ENG team has a creative solution to a costly problem
In the video above, John Noah Hudelson (ENG’14) talks about how the EDS self-cleaning solar panel works. Photo by Cydney Scott
T he energy from the sun that hits the Earth in a single hour could power the planet for an entire year, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). One of the best places to harness that free, abundant, and environmentally friendly energy is a desert, but deserts, it turns out, come with a nemesis to solar panels: sand. The particulate matter that constantly blows across deserts settles on solar panels, decreasing their efficiency by nearly 100 percent in the middle of a dust storm. The current solution is for solar field operators to spray the dust with desalinated, distilled water.
“That might not sound like a big deal, but if you have millions of square feet of solar panels out in a desert, it ends up being costly—especially if water is a scarce resource,” says John Noah Hudelson (ENG’14), one of several graduate students working to find a better solution with Malay Mazumder, a College of Engineering research professor of electrical and computer engineering and of materials science and engineering, and Mark Horenstein, an ENG professor of electrical and computer engineering. “We’re looking to use just a small amount of electricity to statically push the dust off the surface of the solar panel or the solar mirror.”
The BU team’s answer, called a transparent electrodynamic system (EDS), is a self-cleaning technology that can be embedded in the solar device or silkscreen-printed onto a transparent film adhered to the solar panel or mirror. The EDS exposes the dust particles to an electrostatic field, which causes them to levitate, dipping and rising in alternating waves (the way a beach ball bounces along the upturned hands of fans in a packed stadium) as the electric charge fluctuates.
Within seconds, the transparent EDS sweeps away at least 90 percent of dust and sand atop a solar panel. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi
The entire process takes seconds and uses a minuscule amount of power, generated by the solar device itself—about 1/100th of what it produces daily. In its final version, the EDS will be programmable or will automatically detect the presence of surface dust and switch on. “There’s nothing like this on the market,” Horenstein says.
The inspiration for the EDS came to Mazumder more than a decade ago from an unlikely source: human lungs. He remembers thinking that the organs, outfitted with self-cleaning hairs that sweep dust up and out of the respiratory system, were “ingenious defense mechanisms.” He thought he could mimic that tidy biological system and apply it to other mechanisms.
In 2003, NASA, whose scientists thought the technology could be used on future Mars missions to keep equipment free of cosmic dust, gave him a three-year, 750,000 grant. When that funding expired, a 50,000 Ignition Award from BU’s Office of Technology Development kept Mazumder’s research afloat while he searched for alternative funding. His big break came in 2010, when he gave a presentation on the EDS at an American Chemical Society conference in Boston. News of the technology spread through articles in such publications as the New York Times and the Britain’s Daily Telegraph.
“There’s nothing like this on the market.”—Mark Horenstein, ENG professor of electrical and computer engineering
Mazumder received a call from David Powell, a research and development manager at Abengoa Solar, a global pioneer in the construction of CSP (concentrated solar power) and PV (photovoltaic) power plants. The company operates the Solana Generating Station in Gila Bend, Ariz., and the soon-to-open Mojave Solar Project near Barstow, Calif. Each has the capacity to produce 280 megawatts—or the ability to power more than 100,000 homes. With at least two plants in desert locations, Abengoa was keenly interested in the success of the EDS and eager to test Mazumder’s prototypes.
In 2012, Mazumder and Abengoa landed a two-year, 945,000 grant from the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to further test and expand the capacity of the EDS. Horenstein and Nitin Joglekar, a School of Management associate professor of operations and technology management, are co–principal investigators of the grant, and Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., signed on to help evaluate the prototype’s efficiency and develop larger-scale models. With a 40,000 grant from the Mass Clean Energy Council, the team’s total funding rose to nearly 1 million.
Stark (left) and Hudelson taking a specular reflection reading last year on mirrors they installed at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Stark
For two months last year, Hudelson and doctoral candidate Jeremy Stark (ENG’14) tested nearly 20 EDS prototypes at the Abengoa and Sandia sites before rain and snow cut their work short. They found that the system performed as expected, removing at least 90 percent of dust particles from solar panel surfaces. Next, the BU team must figure out how to protect the EDS from Mother Nature and to upscale to industrial-sized models.
Mazumder estimates that the United States would need to produce one terawatt (one trillion watts) of solar power to meet household and industry demand. That kind of output is a distant goal, but he sees great potential in getting started by building solar plants in the Southwest—specifically the Mojave Desert. The arid region has an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet, receives regular sun, and has fewer dust storms than other desert regions.
“The Mojave Desert and the Southwest, if fully utilized and assuming the existence of a reliable distribution system,” he says, “could provide most of the US demand with respect to our energy needs.”
Mazumder will submit a proposal soon to the DOE for renewed funding, but he must first identify a manufacturing partner willing to produce industry-scale panels equipped with EDS technology. Once that goal is reached, he thinks, the self-cleaning system could hit the market after two years.
“We must proceed fast,” he says. “The need is there.”
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Self-Cleaning System Boosts Efficiency of Solar Panels
Dust Removal from Solar PV Modules by Automated Cleaning Systems
Dust accumulation on solar photovoltaic (PV) modules reduces light transmission from the outer surfaces to the solar cells reducing photon absorption and thus contributing to performance reduction of PV systems. In regions such as the Middle East where dust is prevalent and rainfall is scarce, remedial measures are needed to reduce such impacts. Currently, various techniques are being employed to address such sand soiling ranging from mechanical (brushing) to active and passive electrical interventions. This research focuses on mechanical approaches encompassing module vibration, air and water jets, and combinations of these. A reconfigurable pilot-scale testbed of 8 kWp PV plant was installed on a carport shading system within the campus of King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The functional PV carport was configured to allow water recovery and re-use within the testbed. Here, we discuss the overall cleaning design philosophy and approach, systems design, and how multiple cleaning configurations can be realised within the overall PV carport. Results indicate that in this location, sand soiling has a significant effect on performance of PV modules on a timescale of days. In addition, water jets optimised for high volume and low pressure were effective at reducing sand soiling with array power output increasing by over 27%, whilst air jets and module vibration were less effective in reducing soiling to an acceptable level. Overall, the testbed has provided a new approach to testing a combination of cleaning solutions in the field coupled with used water recovery. The proposed approach is important, as currently, there are a large number of solar PV projects being built in Saudi Arabia with more being planned for the future.
The use of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems for electricity production is expanding with over 390 GWp already installed globally . Rapid expansion of PV technology is occurring in sunny areas in countries such as those in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia, India, China, Latin America, and the United States of America . Due to the wide availability of solar resource and advancements in conversion technologies, solar energy is fast emerging as a cost-effective source for power generation, with grid parity being achieved in many solar resource-rich countries [1,2].
In solar photovoltaics (PV), the efficiency of the overall system has increased through many improvements in cell efficiency, balance of system, and overall management and control . However, one of the issues outside the scope of such improvements is the effect of environmental conditions, such as the deposition of foreign particles on module surfaces of a solar PV array . This could be sand, salt, bird droppings, snow, etc. Such deposits reduce the light transmission through the glass cover of the modules impacting photon absorption by the solar cells [5,6]. As deposition increases, it results in progressive conversion efficiency losses and hence reduced energy yields from the modules and the overall array . For example, it was shown that in one month the output from an outdoor PV system in Saudi Arabian conditions reduced by over 5% due to dust accumulation . A similar experiment in Abu Dhabi showed a reduction of PV output of around 13% for a similar period . In a review of over eighty recent publications, it was found that the loss in power generation due to dust accumulation on solar PV systems can exceed 40% . Such reduction, which is often quantified by the soiling rate, is found to be strongly affected by four factors: (1) geographic location; (2) physical properties of dust particles, such as size; (3) PV module surface roughness; and (4) weather conditions . Other studies showed that there is a clear difference of particle sizes from sand collected from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which leads to a different level of soiling rate . Similar observations were made in a study comparing sand samples showing significant difference of particle size from Doha and Namibia .
