedule a call with us! We offer AMC services which include inspecting your modules for any kind of damage. We clean the modules once in a month, check the inverter and charge controller for correct settings. Check net meter charges by the DISCOM, inspect terminals and connections, check safety equipment. Monitoring your solar plant everyday.