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Catwalk to rinse off panels?

Southpasfan

Member
Jun 2, 2019
338
475
Pasadena
Because of my set up, and concrete tile roof, I am considering setting up a cat walk to rinse off every month or so.

Its in SoCal, so there is more dirt than rain.

Putting aside how building and safety might feel about it. It seems to me that a combination of the racking system which actually mounts the array and some scaffolding sections would do the trick.

The roof barely slopes, and is very wide, its just that I don't think the tiles are made to walk on. During the install some were broken but only a couple, but still.

Anyone do or consider this?
 

Electrph

Member
Aug 29, 2019
278
161
Central California
might want to ask mod to correct typo in your title .. i thought you were creating something to angle your panels .. which also sounds interesting
so were you considering attaching catwalk to existing racking system ?
 
Mar 1, 2021
118
31
San Diego, CA
Because of my set up, and concrete tile roof, I am considering setting up a cat walk to rinse off every month or so.

Its in SoCal, so there is more dirt than rain.

Putting aside how building and safety might feel about it. It seems to me that a combination of the racking system which actually mounts the array and some scaffolding sections would do the trick.

The roof barely slopes, and is very wide, its just that I don't think the tiles are made to walk on. During the install some were broken but only a couple, but still.

Anyone do or consider this?
How high up are they? Can you just spray them from a ladder?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,856
8,696
Riverside Co. CA
might want to ask mod to correct typo in your title .. i thought you were creating something to angle your panels .. which also sounds interesting
so were you considering attaching catwalk to existing racking system ?

(moderator note: thread title changed from "catwalk to rise off panels?" to Catwalk to rinse off panels?". OP if this is not correct please PM me.)
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,644
9,778
United States
Because of my set up, and concrete tile roof, I am considering setting up a cat walk to rinse off every month or so.

Its in SoCal, so there is more dirt than rain.

Putting aside how building and safety might feel about it. It seems to me that a combination of the racking system which actually mounts the array and some scaffolding sections would do the trick.

The roof barely slopes, and is very wide, its just that I don't think the tiles are made to walk on. During the install some were broken but only a couple, but still.

Anyone do or consider this?

What kind of system do you have? If you can monitor the production of individual panels I would wash one and see if the difference is worth the effort. My bet is that it would be cheaper and easier to add a panel to make up for the lost production of none of them ever being washed. I'm always amazed at how small of an effect even A LOT of dust, dirt and grime has.
 
Mar 1, 2021
118
31
San Diego, CA
What kind of system do you have? If you can monitor the production of individual panels I would wash one and see if the difference is worth the effort. My bet is that it would be cheaper and easier to add a panel to make up for the lost production of none of them ever being washed. I'm always amazed at how small of an effect even A LOT of dust, dirt and grime has.
I don't know, for me in San Diego, I went from 25kWh to 28kWh per day by wiping down half of my panels... that's a big difference!
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,644
9,778
United States
I don't know, for me in San Diego, I went from 25kWh to 28kWh per day by wiping down half of my panels... that's a big difference!

But for how long? If 25kWh is 'peak dirt' and it takes 3 weeks to reach ~'peak dirt' is it really worth washing the panels every 3 weeks to gain 15%? Wouldn't it be worth it to just add 15% more panels to get 28kWh/day and never clean them?
 
Mar 1, 2021
118
31
San Diego, CA
But for how long? If 25kWh is 'peak dirt' and it takes 3 weeks to reach ~'peak dirt' is it really worth washing the panels every 3 weeks to gain 15%? Wouldn't it be worth it to just add 15% more panels to get 28kWh/day and never clean them?

I have the solar roof so that's not an option for me. Good thing it rained today!
 

Southpasfan

Member
Jun 2, 2019
338
475
Pasadena
So, gang, as you can see from the photo, access is easy. thats the north facing array of 13 panels. There are 35 south facing panels over the peak of the roof. Its not a big deal to rinse them off, but it cant be done without going up on to the roof.
 

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jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,859
2,985
Northern California
I have the solar roof so that's not an option for me. Good thing it rained today!
I would not get too overzealous on washing your solar roof. It might help 5%, but they come very clean with just a little rain. We did not clean ours all summer including through the Fall fires when the sky turned orange here in the Bay Area, with ash was falling like snow. After that, we paid a company $300+ to clean the solar roof. They did an OK job but the gain was only 5%. Then the first rain came and it cleaned all the roof much better than these "professionals".
 
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Mar 1, 2021
118
31
San Diego, CA
So, gang, as you can see from the photo, access is easy. thats the north facing array of 13 panels. There are 35 south facing panels over the peak of the roof. Its not a big deal to rinse them off, but it cant be done without going up on to the roof.

We had a similar roof, and tiles cracked every time someone went up there, including roofers! That's one reason why we decided on the solar roof.

Could you plumb a sprinkler type system to spray water up there? It would only require you to climb up to install it once, then you could just turn it on for a few minutes if there hasn't been rain in a few weeks...
 
Mar 1, 2021
118
31
San Diego, CA
I would not get too overzealous on washing your solar roof. It might help 5%, but they come very clean with just a little rain. We did not clean ours all summer including through the Fall fires when the sky turned orange here in the Bay Area, with ash was falling like snow. After that, we paid a company $300+ to clean the solar roof. They did an OK job but the gain was only 5%. Then the first rain came and it cleaned all the roof much better than these "professionals".
Good to know! We had saw dust from trees that were cut down recently which is why I went up to clean. I agree, once I get a good baseline, and there aren't special events that get the roof really dirty, I probably won't be up there much.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,859
2,985
Northern California
Good to know! We had saw dust from trees that were cut down recently which is why I went up to clean. I agree, once I get a good baseline, and there aren't special events that get the roof really dirty, I probably won't be up there much.
Your roof looks a lot like ours. I assume your house is 2 stories? Anyway, I am not going to go up there and clean it myself. A 25-foot fall would be no fun.
 
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Reactions: SoCalSolarRoof

Southpasfan

Member
Jun 2, 2019
338
475
Pasadena
We had a similar roof, and tiles cracked every time someone went up there, including roofers! That's one reason why we decided on the solar roof.

Could you plumb a sprinkler type system to spray water up there? It would only require you to climb up to install it once, then you could just turn it on for a few minutes if there hasn't been rain in a few weeks...

I have absolutely thought of that. Frankly, it would likely be less than rigging up a catwalk. On the catwalk idea, I was thinking of hiring a non-tesla company to put up some Zep racks and simply put scaffolding sections over that.

However, on my one spray off I noted that the water basically runs down through gaps in each panel, so you couldn't really set sprinklers on the highest panels and then have it simply flow all the way down the array.
 
Mar 1, 2021
118
31
San Diego, CA
Your roof looks a lot like ours. I assume your house is 2 stories? Anyway, I am not going to go up there and clean it myself. A 25-foot fall would be no fun.
Yup, 2 stories. I used the Tesla security rope, they're still not done yet so that made it easier. Agreed, I wouldn't go up without a harness, I wish there was a way to rig a harness rope up to self coil when I'm not using it haha...
 
Mar 1, 2021
118
31
San Diego, CA
I have absolutely thought of that. Frankly, it would likely be less than rigging up a catwalk. On the catwalk idea, I was thinking of hiring a non-tesla company to put up some Zep racks and simply put scaffolding sections over that.

However, on my one spray off I noted that the water basically runs down through gaps in each panel, so you couldn't really set sprinklers on the highest panels and then have it simply flow all the way down the array.
True, you'd need to run a sprinkler per panel, not ideal.
 

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