Furthermore, weather conditions such as rainfall frequency, humidity, and wind velocity have been studied to reveal their influence on soiling rate. For example, it was found that long-lasting rains were capable of cleaning dust or dirt off solar panels, but their effectiveness varies heavily among different seasons with observed system performance loss exceeding 20% during dry summer season . Additionally, it was observed that if a sandstorm and rainfall happen simultaneously, then the soiling rate is even greater as the accumulated sand adhered strongly to the panel surface, making the subsequent cleaning more difficult . Further studies on soiling rate in Saudi Arabia, where the deposition of dust varies significantly between seasons from 5 g/m²/month (July) to 28 g/m²/month (August and October) , showed significant dust accumulation due to moisture and humidity, particularly from early-morning dews [12,16]. Other studies on the influence of wind velocity on dust accumulation found it to be insignificant . Results of monitoring the characteristics of dust in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, showed that its composition varied significantly as a function of changes in weather conditions . The concentration of crustal elements (Si, Ca, Na, Al, Fe, K, and Mg) increased from 45% to 68% after dust storm events, indicating the origin of the dust deposited by the storms is largely from non-anthropogenic sources, whereas the reverse is true under normal conditions .
Approaches already employed to prevent or remove such deposition vary in terms of technologies and effectiveness. The work in  summarised existing cleaning methods into three categories: Mechanical cleaning, passive approaches using coating materials, and electrodynamic screen (EDS) cleaning. Mechanical cleaning systems commonly comprise either brushes or silicone blades, with additional usage of water to improve the cleaning efficiency . Mechanical cleaning systems in real applications will need to be individually adjusted to achieve optimal performance, as the proper level of force and pressure vary among different locations . However, such systems consume a considerable amount of water, which is particularly challenging for desert regions facing water scarcity . In addition, the brush or wiper systems are likely to cause damage to PV panel surfaces, hence performance losses, requiring regular maintenance and high upfront investment .
Currently, coating for solar systems uses either super-hydrophobic or hydrophilic material [21,22] with new transparent super-hydrophobic surfaces being designed for better durability . However, although the coating materials are effective as applied, their durability and lifetime still require future validation [6,20]. Similarly, the application of electrodynamic screens has also shown high efficiency in terms of cleaning, but the screens degrade after a period of use and were found to be less effective when the modules were wet [6,24].
In summary, dust deposits can cause significant performance reductions in certain locations and while a number of approaches to cleaning and prevention have been subjected to previous research, there remains a gap for solutions which are both low-maintenance and robust while minimising use of water and energy. This research addresses such issues and delivers a study to understand how modules in an array can be cleaned through sequences of interventions encompassing water jets, air jets, mechanical vibrations, and combinations of these. These interventions are set up on a pilot-scale testbed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, that can be remotely operated from anywhere in the world. The aim of the testing is to provide an optimised approach for cleaning solar PV modules that can be scaled up for use in large-scale PV arrays. The following sections provide an indication of the system design philosophy, detailed descriptions of the approaches undertaken, and results achieved.
The pilot project is situated on the campus of King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), where, as mentioned above, significant dust deposition and storms can occur, and the background level of soiling is high. The cleaning design philosophy presented here addresses such impacts through a combination of weather and performance event monitoring which will activate the automated cleaning processes. Specifically, the approach encompasses: (1) monitoring the amount of dust deposition on solar systems and the degradation in PV performance, (2) controlling the system in response to commands to operate various cleaning elements either separately or in combination, and (3) investigating the effectiveness of each cleaning intervention.
2.1. Overall System Design Philosophy
As briefly indicated above, the systems developed and implemented were designed to serve as a test bed where different cleaning modes can be tested and their performance determined and compared. The latter is accomplished through observations of improvement, or otherwise of the energy yield as outputs from the cleaned solar PV arrays. In addition to the infrastructure (carport) on which the deployed pilot plant was built, there are three major components incorporated to support cleaning and monitoring. Figure 1 depicts components, consisting of: (1) solar PV array, balance of systems and battery storage; (2) cleaning systems; and (3) remote control and data collection unit. Full descriptions of these systems are given in Section 2.2, Section 2.3, Section 2.4, Section 2.5, Section 2.6, Section 2.7, Section 2.8 and Section 2.9. The whole plant was designed to be remotely managed, monitored, and controlled. This includes the scheduling of different cleaning modes and any combination of these, as well as determining the effect of such tests on array performance. Furthermore, the system can also be operated fully automatically, whilst detailed data are continuously collected and stored in an online Cloud storage platform for later analysis (Section 2.8).
The design philosophy was informed by a series of laboratory investigations in which sand samples from the KAU site, Jeddah, west of Saudi Arabia, were used in a laboratory-scale rig containing solar PV modules to simulate the dust soiling and initial cleaning approach. The tests focused on the dislodgement of sand through various interventions, such as vibration, water jets and air jets, and a combination of these (Figure 2). The preliminary results from these tests showed that cleaning methods using vibration, water and air jets were able to reduce sand deposition on PV modules. These gave confidence in the approach and allowed progression to design the larger pilot-scale testbed for experimentation at the site in Jeddah.
An outdoor car park in the KAU campus was chosen to deploy the developed power plant and the cleaning system and conduct the in situ tests. The car parks areas in KAU represent around 50% of the campus footprint, having considerable potential for contributing to the power demand of the university through deploying PV systems at scale on carports .
Some of the components of the plant were pre-assembled into two weatherproof enclosures and pre-tested in the UK to allow Rapid installation on site. A weather station and two pairs of CCTV cameras were added to the system to provide weather condition monitoring, visual inspection and monitoring of the environmental conditions and dust build-up on the modules. Figure 3 shows the outline of the pilot plant testbed and position of the various components deployed on a working (functioning) carport.
The carport structure not only provides shading for vehicles but also serves as the base for the solar PV modules, the cleaning systems, and other accessories. The structure, therefore, needs to have a high level of structural integrity, ability to mount solar modules, and flexibility for future modifications. To ease design needs and deployment and provide overall robustness for the plant, a commercial product by Schletter ® (schletter-group.com), Park-Sol-B1 (Schletter Solar GmbH, Kirchodorf, Germany), was selected. This consisted of an aluminium roof structure, mounting rails for installing PV panels, cast-in-place concrete foundations (constructed on site), and a steel main structure to support additional loads. The carport is able to accommodate four parked vehicles, occupying a total area of ~65 m² (12.0 × 5.4 m, excluding spaces occupied by the foundations and water tank). Details of the structure as well as some of the systems installed are given in Figure 4.
