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Karcher actually has two products in the Innovation Awards special exhibition area but during our visit to the stand we discovered that they combine to form what the company’s David Wickel described as a “System approach” which also includes other products. Very clever it is too.
More often now we’re seeing vast swathes of solar panels across our countrysides but we gather that the industry has struggled to offer an effective, efficient and sustainable way of keeping them clean. Karcher’s innovations aim to solve the problem.
“Dirt can reduce the energy output of solar modules by up to 20%. That is why Karcher has launched the iSolar, a new accessory for pressure washers designed for the thorough cleaning of solar panels,” explained Ulrich Engenhardt. “We launched this two weeks ago and we have already sold out of the first batch!” Not surprising perhaps, when you consider that Germany alone has 2.1 million solar panel installations.
Featuring rotary brushes with non-scratch nylon bristles and a lightweight telescopic lance that can extend up to 40 metres, this accessory can clean up to 1,500 square metres of panel, quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. There is a one-brush version for smaller surfaces and a two brush version for larger installations.
iSolar can be used with any Karcher professional pressure washer with a flow rate of at least 700 litres per hour. Water from the pressure washer in low-pressure mode makes the two brushes rotate in opposite directions, so they can be guided in straight runs without any effort. The lance is made of high-quality material (carbon or carbon composite) which makes it very light in weight and stable. The water flow can be switched on and off by means of a ball tap on the lance. All connections are made of brass and stainless steel to prevent corrosion.
iSolar has been certified by DLG e.V., the German Agricultural Society.
Also part of the system and up for an award is the RM 99 low-alkali detergent designed specifically for solar modules. It cleans panels thoroughly and dries them after rinsing without leaving streaks so that fresh dirt takes longer to settle. Its gentle formula also ensures that it does not corrode the aluminium which is frequently used for the frames of solar panels.
“In areas where there is lots of agriculture the panels become slimey so a chemical cleaner is needed,” it was explained.
The slightly alkaline detergent (the pH value of the concentrate is 9) is biodegradable and can therefore quite safely be discharged into the drainage system. It is very economical: one litre of concentrate is enough to clean about 500 square metres, which saves money and benefits the environment.
Another important part of the package is the WS mobile water softening system which decalcifies water reliably on site. It can simply be taken to site on a trolley and comes in two versions, the WS 50 and the WS 100 which can be used to decalcify 5,000 and 10,000 litres litres of water respectively, with one filter.
T: +49 7195 14 2309
22nd May 2013