Solar Panels in the Future will Clean Themselves

The accumulation of dirt on solar panels has been proven to reduce their efficiency significantly, placing a heavy burden on owners to keep the panels clean in order to ensure project viability. U.K.-based Opus Materials Technologies says it has received funding that will help it validate a new coating that will allow solar panels to clean themselves.

Opus Materials said that it received about £1million in funding from Innovate UK to support the industrial rollout of the self-clean coating.

“Extreme arid climates can have a detrimental effect on the performance of solar modules,” David Hannan, business development director and exploitation manager for Opus Materials’ Always Clean project. “Our materials-by-design approach to developing this nanotechnology coating means it can be fine-tuned to satisfy diverse requirements and locations without impacting its performance.”

Opus Materials will work with aerial survey service provider Above Surveying Ltd. to monitor the performance of the coating. Other partners include TWI Ltd., Loughborough University and Cornelius Specialties Ltd.