The roof of the structure has a 10° inclination, which allows rainwater or water from cleaning to be drained away from solar panels into a collection gutter. The water is collected by aluminium panels fitted under the modules, allowing the water to flow into the gutter installed on the lower end of the roof and then through pipework connected to the underground water storage tank (marked in Figure 4c). Before entering the water storage tank, the water passes through a three-stage water filter unit to remove sand, dust, and debris (not shown in Figure 4c). The water storage and reuse system is discussed further in Section 2.5.
The roof of the carport structure is composed of two main parts. On the top of the roof, six aluminium rails were installed horizontally (Figure 4c), serving as the base where PV modules can be mounted. The space between each rail is around 0.8 m and can be adjusted, allowing the layout of the PV modules to be rearranged, in the future, to accommodate different cleaning systems.
Aluminium sheeting was fitted underneath the mounting rails to provide a weatherproof barrier from sunlight, dust, and as indicated earlier to collect the water used by the different cleaning systems. The sheeting also prevents parked vehicles and passengers from being affected by the cleaning processes.
The total roof space provided by the carport structure is ~65 m² (Figure 4). If fully utilised it could accommodate a PV system with a capacity of up to 11 kWp. However, for our study this roof space area was separated into sections (see Section 2.3) where different cleaning systems can be installed and tested simultaneously. Figure 5 shows the final layout of the array and the carport space utilisation. As can be seen in the figure, buffer zones between sections of each sub-array were created to try to avoid any cross effect of cleaning modes being tested.
2.3. PV System
The photovoltaic modules used were manufactured by CanadianSolar®, model number CS6K-270P (Canadian Solar, Cambridge, ON, Canada) with a dimension of 1650 × 992 × 40 mm (L × W × D) and a rated power of 275 Wp (Vmp = 31 V, Imp = 8.9 A). Our design consideration indicated that on the site (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), the typical working module temperature is estimated to be ~60 °C and the irradiance is ~800 W/m 2. Under such conditions, each module would have a peak power output of 185 W (at approximately 28 V and 7 A). The PV system consists of 24 modules installed on the carport structure, forming a 6 × 4 array, as shown in Figure 5 and Figure 6. The whole array was configured into eight parallel strings, each of which is composed of three modules that are connected in series, as marked by red lines in Figure 6. Three of the strings: ( S-I ) A1-A2-A3, ( S-V ) A4-A5-A6, and ( S-III ) B2-C2-D2 are used as a control and are not fitted with any of the cleaning systems.
Such a layout provides an appropriate platform to test multiple cleaning modes either individually or simultaneously in combination for specific PV sub-arrays and to compare the outcomes with the performance determined from control strings where no cleaning takes place. For cleaning, eight sets of water nozzles and three sets of pressurised air nozzles (B1, C1, and D1, string S-II ) were fitted on top of 11 of the PV modules, as shown in Figure 6, where the arrows marked on the cleaning systems indicate direction of water and airflow. In addition, six modules were also fitted with vibration motors to test the performance of cleaning with vibration only (B6, C6, and D6, S-VIII ). The other three modules—B5, C5, and D5 ( S-VII )—have both water cleaning and vibration fitted to test the effectiveness of cleaning by combining vibration and water modes.
As shown in Figure 5 and Figure 6, the PV module D4 (in string S-VI ), unlike D3 ( S-IV ), is not fitted with water nozzles. This feature is added to compare water jet cleaning reach where D4 is cleaned through drenching from the nozzle jets on C4. This is implemented to see if this mode is sufficient to clean subsequent modules in an array where huge savings in water use could be gained, especially in large arrays.
2.4. Energy Storage System
In Saudi Arabia, connecting microgeneration, such as PV to the distribution network is currently not straightforward from a regulatory standpoint. A predicate of the design philosophy is that the plant and its systems should be run independently (standalone) and not connected to the mains (grid). Hence, a battery storage unit with charge controllers and an inverter was installed as part of the overall PV system, as shown in Figure 7. Gel batteries (lead acid) were chosen based on their high temperature safety and cost effectiveness for static applications. They have a total capacity of 9.6 kWh (48 V, 200 Ah), providing 24-hour power for all cleaning systems and additional loads, such as data logging, safety lighting, and cameras. The PV modules were separated into two arrays, each containing 12 modules with a rated capacity of 3.3 kW (36 A, 93 V). Each array is then connected to an individual charge controller (45 A, 150 V), which manages the state-of-charge of the batteries. As lead acid batteries are known to be prone to deep discharge, the charge controllers are programmed to maintain the state-of-charge at over 50%.
Solar systems installed in car parks are likely to be grid-connected . To facilitate future studies in this area, the project was also designed to allow connectivity to the grid through a multi-purpose inverter—Victron Quattro. This provided the operational functions needed by the design philosophy, as follows:
Mode 1: System in an off-grid mode: The direct current (DC) from the batteries is inverted to alternating current (AC) to power up the monitoring systems; data logging; cleaning systems, such as the compressor and water pump (see Section 2.5); and dump loads;
Mode 2: System is in a grid-connected mode where the inverter serves as a grid-tie inverter allowing the metered power output to be directly exported to national grid.
In this presented work, we only consider Mode 1, where the inverter is set to be part of an off-grid system, and the connection to the national grid is temporarily disabled. In order to simulate a grid-like current sink for the PV system, a 4 kW dump load was incorporated to the system. This was programmed to be automatically switched on when the current drops below the optimum, forcing a no disconnect from the charge controllers, so the PV system stays operational to study cleaning modes and their impacts on the energy yield.
In order to quantify PV system performance, the current of each PV string is monitored and measured independently through a series of 6 mΩ shunts (60 mV at 10 A) installed within the system cabinet. In addition, shunts (60 mV at 500 A) were also installed to monitor total PV current and battery charging current. All of the measured data are collected by a data logger and stored in a Cloud-based database (see Section 2.8).
The batteries and all energy management devices are contained in a weatherproof enclosure (IP 66), as shown in Figure 8. The enclosure is air conditioned, preventing the electronic devices from overheating. This is particularly important for applications in the Middle East and other tropical regions, where daytime ambient temperature often exceed 40 °C (50 °C on occasion), which may cause damage to electronic components. The air conditioning unit has a rated capacity of 1 kWthmeral, and the temperature set point can be adjusted to maintain the cabinet temperature at a required level.
2.5. Water Cleaning System
As mentioned in Section 2.2, the water-based cleaning systems draw water from a 2 m 3 capacity underground water tank. The inspection cap is accessible from above via a manhole cover. Figure 9 shows the connection of components in the water cleaning system. A three-stage water filter unit was fitted between the PV roof downpipe and the water tank. It is composed of three settling basins (1 m³ each) and three replaceable filters, accessible via manhole covers. The filter unit is able to prevent large debris and significantly reduce dust and sand particle ingress into the water storage tank.
Within the tank, a pressure sensor was installed to monitor both the loss of water from the cleaning systems and detect any rainfall that may occur. The tank is also connected to the mains water supply, allowing it to be topped up when the water surface drops below a certain level. This drop could be caused by water losses during cleaning or water recollection process, i.e., spray droplets blown away from the canopy, evaporation, and any slight leaks from the guttering and downpipes. A water meter was installed on the main water supply with a magnetic pick-up (1 pulse per 0.25 L) to measure the amount of water that has been added into the tank, reflecting the amount of net water consumption. Both the water depth sensor and water meter are connected to a data logger (see Section 2.8). The data logger is able to collect water depth data and control a solenoid valve, which regulates the amount of water entering the water tank from the main water supply.
