Rain could make your solar panels dirtier, not cleaner

On a second-floor rooftop at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Abraham Ishihara opens an electrical cabinet bursting with hundreds of wires. Each wire feeds data from an adjacent array of solar panels, helping him collect detailed information about their performance and, perhaps, figure out how solar panels age.

Ishihara, a senior scientist at Carnegie Melon University's Silicon Valley campus, hopes the research will lead to new levels of efficiency in solar electricity...

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