Low Maintenance and Self-Cleaning Coating for Solar Panels Developed by IIT Jodhpur Researchers

Low Maintenance and Self-Cleaning Coating for Solar Panels Developed by IIT Jodhpur Researchers

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur have developed coating technology to easily and self-clean the surface of solar panels. These coatings are transparent, expandable, durable and super absorbent. It reduces dust accumulation on solar panels and is self-cleaning with very little water, and is also suitable for easy integration with solar panel factories. This self-cleaning coating was developed by Principal Investigator, Dr Ravi K.R., Associate Professor and Dean of the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, IIT Jodhpur and team members Meignanamoorthi G, Project Assistant and Mohit Singh, Researcher and Prime Minister. s Research Fellow (PMRF), Department of Materials Engineering and Metallurgy, IIT Jodhpur. Technology has been submitted for patent approval.

The solar panel industry claims that it operates at 80-90% efficiency for 20-25 years. However, it is well known that dust and sand on solar panels reduces their efficiency. Depending on the location of the solar power plant and the climate where it is used, solar panels have been found to lose 10-40% of their original efficiency due to dust accumulation within a few months. Some of the methods currently used to clean solar panels are expensive, inefficient, cause various practical problems with continuous use, and can cause irreversible damage. recovery for solar panel. Therefore, researchers at IIT Jodhpur were inspired by this real-time problem and developed a self-cleaning coating using a super hydrophobic material.

The developed superhydrophobic coating has excellent self-cleaning properties and shows no loss of transmission or power conversion efficiency. Accelerated laboratory-scale testing has shown that the coating has excellent mechanical and environmental resistance. This coating process is an efficient and simple process for use with existing photovoltaics using a simple spray and wipe technique. Very little water is required for cleaning due to the self-cleaning properties of the superhydrophobic coating. Therefore, it can be used in dry areas with low maintenance.

In the future, the researchers plan to study the durability of self-cleaning coatings in real time in different parts of the country, such as arid and semi-arid deserts, coastal areas, and more, rural and urban areas. The researchers are also studying different coating options for damage caused during use. Researchers at IIT Jodhpur will also work to reduce performance loss caused by dust accumulation in solar thermal applications.

“The role of academia and industry is essential in implementing this technology for real-time applications. The relationship between academia and industry is not just a technology giver-recipient relationship, but one of interaction, collaboration, and participation, appreciating each other’s roles and contributions. to promote the integration of production technology and research. Our research team is therefore keen to work closely with industry partners to bring this easy-to-clean coating technology to the PV market and mass production for the broader benefit”:  highlighting the work done by the team, said Dr Ravi K.R., Associate Professor and Dean of the Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, IIT Jodhpur.

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