Water stored in the underground tank is lifted and pressurized by a self-priming electrical pump, configured to maintain a constant pressure in the pipework, and sprayed out of eight sets of water nozzles, as shown in Figure 10. Each PV module is cleaned by a set of three nozzles (Figure 10), which can be switched on and off by a programmable logic controller (PLC) unit through an electric solenoid valve. The height of the water pipes and nozzles are controlled by a number of supporting studs and are fully adjustable. This feature allows experimentation with nozzle height for effective cleaning as well as determining the impact of water pipe shadows casted on the PV modules. As shown in Figure 10, the cleaning systems on different PV strings are fitted at various heights, facilitating a cross comparison in order to identify the optimal height. The water nozzles can also be adjusted to optimize the spray angle, water volume and pressure. This is part of the design philosophy to study and identify the most efficient method of cleaning for the PV solar systems whilst minimizing energy and resource consumption.
2.6. Air Cleaning System
There is a paucity of information on using pressurized air to clean solar PV modules. To address this, a compressed air knife unit manufactured by Exair Corporation, model number 9078 (Figure 11), was used to provide cleaning for the set of modules highlighted in Figure 6. Each unit has two compressed air inlets, one at each end of the unit, controlled jointly by a solenoid valve and the PLC. The compressed air is then driven through a narrow slot onto the solar modules.
For testing purposes, the compressed air for the system was provided by a mobile compressor providing approximately 0.05 m 3 /s at 7 bar. In the future, this will be replaced by an electrical compressor powered by the PV system, coupled to a large air receiver.
2.7. Module Vibration System
A series of vibration units were fitted into the back of the modules to test the potential of using vibration as a water-free method of cleaning PV modules, as shown in Figure 12. Each unit is composed of a 12 V electric motor and an unbalanced weight, in a waterproof case. Prior to the installation on site, a range of vibration motors were tested in the laboratory trial mentioned earlier, where the performance of the motors at different speeds and weights was tested. It was found that the best motor speed was in the range of 6000 to 8000 RPM, and heavier weights produced stronger motion of sand particles. over, it was also observed that (i) each PV module will require more than three motors working simultaneously to remove dust and (ii) fixing motors loosely enhanced the vibration effect due to the direct hammer impulse of the case striking the panel. As a result, each PV module assigned to vibration test was fitted with five vibration motors, which are installed on the back of the modules (Figure 6). These five motors were mounted at each of the four corners and one in the centre of the module.
2.8. Data Acquisition and Control
A Gill Maximet 501 ® (Gill Instruments Limited, Lymington, UK) weather station (Figure 13) was installed at 6 m above ground level in order to (a) record relevant variables relating to PV performance and dust accumulation and (b) to provide a signal to control the switching on of the dump load when the PV current drops below optimum for given irradiance. The weather variables measured at two-minute intervals include air pressure, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and irradiance.
The electrical variables (string currents and voltages), along with the water tank depth and water meter are logged at 1-min intervals by the Datataker ® DT85M (Thermo Fisher Scientific Ltd, Waltham, MA, USA) data-logger networked with a Raspberry Pi (Raspberry Pi Foundation, Cambridge, UK), in turn allowing secure two-way communications with a Cloud-based server. The weather station communicates with the data-logger over an SDI-12 bus.
In order to visually monitor the system remotely, 4 CCTV cameras with 5-megapixel resolution (Swann Platinum Digital HD, SWNVK-474502, Swann Communications Pty. Ltd., Victoria, Australia), have been installed on the site providing live streaming to the project portal (Figure 3 and Figure 13). The cameras were fixed on two of the car park lampposts (5 m high), allowing a clear visual range for monitoring the PV panels and the carport system. The CCTV cameras were also linked to a digital video recorder (DVR) which is connected to the system router, where images of the carport can be viewed live or played back remotely. The DVR has the capacity of recording views for 80 days onto the 1 TB hard disk. The cameras are able to obtain clear views of the PV and cleaning systems, as well as the functionality of various cleaning methods. In addition to the quantitative measurements and testbed local observations, these networked cameras provide online imagery to allow qualitative comparison of dust build-up on the different sets of PV modules.
2.9. Cleaning System Installation Configuration and Control
Programmed cleaning routines were established encompassing single and multiple intervention combinations, which are controlled through the data logger. In order to detect the effectiveness of the various cleaning modes employed to clean dust build-up on any of the strings (other than the control), the cleaning programs are run on alternate days, as indicated in Table 1.
The operation of cleaning modes can be individually controlled by a programme that is designed to provide flexibility of applying options of cleaning modes—including a manual setup at the control panel. For example, the programme in Figure 14 provides a combination of two cleaning modes (vibration and water jets) for the string S-VII comprising the PV modules B5, C5, and D5. Each vibration pulse lasts 295 seconds (~5 minutes), followed by a water jet pulse of 30 seconds. The sequence of vibration and water jet cleaning is designed to maximise the removal of dust, as the effectiveness of the water jets is enhanced after dust has been mobilised and loosened by vibration. In addition, the cleaning programme is initiated in sequence from top downwards, as shown in Figure 14, where the water jet and vibration pulses for C5 only started after the cycle for B5 was completed.
The compressed air cleaning programme for the string S-II, comprising B1/C1/D1, is also shown in Figure 14. Each compressed air cleaning pulse lasts around 1 second due to the capacity of the compressed air system. The length of compressed air cleaning operations is also chosen by taking into account the complexity of physical processes involved in removing particles from surfaces such as PV modules, which is an active area of research . Particles require a threshold of shear stress before they will move, and this will depend on the micro-level properties of the particles and PV module surface and the level of humidity. The key variable of the effectiveness of the cleaning system is air pressure, but the nature of turbulent and coherent fluctuations in air velocity have also been shown in the literature to have a significant effect on particle removal . The duration of the air pulse is less significant, as air velocities of the order of tens of m/s mean that the time for a particle to cross a PV module, once it has passed the threshold of motion, is extremely short. Therefore, in practice, the duration of the pulse is more likely to be limited by the available air supply and the control system, and longer pulses would be unlikely to improve cleaning effectiveness.
Results and Discussion
3.1. Effect of Vibration-Based Cleaning on Power Output
Observation of the performance of the sub-array under vibration cleaning was conducted between 5 and 17 February 2019. Prior to commencing the testing, all PV strings were manually cleaned with water on 5 February to establish a common baseline. In order to determine the effect of vibration-based cleaning, two strings ( S-VII and S-VIII. see Figure 6) were subjected to 5 min of vibration, repeated three times weekly, starting on 6 February. The power output from each PV string in the cleaned state is therefore set at 100% as the baseline (index base). The power output measured during subsequent days was compared with this baseline. As shown in Figure 15, the power outputs from the two un-vibrated reference strings, S-V and S-VI. varied from 55% to 132%. The vibration-cleaned strings ( S-VII and S-VIII. right of Figure 15) show a similar variation in output from 52% to 136%. Hence, the vibration cleaning did not show any noticeable performance improvements in output as compared with the reference strings. Please note that the string S-VII is equipped with both water-cleaning and vibration units, but during the period shown in Figure 15, only vibration was used to test its cleaning effectiveness.
In addition, Figure 15 also shows the global solar radiation that was measured by the on-site weather station during the same period. The results show a close correlation with power productions from the solar strings—both cleaned and reference strings.
