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Thread: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

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Old 07-14-2018, 01:09 AM   #1
Quarry Creeper
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Exclamation Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

I have a solar system on my house (Two story) and wanted to make a RC based cleaner. Thinking of something simple, maybe spray water from the front and drag a soft cleaning brush in the rear. I have 23 panels and luckily they are in a rectangle configuration.

I'm in SoCal so minimal rain and lots of dust!

Any thoughts or ideas?
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

How steep is is the pitch of the roof?
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

I have a current order for designing and building it for 13 kW solar panels. I have taken measurements and am currently preparing concept drawings. I am initially going to use dry cleaning system and later add water spraying to get rid of bird shit that causes local hot spots on the panels. Its going to be an auto system which starts cleaning everday at a set time.

Powering the cleaning system is a bit tricky and can be done through a seperate 150 watt solar panel or trailling power cord or Lithium ion battery packs. I find the battery pack method quite easy but will have to have a smart charging system installed at the location where the trolley stops.

Some important points to be considered..
1) Panels tend to not be in perfect straight line and this will have to be considered while designing the trolley. Our Indian fabricators tend to be top notch jackasses.
2) Trolley should stop at a place beyong the panels where its shadow does not fall on the panels. You will need extensions beyond extreme ends of panels.
3) Rotary brush bristles should not leave scratch marks on the panels. Bristle material is important.
4) Limit switches are necessary at extreme ends of travel. Since you are going to control it manually, this part does not matter to you. But it would be quite informative for me to see an RC trolley overshoot the panels and fall down and break into a million pieces.
5) Power wheels of trolley should be disengageable using a lever just in case the trolley malfunctions and stops in between. It will be easy to disengage and manually push it to one end for maintenance.

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Old 07-14-2018, 10:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

This is an awesome idea...
I have 17 panels in equally dusty east county San Diego. Been in this house 9 months now so they are probably nasty.

The trolley idea is really great!
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jebster View Post
How steep is is the pitch of the roof?


Itís not bad and a scx10 should work well. Technically I could just spray down the panels with a hose and have a spinning or drag a brush behind and rinse again with a hose.



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Old 07-15-2018, 12:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jebster View Post
How steep is is the pitch of the roof?






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Old 07-15-2018, 02:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1.55Yota View Post
Itís not bad and a scx10 should work well. Technically I could just spray down the panels with a hose and have a spinning or drag a brush behind and rinse again with a hose.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
What? I thought you ment to say a radio controlled cleaning system. I never imagined an rc crawler pulling a cleaning system behind it or something like that.

How easy is it for a person to access the roof top panels?
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

Just hose 'em down.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

I’m a bit lazy and just an excuse for another RC!
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

You are a fine fine amateur
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

Why not just take a quad up every day with FPV and blow the dust off with the rotors? If you do it every day, it shouldn't get built up and crusty.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:19 AM   #12
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Default Re: Anyone here made a RC solar panel cleaner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1.55Yota View Post
Iím a bit lazy and just an excuse for another RC!
Are you the owner of the house and panels?
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