pacific panel cleaners

US Solar Plants Now Expected to Run for More Than 30 Years: Berkeley Lab.

While solar technology has been rapidly advancing, prices have also been dropping. According to Green Tech Media in their recent article, the average lifespan of a solar project has increased from 21.5 years in 2007 to 32.5 years as of now. What’s even better is that operating costs have been halved since then as well! This is great news for anyone looking to invest in solar projects because when the lifetime of your system is increased and operating costs are reduced, more money is saved in the long run. With this news, we hope to see more solar projects in Hawai’i and the rest of the U.S., because saving money and moving towards green technology is beneficial for everyone. For more information, check out the article linked below. #ppc, #PacificPanelCleaners, #AEE, #AEEHawaii, #solarpanelcleanhawaii, #pvmaintenance, #solarmaintenance, #pvpros, #HSEA, #pvproshawaii, #pvinspection, #solarenergy, #renewableenergy, #renewablenergysystem, #solar

Fred Brooks Panelist on June 9th, 2020.

TOPIC: Identifying Issues on Installed Photovoltaic Systems Using Thermal Imagery.

by Fred Brooks, CEM, CEA, CEO of Pacific Panel Cleaners

Photovoltaic systems are a great renewable energy resource and they need to be inspected and maintained regularly. Inspection of the photovoltaic modules with a thermal imager is critical to identify any problems. Inspection of the balance of system ensures the items are installed properly.

If there are issues in the modules or on the balance of system this can cause a loss of energy which is a direct parallel to a loss in money. If there is a problem that goes undetected and is left in the system, it can lead to a fire which is very dangerous and is also very costly. The use of the thermal imagery with the other data collected on a site is an invaluable tool to determining the health of the installed photovoltaic system. What are we able to see? How can we tell if this is a real issue or not? What are some of the causes for the issues we can find? What can be done with some of the issues that are found? What are the conditions for conducting a proper thermal scan with true results? This tool can identify the location of microinverters or optimizers that are out and help you find them, and that is invaluable when the map is wrong.


Fred served 8 and half years in the United States Navy in the Engineering Department. Completed a BS degree in Environmental Science at HPU while taking photovoltaic engineering courses. Started working in the photovoltaic industry in 2006 and started the first solar cleaning and maintenance company in Hawaii in 2009. Fred has earned his Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) and Level II Thermographer Certification. Has been a leader in the Photovoltaic Maintenance Industry since 2009. He has spoken at several conferences and published papers on identifying issues on installed photovoltaic systems using thermal imagery and on good photovoltaic maintenance practices and the value in a good monitoring system for your photovoltaic system.

Fred is a true consumer advocate and passionate about helping clients protect their solar investments. He has a true passion for the energy field and the environment and wants to see and share the natural beauty of the world continue to shine for his daughters and generations to come.

social distancing grace of progress

PPC: New Guidelines for Service.

We at PPC are working hard to protect your solar investment and keep your energy at peak status.

Being a premier photovoltaic maintenance company, we are aware of the current unique situation now having to deal with a national, and global, pandemic crisis. The Pacific Panel Cleaners team is ready to serve your solar panel needs under these special circumstances.

PPC management will be sending out postcards with this and additional information to help our customers at this time. Please contact us at anytime for details or questions

We are keeping in accordance with the Governor’s Law of social distancing and we are not knocking on doors talking to our clients at this time so we will text or call upon arrival.

We will also let you know when we are leaving. 

We apologize about this as we do enjoy talking story face to face with our clients. This does not mean we cant talk story but have to do it on the phone or from greater than 6 feet away-These times will pass and we know that but for now we have to follow the Laws being passed during these times for all our safety.

Thank you kindly 

Be Kind

Stay Safe

Fred and your team at Pacific Panel Cleaners LLC

There’s an unlikely beneficiary of coronavirus: The planet.

Rebecca Wright, CNN

Factories were shuttered and streets were cleared across China’s Hubei province as authorities ordered residents to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

It seems the lockdown had an unintended benefit — blue skies.

The average number of “good quality air days” increased 21.5% in February, compared to the same period last year, according to China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment. 

And Hubei wasn’t alone.