3.2. Effect of Water-Based Cleaning on Power Output
The PV system is arranged in two sub arrays. For ease of comparison and consistency, we will only consider cleaning of the strings that are connected to the same maximum power point tracker (MPPT), namely strings S-V. S-VI. S-VII. and S-VIII. In order to determine the impact of water cleaning on array output, two strings S-VI and S-VII (see Figure 6) were subjected to water cleaning only during this period. The remaining two strings S-V and S-VIII were considered as reference and were not cleaned. It should be noted that the string S-VIII is regarded here as a reference (non-cleaned) string because no significant effect of the vibration-based cleaning was observed (see Section 3.1).
The water-cleaning programme (Table 1) started on 8 March 2019. Each of the water-cleaned strings was subjected to cleaning three times per week. For each module with water jets fitted, the module was drenched with water for 30 s (as shown in Figure 14). Figure 16 shows the mean power output for 20 days from each string between 08:00 and 09:00 (local time). The figure indicates that before commencing cleaning, the monitored sets of strings ( S-V and S-VIII ) show similar power output. After water-based cleaning began, there is a clear improvement in the power output from the water-cleaned strings ( S-IV. S-VI and S-VII ). For the time period selected, the output of cleaned strings was 177 W (on average) compared to 140 W from that of the uncleaned strings (string S-II. S-III. S-V and S-VIII. see Figure 6). This represents around 27% more power from the cleaned strings (standard deviation, SD = 4.4%) over the 20 days compared to the non-cleaned strings.
The effect of the water cleaning system can also be seen from a visual comparison given in Figure 17, where the side-by-side string S-III (reference) and S-IV (water-cleaned) can be seen in a photo taken in the evening when the water cleaning programme was commenced for the first time on 8 March. The image clearly shows that string S-III was covered by a considerable amount of dust, whereas string S-IV was significantly clearer after water cleaning.
Figure 16 shows the mean power output for 20 days from each string between 08:00 and 09:00 (local time). The figure indicates that before commencing cleaning, the monitored sets of strings ( S-V and S-VIII ) show similar power output. After water-based cleaning began, there is a clear improvement in the power output from the water-cleaned strings ( S-IV. S-VI and S-VII ). For the time period selected, the output of cleaned strings was 177 W (on average) compared to 140 W from that of the uncleaned strings (string S-II. S-III. S-V and S-VIII. see Figure 6). This represents around 27% more power from the cleaned strings (SD = 4.4%) over the 20 days compared to the non-cleaned strings.
In Figure 16, the variation of the average solar irradiance was depicted for the same period. The results show that it varied significantly from 105 W/m² (26 March) to 433 W/m² (17 March) and the output from the PV strings strongly correlated with such variations, causing several power production drops, such as on 22 February and 28 March 2019 (Figure 16).
The 08:00 and 09:00 time slot was chosen for analysis, as the battery was never fully charged during this period. The state of charge of the battery in the morning is always depleted due to the air conditioning and other load utilisation during the night. After sunrise, the MPPT ensures that all the strings provide the maximum possible power until the battery state-of-charge recovers to 100%. Consequently, the performance of the strings early in the morning, before the battery has recovered, provides the fairest comparison between cleaned and non-cleaned strings.
3.3. Net Loss of Water During Cleaning
In addition to minimising the loss in PV module performance due to soiling, the other research aim is to minimise the net use of cleaning water. Therefore, it is important to determine accurately the volume of water lost during water-based cleaning modes. In order to achieve this, the filling curve for the water tank was determined by first calibrating the depth (pressure) sensor and then filling the tank (cylinder shape but horizontally-fitted, see Figure 4) from empty, while simultaneously recording the counts from the water meter and the depth given by the pressure sensor. The resulting filling curve is shown in Figure 18 along with a cubic curve-fit to the depth d. A cubic fit was used due to the point of inflection at mid-depth.
The curve was fitted using the Nonlinear Least Squares (NLS) package in R programme [27,28], giving the four fitted parameters significant at the 0.1% level on 54 degrees of freedom. The four fitted coefficients ( k 0, k 1, k 2, k 3) were −0.0802, 1.259, 1.692, −1.211, respectively. The curve is now used to calculate volume losses (and gains in the case of rainfall) as a function of depth change. For example, the losses of cleaning water from the different nozzle configurations can be directly calculated. Figure 19 shows the water lost due to a 30 s deluge of water of module B4 followed immediately by a 30 s deluge of module C4 (Figure 6). The figure indicates that the final loss was approximately 9 L.
3.4. Economic Analysis
The success or otherwise of cleaning systems for PV carports will depend on whether, and how quickly, they can pay back the extra investment required for the system through reduced loss of electrical generation income due to soiling. Here we present a simple yet reasonable analysis of a 100 kW production system, grid-connected, with water-based cleaning on all modules.
The rate at which the cleaning system pays back the investment required is clearly very dependent on the value of electricity exported to the grid. Here we have assumed that the export tariff will be equivalent to the commercial import rate . This is reasonable as it is likely that carport PV arrays will be installed in extensive car parks of large buildings, and the generation from the system will directly displace some of the air-conditioning load from the building or buildings. In addition, the cost of water was taken as the standard commercial rate in the Jeddah area . The reduction in efficiency of the soiled panels was taken as 20% based on the results presented in Section 3.2 and the rate of water loss per module per cleaning event of 5 L (based on Section 3.3). Both of these are likely to be conservative estimates, as optimization of the system is yet to be carried out. As cumulative installed capacity increases, it would be expected that installed costs would decrease, typically along an “experience curve” . The parameter b for the experience curve was taken as a conservative 0.9, implying a 10% decrease in installed cost for each doubling of production. The base unit of production was a notional 100 kW system and the present value calculations made at four cumulative levels of experience, 100 kW, 1 MW, 10 MW, and 100 MW. Installed equipment costs for the 100 kW unit were estimated from the experience of the 6 kWp system described in this article with the discount rate assumed to be 10%. details of the assumptions made for the analysis are provided in Table A1 in Appendix A.
Table 2 shows that for the case of the first 100 kW unit, the net present value (NPV) is positive after five years. However, after ten units, this reduces to four years; after 100 units, three years and after 1000 units, two years. This would imply that the water-based PV module cleaning system is worth the investment providing it is installed at scale.
Summary and Future Work
This work reported on the design philosophy for an automated cleaning system for PV modules subjected to the harsh desert environment of Saudi Arabia. The system is based on multiple cleaning mechanisms including vibration, air and water, and some combinations of these. The system was equipped to collect the cleaning water for subsequent reuse and installed on a carport canopy in the campus of King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The overall system was established as a testbed to investigate the performance of various cleaning systems that were designed to remove dust from solar PV modules.
To allow performance analysis of PV power output, eight individually instrumented PV strings in the array were monitored with multiple cleaning methods tested during the same time period. The effectiveness of each cleaning mode was measured in terms of the amount of power produced in comparison with reference strings (control) of PV modules. The results indicate that for water-cleaning mode only, string power output increased by an average of 27% (Figure 16) compared to non-cleaned, but otherwise identical, strings for the same period of time.
The vibration cleaning mode was not observed to have a significant effect on the performance degradation due to soiling versus the reference panels. The compressed air was not able to be fully trialled due to the use of the temporary air compressor, which did not provide enough continuous air capacity to undertake longer testing. A new air system is currently being designed with further cleaning mode combinations, which will be tested in the future.
