Water-repellent clear materials for straightforward cleansing of photo voltaic panels
Scientists from the International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) have developed a water-repellent transparent material for easy cleaning of solar panels.
Once the panels are coated with this material, all you have to do is throw some water on them – the water will roll off like a duck’s back, carrying the dust with it.
Due to the low surface energy of the coated plates, a drop of water takes on the shape of a pearl rather than a film on the coated surface. The material was specially developed for Indian weather conditions, says Dr. S Sakthivel from the Center for Solar Energy Materials, ARCI.
He tells Quantum that in addition to solar panels, the coating also works for parabolic mirrors in solar thermal systems, automotive and architectural glass, and can be used in many other situations.