They develop new equipment to clean solar panels without water


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Inspenet, March 3, 2023

Scientists at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) developed a solution to clean solar panels without the need for water: electrostatic induction. A method that would end the cost of pressurized water and the sprinklers used to wash them.

“We found that dust particles, despite consisting mainly of insulating silica, can be electrostatically repelled from electrodes due to assisted charge induction by adsorbed moisture,” the researchers explain.

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As? Basically, a metal bar would have to be placed, which would act as an electrical conductor, on each side of the panel. The same charge containing the dust is then applied to the surface of the solar panel through a conductive layer a few nanometers thick.

1497 limpieza paneles solares induccion electroestatica
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A small electric motor, which could use the electricity output from the panel itself, could drive a belt system to move the electrode back and forth, knocking down the dust particles.

Among the advantages, it stands out that with this method the surface is not damaged due to the absence of mechanical components that rub against the panel, as can happen with dry cleaning.

An especially necessary solution in large areas of photovoltaic cells located in desert areas, where solar surfaces quickly end up covered by dust, and therefore, losing efficiency.

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Cover photo : ShutterStock

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