Overall, the testbed has provided a new approach to testing a combination of cleaning solutions in the field. Its aim is to identify appropriate combination of cleaning modes to inform the ongoing expansion of PV projects currently being built or planned for the future in Saudi Arabia. These studies will provide the evidence needed to support yield optimisation in large PV arrays through quantifying the efficiency improvements from the cleaning approaches. Furthermore, the testbed has the capacity for additional cleaning units to be added, allowing four more cleaning methods to be tested. These include using blades or PV module surface coatings, integrated pipework and air jets, and new vibration systems. The testbed is providing opportunities for studies of optimised cleaning approaches of solar PV arrays and comparing their performance under the Saudi/Middle Eastern weather conditions, such as sandstorms and humidity. The configuration of the setup and parameters used for the system will be further tested and optimised to identify approaches that would improve dust removal effectiveness and efficiency.
To extend the scope of cleaning mechanisms, more cleaning methods will be tested on the developed solar system to conduct further assessments. This would include (1) combination of vibration and pressurized air, (2) electrostatic dust removal systems, and (3) nanofilm coating. The feasibility of installing additional monitoring equipment, such as high-frequency wind velocity monitoring and visual inspection system to quantify and compare dust soiling, will also be investigated.
The authors contributed equally to the paper including design, implementation, data gathering, modelling, analysis, and discussion of the outcomes. specifically, A.S.A. led the KSA side of the research project, obtained essential research data, KAU campus analysis, permissions, coordination of the local contractors and budgeting and design; A.S.B. led the UK side of the project and managed the coordination and the overall design of the project including jointly supervising the various stages of project development, installation and analysis; L.S.B. led the design and configuration of data collection and control systems; Y.W. undertook cleaning system design and data analysis. All authors contributed to the writing, proof reading, and revision of the manuscript.
This work is part of the activities of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Chair for Energy research at King Abdulaziz University (KAU), KSA. Funding for this collaborative project was provided by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Chair for Energy research, the Vice Presidency for Projects at King Abdulaziz University, and the Energy and Climate Change Division and the Sustainable Energy Research Group at the University of Southampton, UK, (www.energy.soton.ac.uk).
The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of the UK industrial partners represented by David Marriott and his team at Clarke Construction Essex Limited, and David Saunders from Seriatim Ltd and to thank them for their dedication and effort during the design, testing, construction and commissioning stages of the solar PV carport and its various systems.
Get high-quality solar panel cleaning equipment
Although solar panels are durable and durable, they are not immune to attack. The panels are built to withstand the harsh conditions of outdoor use and may fail in the event that they are not properly maintained. Texas Solar Group is committed to making the process easier for customers through innovative solar panel cleaning tools. Our products can reduce your work load and extend the longevity of solar panels. Secure your solar equipment by using a reliable, dependable solution. The solar panel wash system is specifically designed to meet the requirements of our customers.
Multiple Control Options Flexible Control Options
Solar panels with different types have different requirements. Clean panels that are used in residential settings might not require a weekly or even monthly cleaning. Texas Solar Group‘s Solar Panel Cleaner is a fantastic help for panels in dirty and dusty surroundings. Cleansing solar panels is easy and adaptable. Cleaning can be accomplished in three ways:
Manual-based – Clients prefer to be in complete control of their cleaning schedule. Clients prefer to only clean their panels only when it is required or when they have a lot of dust. It may be beneficial to run your system after an extremely windy or stormy day. This flexibility allows customers to adapt their system to the specific needs of each individual.
Automated – This option is for clients who would prefer not to have to worry about anything. Clients can arrange cleaning times for a month or a week and our solar-powered cleaning equipment will handle the other tasks. You only need to choose one of the automated scheduling options in our solar-powered panel washer.
Pre-Programmed Scheduling is a great option for customers who require an option that is custom. In the event that your Windows are located in an unclean and dry location You may want to clean them once every five days to ensure efficiency. It is possible to have flexibility and automation, and a custom schedule gives you the optimal of both. This feature is now available with our Solar Panel Washing Machine.
Ask our experts for more information regarding cleaning schedules. Before recommending a solution, they’ll ask you questions about your solar panel’s setup, installation, and usage.
Advantages of Solar Panel Production System
Many people don’t want to spend their money on items that they don’t need. Many solar panel owners believe that their system should be cleaned just once per year. Numerous studies have demonstrated that solar panels can be affected by inadequate maintenance and cleaning. Our robot provides easy, efficient cleaning that will improve the output that your solar panel. Let’s examine the advantages:
- Ultra-Soft brushes. Texas Solar Group solar panel cleaners are made of ultra-soft bristles. They are soft on panels and clean up dust easily and efficiently.
- Dry cleaning solution. Our solar panel washing machines do not make use of water to wash the panels. This reduces the possibility of damage as well as preserving water.
- Lower operating costs – The machines require little maintenance or maintenance. Customers won’t need to worry about regular repairs or breakdowns so long as they stick to the manual.
- SCADA-Responsive – Clients can manage the robot through connecting it to SCADA. The solar panel wash systems are also dependent on weather conditions and therefore they aren’t able to function in heavy rain.
- Self-powered – Our solar panel cleaner also self-powered. It doesn’t require you recharge the battery or connect it to an electrical source. It will automatically charge itself when it is depleted of power and then shuts off.
The efficiency of solar panels is improved with a thorough cleaning of the panel at minimum once a year. Our solar panel cleaner is a fantastic option. It can prolong the life of your solar panel even more and help you reduce costs and boost your energy production. Texas Solar Group dry solar panel cleaner can ensure that you get the most out from your solar panel.
The Price of a Solar Cleaning Robot – What You Should Know
Permanent cleaning solutions are sought-after by many clients who want to ensure their solar system is in good condition. They want a durable effective, reliable and cost-effective solution, but are reluctant to spend an excessive amount of money on it. Texas Solar Group is a solar panel cleaning robot solution. The products result from more than three years of research and testing. They are constructed of from durable, high-quality materials so they will last for years. The price of our solar cleaning machine is well worth it.
Solar Panel Cleaning System Cost
The traditional solar systems for cleaning use an abundance of pure water, which could result in them being expensive. According to some estimates, washing solar panels at a 1MW facility may require as much as 40 million Liters of pure water over the life of the plant.
The Texas Solar Group‘s Waterless cleansing solutions are more cost-effective and affordable. Our company’s Texas Solar Group solar panel cleaning robots cost is affordable. Dry cleaning machines don’t require any maintenance or care. If you contact us, our experts can provide an exact cost breakdown of the ownership. Our experts are on hand to answer any queries you might have regarding the cost of a solar cleaning robot.
Are Solar Panels worth it?
Over 1000 robotics were utilised as well as we’ve received repeat approval from 11 customers. Our specialists are certified to offer personalised recommendations and are aware of the way robots perform in real-world situations.
Here are a few good reasons solar panel cleaners are worth the price.
- Increases efficiency of solar panels. Solar panel efficiency can be improved up to 5% through regular cleaning, depending on the location in which the project is being set up. Our solar module cleaning robot makes your investment more appealing. It’s worthwhile to invest in solar panel cleaning robot.
- Durability. Dust can be corrosive and cause severe damage to solar panels. A system that is reliable and cleans the panels regularly can significantly extend their lifespan.
