However, the accumulation of dust on solar panels or mirrors is already a major problem, since it can reduce the production of photovoltaic panels by up to 30% in just one month, so regular cleaning is essential for this type of installation. Dust on solar panels reduces their production significantly, so it is necessary to keep them clean. But what's the best way to do that? Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists say they have a solution. The gradual buildup of dust on solar panels can reduce their efficiency by nearly 30 percent after a month of operation.
In some context, solar energy losses of just three or four percent on a global scale could mean an economic loss of at least 3.3 to 5.5 billion dollars. As climate change intensifies dust storms, solar panels can quickly lose their efficiency if they are not cleaned several times a month. Our own findings have been confirmed by the World Academy of Sciences, Engineering & Technology, which states that “you don't want to reduce the efficiency of a photovoltaic solar panel”. One of the factors contributing to the drop in the efficiency of photovoltaic solar panels is the dust accumulated on the solar panel.
In practice, dust must be removed from the surface of photovoltaic solar panels to ensure maximum performance. The Solar Energy Association points out that dirty solar panels can lose 20% of their energy production. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory places that figure even higher, at 25%. Recent university research has shown that a dirty solar panel can lose 50% of its efficiency compared to a clean solar panel.
Some solar panel manufacturers and installation companies have made cleaning solar panels a condition of their warranty. However, it is currently estimated that cleaning solar panels consumes around 10 billion gallons of water a year, enough to supply drinking water to up to 2 million people. After cleaning the solar panels, all of Google's solar panels increased their production by at least 12%. Most research articles define the amount of dust on the panel in grams per square meter and therefore determine the energy lost by the solar panel per gram per square meter of dust.
To assess the impact of dust deposition on solar panels, it is necessary to first determine how much dust accumulates on the panels. Alternatively, it fits on either side of the panel and works with a small amount of solar energy. Governments in more and more countries are pushing for solar panels to be used instead of non-renewable energy such as coal and oil. In practice, on a large scale, each solar panel could be equipped with railings on each side, with an electrode that would extend over the entire panel.
As MIT engineers prepare to make their new system scalable in the future, other researchers are working to develop a solar panel coating technology that reduces dust accumulation. However, the accumulation of dust on solar panels or mirrors is already a major problem: it can reduce the production of photovoltaic panels by up to 30 percent in just one month, so regular cleaning is essential for this type of installation. Interestingly, most research has reached the consensus that solar panels can lose up to 40-50% of energy due to dust accumulation. Kato, Electrostatic cleaning equipment to remove dust from solar panels in megacentrals generating solar energy, 7th World Conference.
Emmett Smith, a reporter for Mashable, highlights how MIT researchers have developed a new technique to remove dust from solar panels without using water. While solar panel cleaning in the UK is relatively new, in other parts of the world solar panel cleaning has been around for a long time. We have equipped ourselves with professional solar panel cleaning equipment, we know how to clean solar panels safely and effectively, and we have positioned ourselves to provide a high-quality professional solar panel cleaning service.