Assessment of Different Cleaning Methods for Solar Panels and a Proposed Optimal Cleaning Solution
Growing attention in renewable energy has led the solar photovoltaic industry to expand remarkably in the last few years. However a big problem that goes unnoticed very often, is protection the panels from dust. Soiling and dust accumulation on the panel surface decreases the quantity of daylight reaching the solar cells which decreases the power generation of the module further dropping the efficiency of the panels. Panels are often placed at remote and difficult areas which risks cleaning them. This paper presents an exhaustive study on various cleaning method such as Self Cleaning Method, Electrostatic Cleaning, Mechanical Cleaning, Coating Method and to propose a novel cleaning method for cleaning of solar photovoltaic modules. The proposed method is an automated cleaning device which helps in cleaning panels in regular interval of time. If proper cleaning techniques are applied for solar modules it may show substantial increase in output energy up to 20% or increase in efficiency up to 20%.An optimal solution is presented in the paper for cleaning of solar modules.The proposed system is based on control circuit, DC motor; brush to clean the panels. Pair of DC motors is installed on the system to rotate and drive the cleaning structure. The paper alsobrings with the idea of how the system will work and its effect on the energy production by solar plants. It will also to help to understand the problem caused due to not cleaning of solar panels frequently. The cleaning system is very valuable for rooftop as well as large solar farms.
Keywords - Soiling, Self-Cleaning Methods, Electrostatic Cleaning, Coating Method, Dust Effects, Automatic Cleaning, Microcontroller, Mechanical Design