- Automated. Texas Solar Group machines can be fully automated or semi-automatic. This means they don’t need a lot of manual work. There is no need to employ specialists or technicians to your team or hire a third party professional. The machine will automatically run if you have a schedule. Texas Solar Group offers a more effective cleaning solution as well as a lower price on solar panel cleaners.
- Flexibility – Clients have the choice to follow a predetermined schedule or create their own cleaning plan. The system can be controlled manually or automatically.
These are only a few of the reasons why an automatic robot cleaner is well worth the initial investment.
What is included in the price of solar panel cleaning equipment?
We provide a complete estimate that includes all the costs that are involved in the development, design as well as the installation, operation as well as maintenance for solar panels cleaning. We aim to ensure that our clients can determine their budget on an accurate estimation. The estimate includes:
Assistance and Analysis – A seasoned team of consultants meets the clients with a discussion of their requirements and priorities. They answer questions, review solar plant blueprints and provide solutions. Our team will make sure that you get the most cost-effective and economical solar panel cleaning machines at the lowest prices.
The Design and Development phase – Once our team has received all necessary information, they will begin to design the custom design. Each PV plant needs an efficient, unique solution. While creating a customized configuration our engineers are knowledgeable and are willing to share their knowledge. SolaBot guarantees efficiency and affordability for solar panel cleaning equipment.
Testing. Product development is not complete without testing. Before a product is shipped to the customer it is subjected to extensive testing.
After the testing is completed with our approval, implementation will begin. All aspects of the installation are covered according to the procedure for commissioning and execution.
Texas Solar Group Solar Cleaning System
Our equipment can work effectively with little human intervention. For them to function properly they need only just a bit of attention. Customers won’t face any issues if they follow the instructions in the manual. Texas Solar Group provides consistent customer support. For maintenance, repairs or troubleshooting, you can contact our team of experts. We are available to answer any questions you might have about the solar panels washing machines.
Texas Solar Group is the most reliable source for reliable Solar Panel Cleaning Machine. We are happy to answer all your questions about our products and their effectiveness.
We are an experienced and veteran-owned solar panel cleaning service. We offer Residential Solar Cleaning as well as Efficiency Tests and Repair Consultations.
We are a leading solar panel cleaning company and maintenance throughout Las Vegas, Texas Solar Group.
Why Solar Panel Cleaning?
You can reduce your expenses and generate more energy.
To ensure optimal performance of the solar system it is crucial to clean the panels.
Solar panel efficiency is severely affected by dust, dirt, and other environmental pollutants. Studies have shown that PV panel performance can decline by as much as 20% without regular cleansing and maintaining.
Texas Solar Group is available to clean solar panels that are on your roof, solar carports and large underground solar arrays. Our experts will inspect the entire array, and provide more than a simple clean solar system.
Solar Panel Cleaning Machine
by US Admin June 15, 2022 Barnes Solar 0 Комментарии и мнения владельцев
Get high-quality solar panel cleaning equipment
Although solar panels are durable and durable, they’re not invulnerable. They are designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions and are susceptible to failure if they aren’t maintained properly. Barnes Solar is committed to making life easier for customers through new solar panel cleaning tools. Our products will reduce your workload and increase the longevity of your solar panels. Make sure your solar equipment is protected by using a reliable and dependable solution. Our solar panel washing system is specifically designed to meet the requirements of our customers.
Multiple Control Options Flexibility
The different solar panels will have different needs. Clean panels in residential settings may not require a weekly or monthly maintenance. The Barnes Solar‘s solar panel cleaning machine is a fantastic help for panels in dirty and dusty areas. Cleansing solar panels is easy and adaptable. Cleaning can be approached using three different methods:
Manual – Clients prefer to be in complete control of their schedule for cleaning. Customers prefer to clean their panels when it is necessary or when there is a lot of dust. You might want to run your system after a stormy or windy day. This flexibility allows clients to modify their system to suit their unique needs.
Automated – This is for customers who prefer to be hands-off. Clients can arrange cleaning schedules for a month or a week and the solar equipment will handle the remaining tasks. All you have to do is select one of the scheduled options available in the solar panel washing machine.
Pre-Programmed Scheduling is a great option for customers who require an individual option. When your panel is in a dusty and dry area You may want to clean them once every five days to ensure efficiency. It is possible to have the flexibility and control, while the custom-designed schedule allows you to have the optimal of both. This advanced feature is offered in our washing machines for solar panels.
Contact our experts to learn more regarding cleaning schedules. Before they recommend a solution they’ll ask you questions about your solar panel’s installation, location and the use of it.
Advantages of Solar Panel Production System
People don’t like to spend their money on things that aren’t necessary. A lot of solar panel owners believe that the system needs to be cleaned once a year. Numerous studies have shown that solar panels suffer from poor maintenance and cleaning. Our robot will provide simple and efficient cleaning that can enhance the performance of your PV plant. Let’s look at the benefits:
- Ultra-Soft brush. Barnes Solar solar panel cleaners have ultra-soft bristles. They are gentle on panels and can pick up dust easily and efficiently.
- Dry Cleaning Solution. Solar panel washing machines don’t require water to clean the panels. This reduces the possibility of damage as well as preserving water.
- Lower operating costs – The machines do not require a lot of maintenance or care. Clients won’t have to worry about frequent repairs or breakdowns so long as they follow the instructions.
- SCADA-Responsive – Clients manage the robot through joining it with SCADA. The solar panel wash systems are sensitive to weather conditions. so they will not work during rainy weather.
- Self-powered solar panel cleaner is self-powered. It doesn’t require you recharge the battery or connect it to the power source. It will automatically charge itself whenever it’s running out of power and then shuts off again.
Solar panel efficiency can be improved through cleaning your panels once per year. Our solar panel cleaning device is a fantastic option. It can prolong the life of your solar panel even more and help you save money and boost your energy production. Barnes Solar dry solar panel cleaning equipment ensures you get the best out of your solar panels.
The Price of a Solar Cleaning Robot – What You Should Know
Permanent cleaning solutions are desired by many clients to keep their solar system free of dirt. Clients want a durable effective, reliable and cost-effective solution, but they are reluctant to spend much on it. Barnes Solar is a solar panel cleaning robot. The products result from more than three years of research and testing. They are constructed with by high-quality, durable materials, which means they’ll last for many years. The price of our solar cleaning machine is worth the cost.
Solar Panel Cleaning System Cost
Cleaning costs for solar panels are based on the size, amount of modules, and the availability of cleaning supplies. Customers who own 1MW solar plant spend 2.5 to 3.5 only on maintenance, while 80percent of the investment is spent on cleaning.
Traditional solar cleaning systems use lots of pure water that can make them costly. There are estimates that suggest washing solar panels at an 1MW facility can require up to 40 million fluid liters of pure water during the lifespan of the facility.
The Barnes Solar‘s Waterless cleaning solutions are more cost-effective and affordable. Our company’s Barnes Solar solar panel cleaning robots cost is affordable. Dry cleaning robots don’t need the most care or maintenance. On request, our experts will provide a precise cost breakdown for ownership. Our specialists are ready to answer any queries you might have regarding the cost of solar-powered cleaning robot.
Are Solar Panels worth it?
The robots are more than 1,000 deployed and we have received a number of repeat approval from 11 customers. Our experts are trained to provide tailored recommendations and are aware of the way robots perform in real-world scenarios.
