Every site is completely different; hence the cleaning frequency varies from one site to the other. The five essential factors that affect the cleaning schedule include your location (how often does it rain?), the nature of business( for instance certain manufacturing units release exhaust making frequent cleaning a necessity), the tilt angle of your panels (steeply tilted panels tend to stay relatively cleaner than horizontal PV arrays), the amount of wind-blown dust and pollen, electric rate (higher electric rate makes it more worthwhile to clean your panels), and the cost to clean your panels.

Solar panels get dirty primarily from wind-blown dust and pollen. A small amount of dirt may cause an output decline of up to 5 percent. However, very dirty panels especially near agricultural lands or in areas that do not get rainfall can cause an output decline greater than 20 percent.

A heavy rainfall is good to wash away most of the dirt and debris but may leave a puddle of muddy debris along the lower edge of the panel. Hence making panel cleaning an essential activity. Also, the site must be looked for moss and weeds that develop along the lower row of cells after rains.

A lot of solar companies offer panel maintenance and cleaning as a part of their contract; however, a better way is to maintain the cleaning in-house. Watch our video on Solar Panel Cleaning Precautions for hassle free maintenance.

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Dayab Hussain
Manager Special Projects

I am excited to share some of my experiences from my visit to Intersolar Europe.

June 20th, 2018:

Intersolar Europe had just commenced at the Messe München exhibition center in Munich Germany. As a solar engineer, the magnanimity of being here at the most cutting-edge showcase of solar innovations and trends was not lost on me. I was brimming with excitement. The opportunity to interact with leading exhibitors from nearly 50 countries was invigorating.

June 21st, 2018:

In just 24 hours I felt like I had learnt something new every 10 minutes. As a Reon representative, I was constantly on the lookout for upgrades and technological enhancements. After all, our technological edge is part of what makes Reon the market leader. It was thus so meaningful to interact with European market leaders such as ABB, SMA who had unveiled their most current products in the pipeline.

The innovative solution I found particularly interesting and possibly applicable to Pakistan was the “Tree System” which is a structure developed for ground mount systems using the concept of tree roots. The best part about the solution is the reduced installation time and the minimal use of machinery to pile erect the structure.

June 22nd, 2018:

The opportunity to be a part of Intersolar had been truly fulfilling. Many of the key learnings and innovations are applicable to Pakistan. Part of our ethos at Reon Energy is to stay a few paces ahead of the market on technology and our presence at Intersolar was one step towards that. Intersolar truly is the present and future platform for the fast-developing innovations in the Sustainable Energy Industry.

Picture Credits:



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Solar Energy generation is gradually gaining popularity in Pakistan as more individuals begin to realize the benefits that renewable energy has to offer. But while the concept of meeting energy needs through solar is quite simple, there are various myths around it with the most common being that solar panels cannot perform well in winters. Hence, we shall try to answer one of the most frequently asked questions regarding the performance of solar panels.

Do Solar Panels Perform Badly in Winters?

To answer this question, it is important to explain the mechanism on which the solar panels work. Most people believe that a hot sunny day will contribute to a higher energy generation than a cold sunny day. This is certainly not true. The good news is that the panels are powered by light, not heat, so they can easily continue to fuel industries, households, and workplaces irrespective of the increase or decrease in temperature.

Solar panels work on a simple mechanism. They absorb light energy from the sun and convert it into electrical energy. The inverter then converts DC energy to AC energy that can be fed into a grid, or can be used locally. The panels that absorb the sun’s energy are not sensitive to heat. This means that regardless of the temperature being high or low, the panels work equally well. In fact, high temperatures tend to diminish the panel’s capability.

 Blazing summers are harsher on the board and may cause frequent damage to the system. Therefore, cold sunny days are perfect for maximum solar output. However, during darker months, when there is shorter daylight, production of energy is proportionately lesser. Luckily, Pakistan is a country that enjoys adequate sunshine all year round and has a strong potential for solar power generation to meet its energy requirements.

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How big should a solar plant be? How many solar panels do I need for a 3-acre space? Such questions often arise when industries decide to go solar. However, before jumping to a number, it’s important for businesses to identify their solar plant production goals and understand that the ideal PV system size may vary based on several factors.

