Ishita Ranganath|Jan 30, 2023
IIT Jodhpur researchers develop self-cleaning coating for solar panels
IIT Jodhpur metallurgical and materials engineering researchers have developed transparent, durable, and superhydrophobic coating for cleaning of solar panels.
NEW DELHI: The researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur have developed a coating technology for easy and self-cleaning of solar panel surfaces. These coatings are transparent, scalable, durable and superhydrophobic.
The technology reduces dust accumulation on solar panels and is capable of self-cleaning with very little amount of water, and is also suitable for easy integration with solar panel manufacturing plants.
This self-cleaning coating has been developed by the principal investigator, Ravi K R, associate professor and head, department of metallurgical and materials engineering, IIT Jodhpur and team members Meignanamoorthi G, project assistant and Mohit Singh, research scholar and Prime Minister's Research Fellow (PMRF), department of metallurgical and materials engineering, IIT Jodhpur. The technology has been sent for patent approval.
“Depending on the location of the solar power plant and the climate in which it is used, solar panels have been found to lose 10 to 40% of their initial efficiency due to dust accumulation within a few months. Some of the methods currently used to clean the solar panel are expensive, inefficient, have various practical problems in continuous use and can cause irreversible damage to the solar panel. Hence, the researchers at IIT Jodhpur took motivation from this real-time problem and developed a self-cleaning coating using superhydrophobic material,” said IIT Jodhpur in an official statement.
Highlighting the work done by the team, Ravi K R said, "The role of academia and industry is essential to implement this technology for real-time applications. The relationship between academia and industry is not just technology donor-recipients but interactive, collaborative, and participatory, valuing each other's roles and contributions to bring about research production integration. Therefore, our research team wants to work closely with industry partners to bring this easy-to-clean coating technology to the PV market and mass-produce it for wider benefit."
In future, the researchers are looking at studying the durability of self-cleaning coating in real-time in different regions of the country, such as arid and semi-arid desert regions, coastal regions, and rural and urban areas. The researchers are also investigating the various re-coating options for the damage caused during the usage. IIT Jodhpur researchers will also work on decreasing the reduction in efficiency due to dust accumulation in solar thermal applications.
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