Satellite images released by NASAand the European Space Agency show a dramatic reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions — those released by vehicles, power plants and industrial facilities — in major Chinese cities between January and February. The visible cloud of toxic gas hanging over industrial powerhouses almost disappeared.

“This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” says Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “I am not surprised because many cities nationwide have taken measures to minimize the spread of the virus.” 

A similar pattern has emerged with carbon dioxide (CO2) — released by burning fossil fuels such as coal. 

From February 3 to March 1, CO2 emissions were down by at least 25% because of the measures to contain the coronavirus, according to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), an air pollution research organization. 

As the world’s biggest polluter, China contributes 30% of the world’s CO2 emissions annually, so the impact of this kind of drop is huge, even over a short period. CREA estimates it is equivalent to 200 million tons of carbon dioxide– more than half the entire annual emissions output of the UK.

“As a measure that took place effectively overnight, this is more dramatic than anything else that I’ve seen in terms of the impact on emissions,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at CREA. 

But while lockdown measures designed to stem the spread of the virus have caused a momentary uptick in China’s pollution levels, experts warn that when the county starts to reboot its economy thetoxic chemicals couldup to higher levels than before the epidemic hit. 

Coal consumption falls

A fall in oil and steel production, and a 70% reduction in domestic flights, contributed to the fall in emissions, according to the CREA. But the biggest driver was the sharp decline in China’s coal usage. 

China is the world’s biggest producer and consumer of coal, using this resource for 59% of its energy in 2018. As well as running power plants and other heavy industries, coal is also the sole heat source for millions of homes in the vast rural areas of the country.

The country’s major coal-fired power stations saw a 36% drop in consumption from February 3 to March 1 compared to the same period last year, according to CREA analysis of WIND data service statistics. 

“The largest consumers of coal — coal-fired power plants — have been affected a lot because electricity demand is down,” said Myllyvirta. “I think it’s clear that this effect will continue for the next weeks and months, because there has also been a major impact on the demand side of the economy.” 

In 2017, President Xi Jinping promised to make combating pollution one of China’s “three battles,” and the following year the Ministry of Ecology and Environment was created. 

The policies have resulted in a significant impact, with overall pollution levels 10% lower across Chinese cities between 2017 and 2018, according to a report released last year by Greenpeace and AirVisual.

Climate activists say the crisis could provide a window to ramp up these promised reforms. 

“We would very much advocate for China to foster this opportunity to transform its economy, to break apart from the old,” said Li Shuo, a senior climate policy adviser for Greenpeace East Asia. 


Panasonic is leaving Tesla’s solar panel “gigafactory” in Buffalo

By Kelly Pickerel | February 26, 2020

When SolarCity purchased module manufacturer Silevo in 2014, the company immediately took over plans for a 1-GW manufacturing plant in Buffalo, New York, with the goal to begin production of SolarCity-branded panels by 2017. Then Tesla bought SolarCity in 2016, and Tesla inked a deal with Panasonic to jointly use the Buffalo plant to produce PV cells and modules. The two companies have a long collaborative relationship, especially in EV and battery cells.

But now it’s been announced that Panasonic is leaving the Buffalo plant, putting many supposed solar products in jeopardy. Panasonic was the only company on record producing solar cells in the United States, and many assumed Panasonic solar cells were being used in Tesla’s Solarglass solar roof product. (PV Magazine has done some excellent work trying to determine where Tesla’s products are being manufactured.)

Panasonic will cease U.S. solar manufacturing operations in May and should completely exit the Buffalo facility by the end of September 2020.

Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development Chair, confirmed Panasonic’s departure in a statement yesterday. Zemsky said that Tesla has informed the organization that it has “not only met, but exceeded their hiring commitment in Buffalo.” Tesla said it has more than 1,500 jobs in Buffalo, not counting Panasonic employees at the plant. If confirmed to be true, Tesla will avoid paying a $41.2 million penalty to the State of New York, which required Tesla to hire 1,460 people to receive certain incentives.

“This count does not include the Panasonic positions and — while their operations were co-located at RiverBend — there was no incentive package between the state and Panasonic. We understand that Panasonic has made a corporate decision to move away from global solar products, but this action has no bearing on Tesla’s current operations nor its commitment to Buffalo and New York State, according to Tesla,” Zemsky said.