Factors that determine the size of the Solar PV system

Installing the desirable size of a PV system may be determined by the following factors:


Annual Energy Consumption

The size of a solar solution is highly dependent on the load pattern of the industry as well as the sanctioned load. The first step to determine an industry’s annual consumption is by estimating the total kilowatt hours (kWh) of electric usage from the electricity bills. Large scale industries in Pakistan may have varying power consumption; for instance, a cement industry producing 1 million metric tonnes of cement will be consuming 30-40 GWh of power per annum, and these quoted figures are modest. The solar capacity of such a plant may vary from 5-6 MW.


Available Space

Businesses may not possess huge acres of idle land or even when they do, they might not be willing to allocate all their space towards solar panel installation. Generally, under ideal conditions, one kilowatt of PV solar will cover an area of 150 square feet approximately. This is where a solar installer’s expertise might come into play as they have the technology and knowledge to maximize the space allocated for solar power generation.


Solar Panel Type

The type of solar panel selected also affects the size of the solar solution. A thin film or polycrystalline panel will need a lot more space for producing per kilowatt of energy compared to a monocrystalline panel but will be much cheaper. For a rough idea, monocrystalline panels require 20% lesser space compared to polycrystalline panels for producing the same amount of energy.

Solar System Efficiency

Solar plant efficiency is greater in the regions of Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan as compared to Northern regions (including Azad Kashmir) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Moreover, solar system efficiency may vary with panel placement and shading. It is important for the installer to foresee any concerns that might arise due to dust deposition or shade from nearby buildings and trees before determining the size of the solar solution.



While all industries would want their PV system to offset the entire power usage, this may not be practical. A wise decision in selecting the size of the solution would be devising a power production strategy that works on maximizing the yield from solar and keeps in check the factors affecting the system size.


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Abdul Rab Shaikh
Sales Engineer, Reon Energy Limited

Intersolar Europe 2019 was held in Munich, Germany from 15th to 17th May. Intersolar is the largest PV Solar Exhibition in the world that attracts more than 50,000 attendees including manufacturers, project developers, renewable energy experts, and policymakers. This year the event covered various aspects of the Solar PV market and subsequent innovations in the Solar industry.

Day 1

Sleep deprived and starved, I rushed from Munich International Airport to Messe München just in time for the Intersolar exhibition. On stepping out of the airport, I was met with some cool breeze, enough to wash away my weariness.

I started off my first day exploring the Smart Solar PV Inverters and battery storage solutions. The most common PV inverters are still string and central inverters; however, these are not commercially feasible options for large scale solar solutions. The winner on Day 1 was smart battery storages mostly based on the lithium and zinc ion technologies. These smart storage options came with compact container sized solutions with a battery life of at least 5000 to 6000 cycles and flexibility to get charged from either grid or solar, based on availability.


Day 2

If I ever have a least favorite beverage, it must be sparkling water. Sticking with Soda to keep myself hydrated, I spent my second day at the exhibition exploring innovations in the field of PV modules. An interesting development that caught my attention was the Bifacial Solar Modules that can help produce power from both, the front and back, of the module. Such modules are especially ideal for desert regions where fine sand particles create maximum albedo effect and contribute towards an estimated 30% increase in energy generation with a negligible increase in manufacturing cost.

Day 3

If you consider yourself street smart, do try taking the train in Munich. I was lost between U-Bahn and S-Bahn terminologies, making navigation a huge challenge. After spending a good amount of my morning trying to decode the city map, I finally managed to reach the Intersolar exhibition. Here, I discovered smarter Operations and Maintenance (O&M) techniques that included heavy vehicles and remote-controlled robotic cleaners. Another interesting find was the manufacturing of structures based on concrete ballasts without the use of aluminum or galvanized steel. These structures are cost-effective, more reliable and sustainable, especially for harsher rooftops. Moreover, cables can now easily be laid out in open behind the panels that cut down on manhours for digging trenches.


Attending the Intersolar Europe 2019 offered a vivid perspective to the solar industry innovations and developments from across the globe. While not all innovations were cost-efficient in the Pakistani scenario, I intend to put better ideas especially for structures and cabling to test. And hopefully, prepare for another visit to attend the Intersolar Europe 2020..

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In order to increase investor confidence and long-term viability of solar systems, establishing best practices for PV system installations and operations is paramount. This is where the role of Quality Control comes into play. The primary purpose of Quality Control is to ensure that solar installations and maintenance procedures are implemented at the highest possible standards in order to optimize performance and minimize costs.

What is Quality Control?

Quality control is simply a tool that can assess the quality of a company’s products and services against a predetermined parameter. QC is a vital requirement to build a successful business that is able to fulfil customer demands and expectations.

