Fire Smog Effecting Your Solar Production?

The question of smog effects on solar production wasn’t a common question until the recent smoke from Canada’s wild fires blanketed cities across the north east. The short answer is, yes, smog will diminish solar production.  Particles from wildfires don’t reflect sunlight but rather absorb it, causing the hazy, orange sky affect.  Less intensity from the sun, less production.

In areas will heavy smoke such as New York and Hartford, solar owners will probably see a noticeable drop in their solar production through their monitoring software. Just like on a cloudy, rain day, the drop is temporary with full production returning when the air clears. If that heavy smog (or rain storm) lingers for a week, solar owners will probably be buying more power from their utility than they did for the same month in previous years.  Over the course of a year, one random week of lower production is a drop in the bucket and nothing to worry about.

The smoke particulates certainly won’t hurt your system, however, if that smoke is heavy enough, it could leave a sooty residue on the panels. If you can visibly see it or wipe if off with your figure than it should be removed to return the panels to full absorption of solar radiation.

If you have to clean your panels, do it from the ground with a powerful hose and mild solution such as Bare Ground Winter Bare Ground Solutions One Shot 1S-SPCHEC Solar Panel Cleaner.  If you can’t do it from the ground, hire a professional with insurance. And remember, rain will take care of the vast majority of debris that hits your panels.

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