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Soiling

Weekend read: Rise of the robot (cleaners)

A first-of-its-kind survey has revealed the extent to which automation and robot module cleaning is being adopted by large-scale PV project owners and operators. And the trend is clear; as solar expands geographically and projects grow, the use of robotics in solar operations and maintenance (O&M) is increasing, and the level of understanding as to their benefits is on the rise. Ecoppia, a pioneer in the robotic cleaning segment, partnered with pv magazine on the survey and the results speak volumes.

Affordable robotic cleaning solution for solar panels

India-based Solavio has developed the Eco Bot portable and shareable robotic cleaning solution, which is compatible with ground-mounted solar arrays and rooftop PV installations.

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Have your say on the future of automation in solar O&M

Cost efficiency while maximizing power output is the name of the game in solar project development and asset management. And the automation of the provision of utility scale solar operations and maintenance (O&M) is fast becoming one of the most compelling opportunities. Help shape the future of automation in solar O&M by completing this first-of-its kind survey.

Measuring impacts, whatever the weather

Scientists in the United States used machine learning to analyze maintenance reports, performance data and weather records from more than 800 solar farms located across the country. The analysis allowed them to determine which weather conditions have the biggest impact on PV generation, and to suggest the most effective ways to boost the resilience of PV installations to extreme weather events.

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New model to predict PV module cleaning cycles and resulting profits

A group of scientists in Bangladesh has developed a model to determine the optimal cleaning schedule for a PV installation at any location in the globe, requiring only the average insolation and soiling rate for a given site to make the calculation. The study also draws new conclusions regarding the influence of sandstorms and rain on soiling, and aims to be among the first studies to paint a global picture of soiling trends by region.

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DSM exits coatings business in €1.6bn deal

Dutch materials company DSM has sold its resins and functional materials businesses, which encompass its anti-reflective and anti-soiling solar glass coating products. That will mean a focus on module backsheets in DSM’s Advanced Solar business unit.

In search of the ‘most rational design’ for anti-reflective coating

Scientists in Spain have tested various properties of anti-reflective and anti-soiling coatings for PV module glass, aiming to develop a material that offers the best balance of desired material properties at the lowest cost. Over a year of testing, the best coatings were shown to boost module output by around 2%, and the group also made several observations that could influence future developments of coatings for PV module front glass.

Getting serious about soiling

Scientists in the United States and India are investigating the impacts of soiling on PV installations in the Indian state of Gujarat. The group, which found that soiling losses for the state could add up to $12 million per year, is looking for low-cost ways to monitor and reduce the impacts of soiling on modules in the field.

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Premature inverter failure – 4.2 GW of capacity will be affected this year, says analyst

U.S.-owned business intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie has attempted to evaluate the market opportunities offered by the repowering of solar projects around the world which feature inverters which are 10 years old – as well as those which will expire ahead of time.

Assessing the soiling mitigation properties of anti-reflective coatings

Researchers in China have sought to understand how soiling exacerbated by anti-reflective coatings might inhibit solar panel output. In terms of effectiveness against soiling, the scientists found hollow-silica-nanoparticle coatings did better than solid silica alternatives.

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