I have my solar panels cleaned once a year. I live in an area that is fortunately not particularly polluted as there is little development between me and the ocean. The winds are always from the ocean, so the panels do not get particularly dirty. I did not clean them for the first four years as I simply forgot about the need. I did notice a big improvement in power generation after the first cleaning about 20-25%.
For the last couple of years, I have been cleaning them yearly in the beginning of spring. With PG&E it is very difficult to get good data on how much power the panels produce. I am thinking once a year is probably the right amount of time between cleanings, which cost $125.
I just had mine cleaned by the same person who had just cleaned the panels of Martin Eberhard, who was the former Tesla CEO. The solar panel cleaning man is a talkative fellow.
Panels Before Cleaning
Panels After Cleaning
Good news: the lawsuit is over. Martin Eberhard requested the lawsuit be dropped on August 7th. Less than three months from filing to dismissal is a short amount of time for a lawsuit. Very little details are available from either side and also very little news coverage. The Silicon Valley Business journal did post an article. My earlier thoughts on the lawsuit can be found in this post.
1. Unfortunately, Silicon Valley has had a lot of lawsuits. Many of the lawsuits are simply business strategies and based upon frivolous claims.
2. In California, employees may be terminated “at-will” or without cause. Of course, most companies carefully document why the firing was necessary to avoid lawsuits.
3. Lawsuits are expensive for all parties.
4. In high tech, the term founder has always been a fuzzy term. Sometimes the term means the first people to decide to start the company, other times the term is defined by the group receiving pre-funding stock, and at times the media or the public relations department will decide upon who are the company founders.
5. Almost all companies in the news end up having an evangelist. The evangelist may be a true evangelist, a spokesperson or sometimes simply the CEO. The media emphasizes this person primarily due to repeated access.
6. Often many key personnel throughout the company do not get much or any public recognition for their contributions.
7. It is doubtful that Tesla would be in business without Elon Musk and his very significant financial contribution.
8. After attending many customer events to get a handle on the Roadster progress, I never heard Elon Musk disparage any of the former Tesla employees.
9. Although the roadster is a great car, GM’s EV1 was the first modern electric vehicle.
10. Martin Eberhard may likely make more money not pursuing this lawsuit. He will incur costs from his own lawyers. The lawsuit will also drain the accounts of Tesla, and effectively his share value.