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SolarInterested

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Reply with quote  #1 
New method to remove dust on solar panels

http://www.solardaily.com/reports/New_method_to_remove_dust_on_solar_panels_999.html


Quote:
Taking a cue from the self-cleaning properties of the lotus leaf, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have shed new light on microscopic forces and mechanisms that can be optimized to remove dust from solar panels to maintain efficiency and light absorption. The new technique removed 98% of dust particles.

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Both temperature rise and airflow are integral to comparing hot air collectors

gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #2 
So, are we talking about using Rain-X or similar product? Great for glass, can't be used on plastic.

Greg in MN


SolarInterested

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Reply with quote  #3 
It looks to be an etching process where the surface is changed on the nano scale. The author of the article may have been confused as the research was done on the silicon wafers used in photovoltaic cells. I don't imagine that there are any PV panels where the photovoltaic cells are directly exposed to the weather


"The researchers explored the effect of modifying a silicon substrate (Si), a semiconductor used in photovoltaic cells, to mimic the self-cleaning properties of the lotus leaf, as water rolls down the leaves and removes contamination.

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Both temperature rise and airflow are integral to comparing hot air collectors
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #4 
It's not the solar cells that need to be coated, it's the glass (or plastic) that covers them.

According to the article, the lotus leaf still relies on WATER to carry away the dust. Water is not always available.

Still, a mechanism that repels dust would have applications far beyond the solar industry.

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gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #5 
There are so many new items that can collect solar energy such as paint, window glass, roads and shingles, the ability to repel dirt and dust from these surfaces would be a huge breakthrough!

Greg in MN
tacman7

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Reply with quote  #6 
What about rainX or car wax stuff? 

Ceramic coating?

I have ground mount and try and clean monthly in the Summer. Anyone tried coatings?

Thanks
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #7 
tacman7-

Avoid Rain-X if the glazing is polycarbonate. It contains alcohol, which can damage the surface. A pure car wax, such as carnauba, might work, but you may want to test it on a scrap piece, or in a small corner before committing to coating the entire surface. Rain-X makes a polish for plastic that says it also protects surfaces. It's made for things like windscreens and motorcycle helmet lens. I tried it and it seemed to work. But the bottles are small, and it would take more than a bottle or two to clean a large surface.

Polycarbonate is very soft, and scratches easily. Rain or a garden hose works best for safe cleaning. But in winter, a coating of wet snow can work as well. As the snow melts it will clear the surface. If the snow is dry, but still clinging to the glazing, a quick thump on the panel usually causes the snow to fall off. And NEVER use a broom to clear the panel. The bristles hold dirt and dust so they scratch the surface when used.

Greg in MN
pianoman8020

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Reply with quote  #8 
Rain-x has come out with a new product just for plastic. Has anyone tested it yet?

https://www.rainx.com/product/plastic-water-repellent/rain-x-plastic-water-repellent/

Jim from IL

gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #9 
Pianoman-

I use it and it works pretty good. It beads up water just like regular Rain-X and snow slides off the glazing easier than before I applied it. My collector isn't new, so the surface already has some surface etching. I think a yearly application from the beginning would make this product even more effective than it already is. One nice feature is that you don't have to allow the product to dry or haze like you do for waxes or regular Rain-X. So while I wouldn't try applying it in frigid weather, applications on a mild, calm day should work fine. Also, like other products, it should be applied to a clean, dry surface. 

Greg in MN
myk3y

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Reply with quote  #10 
super hydrophobic nano coating  - an anti-reflective one.

its not cheap, but goes a long way.

my dad uses it on his marine circuit boards.
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