The Green Energy Park, in collaboration with ChemiTek Solar, a Portuguese industrial manufacturer specializing in anti-soiling solutions for PV modules, has successfully concluded the outdoor testing and characterization of ChemiTek’s cutting-edge anti-soiling coatings. The results have been published by Heliyon, the all-science, open access journal.
The objective of the research paper titled “Performance Analysis of Innovative Cleaning and Soiling Mitigation Solutions in the Semi-Arid Climate of Benguerir, Morocco” was to evaluate the performance of antistatic and hydrophobic coatings for photovoltaic solar panels in the challenging semi-arid weather conditions of Benguerir, Morocco.
The study involved testing various coating and cleaning strategies on five photovoltaic (PV) systems, all with the same PV panels and electrical configurations.
- The first PV system remained uncleaned and did not undergo any coating or cleaning solutions.
- The second PV system was periodically cleaned with just water.
- The third PV system employed the Solar Wash Protect (SWP) cleaning and antistatic protection solution.
- The fourth and fifth PV systems, D-Solar Defender (DSD) and Industrial Glass Protect (IGP) respectively, employed unique combinations of two hydrophobic coatings.
After nine months of operation, the results demonstrated significant efficiency gains in the coated PV panels compared to the reference system. During the initial three-month cleaning period, the average efficiency gain of the coated PV panels was approximately 10%. In the subsequent non-cleaning period of six months, the efficiency gain remained around 5%. The cumulative energy gain of the coated systems, compared to the water-cleaned reference, reached an average of 3% after the outdoor exposure period.
Importantly, the presence of the coatings on the PV modules significantly reduced the quantity of water needed to clean them. The Solar Wash Protect (SWP) cleaning and antistatic protection solution, for instance, required 50% less water compared to the system cleaned without a cleaning solution. This water-saving feature not only contributes to environmental conservation but also makes the panels easier to clean.
“These research findings emphasize the significance of employing innovative cleaning and preventive maintenance strategies, such as anti-soiling coatings, in dry areas to enhance the performance of photovoltaic systems,” stated Dr. César Martins, CEO of Chemitek. “This research has significant implications for investors, researchers, and engineers interested in grid-connected photovoltaic and soiling mitigation technology.”
The Green Energy Park is a renowned research and development facility dedicated to advancing sustainable energy technologies. Located in Benguerir, Morocco, the park serves as a hub for collaboration between industry experts, scientists, and engineers, aiming to drive innovation and promote a greener future.
— Solar Builder magazine
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