All posts by Fred

Hawaii and Oahu have proved to be an exciting place to build John B. Design, a Honolulu based Graphic Design Company, into a rewarding and successful Graphic Design and Web Marketing business for clients large and small. In the past several years I have developed extensive design experience, as well as an expert knowledge of the most contemporary tools-of-the-trade, and a network of true professionals that I have met along the way. I enjoy the challenges that come in working with clients from a variety businesses and marketplaces, both on the islands and the mainland. I am very passionate about my work. I love the opportunity to be creative everyday for such a diverse array of people and businesses. I look forward to future partnerships and the new and exciting challenges they bring with them. I would be happy to discuss how John B. Design can Explore Creativity to Communicate Your Vision.

Foliage Shading Effects PV Systems.

PV systems, as we all know, rely on the sun and panels that are shaded produce substantially less than their unshaded counterparts, which costs you money in the end. If you notice your panels being shaded, it is definitely something you want to address quickly. A simple trimming can save money on your electric bill, so we always recommend having any trees near the panels trimmed back.

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.

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

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.

2019 AEE World Energy Conference

2019 AEE World Energy Conference

Identifying Issues on Installed Photovoltaic Systems. By Fred Brooks.

Evolution of PV System Maintenance 

• With all things there is an evolutionary processIn 2009 I started operating the first company in Hawaii solely dedicated to Photovoltaic System maintenance. After a few years I knew there was more to the inspections than meets the eye, and that is when I first became a certified thermographer. That was in 2012. This was the natural next evolutionary step

General Conditions for an Inspection

  • The Photovoltaic system needs to be up and operating
  • We need a basic understanding of the PV system. Is it a central inverter, micro inverter or an optimizer system?
  • We want to ideally have clear skies
  • We are looking to have an irradiance greater than 500 w/m2
  • You can see anomalies at any level but 500 w/m2 and greater is where you can really see the anomalies pop
  • The main concept is to realize you are looking for anomalies on the system in relationship to the rest of the system, as the equipment should have a uniform heat signature in relationship to each other.



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