Zemsky also said that Tesla has indicated it intends to hire as many Panasonic employees impacted by Panasonic’s departure as it can.

As part of the Tesla-Panasonic Buffalo collaboration agreement signed in 2016, Panasonic agreed to cover required capital costs at the plant. Panasonic had been manufacturing its high-efficiency solar cells and selling them to other module assembly companies. Now the company is streamlining its global solar operations by integrating solar into its “energy solutions business,” which also includes energy management systems, batteries and EV chargers. Panasonic will continue to sell Panasonic-branded panels to U.S. customers through its own distribution network.

“We are proud of what Panasonic has accomplished as a pioneer in the solar space and the significant role Panasonic employees in Buffalo have played in that success,” said Shinichiro Nakajima, director of Panasonic’s Energy System Strategic Business. “The decision to transition away from U.S. solar manufacturing in Buffalo aligns with our global solar strategy, our efforts to optimize development and production, and supports Tesla’s long-term plans to continue and expand its operations.”

With no domestic solar cell production, U.S. module makers are still dependent on foreign, tariffed solar cells for its end-products. Shuttered Suniva has indicated plans it wants to restart cell manufacturing in Georgia, but nothing has been confirmed. Solar cell equipment manufacturer Meyer Burger announced last year that an unnamed solar cell manufacturing startup had signed a contract to install new equipment somewhere in North America. Nothing yet has been confirmed with that contract.

Solar Panel Manufacturers – What to Look For

There are a lot of solar panel manufacturers out there. How do you know which one to choose? We’ll break it down so you know what to look for and what pitfalls to avoid.

Warranty: One place to start is your warranty coverage. Given that your PV system is constantly exposed to the elements, there are a number of things that can break down over time. You want to know exactly what’s covered so you don’t get caught off guard with unexpected expenses. Look carefully at how long the warranty lasts and know the difference between parts and labor. They may claim a 25-year warranty on parts, but only a 5-year workmanship warranty on the product, meaning you could end up paying out of pocket for repairs when you thought you were completely covered. You need to talk to your installer on their install warranty as this is a whole other aspect that we are not going to discuss on this blog.

Stability: You want to pick a stable company that will be around over the long haul. Remember, a company that goes out of business can’t honor your warranty, no matter what they promised you. If they go under, you’re out of luck. When comparing manufacturers, how diversified are they? If they’re a large, well-known company that deals in multiple industries, they might have a greater chance of survival even if there’s a downturn in the solar industry, as opposed to one that’s solely dependent on solar.

Fair comparison: Cost is always a consideration, but when shopping around and comparing prices, make sure you compare apples to apples. Some manufacturers claim that they produce more watts of electricity per panel, but it might just be because the panels are bigger. A better way to compare is to look at the price per watt produced. There are several websites that are out there they do comparative analysis of the PV panels.

Flexibility: Finally, the big one that catches so many consumers off guard and should be avoided at all costs…make sure there is no proprietary workmanship clause. In other words, you want to be able to pick ANY licensed contractor who is allowed by the state you are in to install, maintain, and repair your panels. Some manufacturers actually restrict you only to companies that are licensed to sell their product. This greatly limits who you can call. You might have someone in mind who does great work but find yourself stuck with a company that has poor workmanship, bad customer service, or costs a lot more. They may claim it’s because their panels are unique and use proprietary technology but be wary of what they tell you. All PV panels are basically built the same and produce electricity the same way, so a licensed contractor who can do the work in your state should be able to do the work.

In conclusion, we want you as the consumer to be aware so that you can make an informed decision from the start, and don’t get locked into a deal that’s not in your best interest. Your PV system is a long-term investment that can often outlast the life of your installation company. Make sure you get what you pay for and retain your rights so that you’re in control and get the best bang for your buck, even years down the line.

AEE World Energy Conference 2019

The #founder & #CEO of our company, Pacific Panel Cleaners, Fred Brooks, CEM, CEA will be speaking at the #aee #worldenergy #conference in #WashingtonDC this year! If you’re there, don’t miss his #presentation on #thermalimagery on Thursday, September 26th from 2:30-3:00pm. Such an #honor to be invited & be a part of this #energy #expo!
#pv #pvindustry #solar #greenenergy #thermalimaging #photovoltaic