Anti-soiling coatings for Solar modules
Soiling of the cover glass on solar modules is a serious problem. Global reports show that soiling can reduce power output by up to 20% per month. This has a direct impact on the financial viabiity of solar installations. A highly repellent super-hydrophobic coating has the potential to reduce soiling and make the modules easier to clean. We are working with manufacturers and other research organisations to develop a super-hydrophobic coating targeted at the special requirements of the solar cover glass application. The goal of the project is to assess the performance and durability of these coatings on photovoltaic panels. Key perfomance measures include optical transmission, water contact angle and water roll-off angle. Accelerated lifetime testing will be carried out to determine optical, chemical, temperature, humidity and erosion related degradation. This strategy will provide direct correlation between Lab-based accelerated testing in Loughborough and real outdoor monitoring in Colorado, USA. This project will lay the foundation for new International testing protocols and standards.