Solar Panel Cleaner

Tuesday, March 03, 2018
Devashis Shrestha
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There are many reasons why solar PV panels may not work at their rated performance level. Lack of proper solar radiation in cloudy days, soiling (dust and dirt being collected on solar panels), snow on the panels, sun-tracking losses, shading losses are some of the factors that affects makes the panels to under perform.  While factors such as cloudy days cannot be controlled, some such as power loss occurring from soiling can be controlled.

In the past, it was generally accepted that the rain would clean the panels. More recently, this conventional wisdom has come into question with new discussion and articles on the subject. Some research have also shown that it may not be necessary to clean solar panel in a clean residential area, but on places near highways and factories, where dust pollution is on the rise, cleaning is necessary and the losses can rise up to 30 %.

Kathmandu, a city rebuilding itself is facing the menacing problem of dust pollution. In a city like Kathmandu where dust pollution is on the rise, solar panels has taken a heavy toll. Dust deposited on solar panels, especially on the panels used for street lamps has drastically reduced the efficiency of the panel- up to 30 %. On the long run this can have devastating effects, making the panel useless. The street lamps become dim and consequently ineffective. This can lead to unlit streets which can be a major cause of accidents, making the environment unsafe especially for pedestrians.

Considering all these problems, we have come up with a solution which can combat these losses, a panel cleaner. The panel cleaner we have designed is very cost effective compared to the expensive ones available in the market. Using simple technology and precision engineering, we have come up with the Panel Cleaner which can easily cleanse the dust which is corroding the panel’s performance.

The cleaning method does not require a personnel to climb up to dangerous heights, risking his/her safety. The cleaning technique consists of a customized brush which can be automatically operated. Cleaning in the dawn every day would help us to utilize the dew being deposited on panels for more effective and sustainable cleaning. The payoff is huge compared to the initial investment of this panel cleaner. Thus, this low-cost, user-friendly solar panel cleaner can be a huge boon for the growing solar industry.

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