Here are a few good reasons why solar panel cleaners are worth the price.
- Increases efficiency. Solar panel efficiency is increased by up to 5% through regular cleaning, dependent on the location that the project is being set up. Our solar modules cleaning robot will make your investment look more appealing. It’s well worthwhile to invest in solar panel cleaning robot.
- Durability Dust can cause corrosive damage and cause serious harm the solar panel. A reliable system that cleans the panels on a regular basis can dramatically prolong their life.
- Automated. Barnes Solar machines can be fully automated or semi-automatic. This means they don’t require much manual intervention. It is not necessary to employ specialists or technicians to your staff, or to hire a third party professional. The machine will run automatically in the event that you have a scheduled. Barnes Solar offers a more effective cleaning solution as well as an affordable price on solar panel cleaners.
- Flexibility – Customers have the choice to follow a predetermined cleaning schedule or create their own cleaning schedule. The system can be operated either manually or automatically.
Here are some of the reasons why an automatic robot cleaner is worth the initial investment.
What is included in the price of solar panel cleaning equipment?
We offer a comprehensive quote that covers all costs involved in the design, development as well as the installation, operation as well as maintenance for solar panels cleaning. We aim to ensure that our clients can plan their budget based on a reasonable estimate. The estimate includes:
Assistance and Analysis – An expert team meets customers to talk about their requirements and priority areas. They address questions, look over the blueprints of solar plants and offer solutions. Our team will ensure that you get the most cost-effective and economical solar panel cleaning machine prices.
The Design and Development phase – When our team has received all needed information, they’ll begin to design the custom design. Every PV plant requires a unique, efficient solution. When it comes to designing a custom setup, our engineers are highly knowledgeable and are willing to be willing to share their expertise. SolaBot guarantees efficiency and a reasonable price in solar panel equipment for cleaning.
Testing. Product development is not complete without testing. Before a product is delivered to the consumer, it goes through extensive testing.
After testing has been completed to our satisfaction, implementation will begin. All aspects of the implementation are covered as per the procedure for commissioning and execution.
Barnes Solar Solar Cleaning System
Our devices can be effective with little human intervention. In order to work properly they require only just a bit of attention. Customers will not face any issues if they follow the directions in the manual. Barnes Solar provides consistent customer support. For repairs, maintenance or troubleshooting we can be reached by our dedicated support team. We are available to answer any questions you may ask about the solar panels washing machine.
Barnes Solar is the most reliable source for an efficient Solar Panel Cleaning Machine. We’re here to help with any questions you have about our products and the effectiveness of them.
We are an established and veteran-owned solar panel cleaning business. We offer Residential Solar Cleaning as well as Efficiency Checks or Repair consultations.
We are a top solar panel cleaning service and maintenance across Las Vegas, Barnes Solar.
Why Solar Panel Cleaning?
You can save money and produce more energy.
To maximize the performance of your solar system, it is important to clean the panels.
The efficiency of solar panels is severely affected by dirt, dust, and other environmental pollutants. Research has shown how PV panel efficiency could drop by as much as 20% without regular cleansing and maintaining.
Barnes Solar is available to clean solar panels that are on your roof, solar carports and large underground solar arrays. Our specialists will examine the entire array and do more than just a basic cleansing system for solar panels.
The Basic Differences Between an Automatic Solar Panel Cleaning System and Manual Cleaning
At the very outset, being a leading solar panel cleaning company in California, we can assure you that no manual cleaning service over the lifetime of the panels can be compared with the return on investment to the automatic cleaning system provided by us. Our system lets you maintain the cleanliness of your panels day in and day out, and not just 2 to 4 days a year.
An exclusive solar project is genuinely considered to be completed once you hook it up to the grid. Presently, we are more focused on spreading awareness to expect a wide range to function at optimum production for 20 years. There wouldn’t be any urgency of maintenance by cleaning solar panels in California. We’ve observed that Operations and Maintenance have evolved into a phenomenal business, and module washing is a crucial segment that shouldn’t be ignored.
Just as fast as system owners have identified a need for solar panel cleaning we have equipped ourselves with new technologies that are there in the market. No-touch robots can indeed provide any substitute for manual washing, and presently, some techniques avoid water completely. Both sides claim to be better than the other. Manual washing may be more accurate and of better quality while automatic/robotic cleaning has been proven to be quicker and can be arranged more regularly. Let’s find out which method suits your system the best.
Anytime you can find that our dedicated team for manual panel washing mobilizes to almost any location in the state of California and adjoining areas. Instead of having affiliates in various cities, maintaining one team ensures that everyone is qualified and properly trained.
They hire everyone locally, and the professionals travel to the sites with their set crews. The best part is that everyone is aware of their job responsibilities and knows what exactly they’re doing. There isn’t any training every day or bothering about if so-and-so can do this.
They predominantly work on utility-scale sites and normally don’t take on a new customer unless it’s a minimum of 40,000 panels. Contracts depend on the dirt and filth of the geographic region. It’s been observed that arid and agricultural areas tend to be dirtier compared to others and necessitate more regular cleanings. Mostly, the start of summer is their busiest time as many customers want cleaner panels at the height of the solar season to avail themselves of optimum output.
They exclusively apply water and a soft-bristle brush for solar panel cleaning. With the help of local water hookups, the crew filters the water to ensure it’s at 0 TDS (total dissolved solids). Though there are biodegradable soaps, the amount you require to clean a large utility site with 1 million panels is extreme to be comfortable with soaking into the ground. Water does an amazing job alone.
Glass, being porous by nature, features small divots that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Whenever you apply any kind of soap or a squeegee, it’ll fill up those pores and you’ll get dirt, soap particles, anything stuck. Subsequently, your glass will haze over time. Experts prefer brushes over squeegees as they also help to clear gunk around the frame.
During automatic cleaning by us, there aren’t any moving parts or robotic elements. The system seems like a sprinkler, with nozzles placed on every few panels. The system runs a wash cycle with soap and a rinse cycle, with modifiable frequency. No tools are applied, and panels are cleaned only by gravity.
You may opt for a one-minute wash and rinse cycle once a week. A few installation areas may require more. Take a rooftop solar system beside a cement manufacturer. The constant Cloud of dust has to be cleaned weekly, if not daily. So, you should clean it before it becomes dirty.
Each day that you aren’t cleaning the panels, it’ll become dirtier. The two fundamental things with cleaning are that you should apply clean water, and never let the panels become dirty. If they’re dirty, it’ll be challenging to get clean. That’s why companies like us who’re into auto-cleaning persuade customers to stay away from manual cleaning once or twice a year. They apply a quick and automatic spray weekly to boost production.
Conclusion If you still have doubts but need to get your solar panels cleaned, then get in touch with us as we are a leading provider of solar panel cleaning services in California. You may choose your mode of cleaning. However, we’re assertive that automatic cleaning has its benefits.
Seasonal Solar Panel Cleaning: Tips for Every Time of the Year
How to Identify and Address Common Solar Panel Cleaning Issues?
Unveiling the Impact of Dirt and Dust on Solar Panel Performance
Welcome to our solar industry and incentives related to solar installations. Solar power is a Smart solution to meet our every day’s electrical needs. But the solar panels usually accumulate the dirt and debris over time and that need to be cleaned within a particular interval.