How can QC Practices benefit providers and consumers?

Implementing effective QC can be beneficial for the consumer in various ways.

  • It encourages quality consciousness
  • It helps increase customer satisfaction
  • It enables effective utilization of resources at all stages of PV deployment

The Stages of Performing QC

The first stage where QC is performed is the conceptual phase. Here, the most important aspect is design verification. The expected output of the PV system is tested through computerized simulations that depict the system’s ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions. Next comes the installation stage where various QC tests are performed including pre dispatch inspections, visual controls, dimensional controls and damage controls. In the final commissioning stage, the PV system is tested for its performance and output. Test runs are carried out to ensure that production has followed the correct procedures and start up time has been saved. This stage of QC continues throughout the lifespan of the system (assuming an O&M contact has been signed) and includes regular monitoring and inspections of the PV site to ensure maximum productivity.



It is essential for a solar EPC company to implement Quality Control at all phases of the solar contract. These quality practices are employed by EPCs and contractors in order to mitigate the risks and costs associated with poor quality. Performing Quality Control checks regularly and systematically with pre-determined specifications that can gauge whether each phase of solar installation fulfils the required standards.

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Asset Performance Management (APM) maximizes yield and cost efficiencies by reducing unplanned downtime, increasing asset availability, minimizing maintenance costs, reducing asset failures while ensuring compliance to Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) regulations. APM provides you a complete view of your Solar PV asset by collecting and analyzing performance data and integrating it into system production to enhance long-term asset reliability.

Quality Checks

Quality Checks ensure that the performance of the solar plant is at par with the global standards. These checks include in-house and third-party audits to spot operational troubles in electrical parameters, wiring, cabling, structure, alignment and performance ratios. IV Curve tracing and Heat Maps are a few techniques used to ensure optimum performance.

Remote Monitoring Tool

A cloud-based APM application continuously monitors the performance of the PV system through a remote monitoring tool that provides the user with a view of the Solar Asset anytime and anywhere.

Plant Up-time

APM uses predictive analytics to preempt equipment failures and suggest a maintenance strategy to maximize plant uptime.

A dedicated Operations and Maintenance (O&M) team at the site takes corrective and preventive actions to ensure maximum solar output. Network Operations Center (NOC) monitors the system 24/7 and troubleshoots in case of trouble.

An Asset Performance Management program allows industries to avoid emergency repairs and improve asset availability and Sales Revenue. A dedicated APM facility could help businesses avail the best output at the lowest possible costs.


An APM focused organization helps industries in availing the best output at the lowest possible costs. An Asset Performance Management program allows industries to avoid emergency repairs, improve asset availability and Sales Revenue.

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The risk is real during Covid!

Reon while doing its upmost to keep all its’ sites operational wherever it’s practical to do so, has published guidance to ensure the safety of its’ workers on site. The guideline ensures that the Government recommendations such as those around social distance, good hygiene, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and more are applied across all project sites.

Guidelines for Workers on-site

Consideration should be given to the follows:

Minimum workforce for effective operations

Planning for the minimum number of people required on site is necessary to operate it safely and effectively. It is also necessary to remind people not to attend if they have any Covid-19 related symptoms.

Alongside, customer/contractor site visits are limited while encouraging remote connection has helped manage the risks.

Social Distancing at Work

Using one-way flow on walkways and at entry and exit points is used to help maintain enough distance. Furthermore, staggered start and end times, reduced job and equipment rotation and minimized vehicle sharing has further helped reduce the risk.

Regular cleaning of common contact surfaces

Ensuring frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment between use, providing additional hand washing facilities at regular intervals, and restricting numbers using toilet facilities at one time has helped in maintaining distance between workers. Workers are also encouraged to bring packed meals.

Mandatory use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Providing all gears such as face masks, gloves to minimize the spread of vapors. All PPEs are subject to a single session and must be disposed off appropriately.

Inbound and Outbound Goods

Revising pick-up and drop off collection points; procedures, signage and markings; minimizing unnecessary contact at gate house security, yard and warehouses and having single workers load or unload vehicles wherever possible.


Submitting contractor health declaration form is mandatory prior to mobilization. Contractors are also required to arrange dedicated transport for their staff and workers from their homes to project sites. Furthermore, availability of hand sanitizers is compulsory in all contractor based vehicles.

The aforementioned guidelines will continue to evolve in line with the Government regulations. Reon ensures ongoing training and information access to all employees deployed at site to safeguard the Team’s health, and welfare.

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