Solar panel coating

solar panel coating

Coating for solar panels to reduce maintenance

Solar power is a promising source of renewable energy and it is produced by capturing sun light with photovoltaic (PV) cell  panels. Researchers across the globe are looking to improve and protect these solar panels to increase their efficiency and durability to eventually allow maximum energy generation. The panels’ efficiency grows when the amount of sun light, each solar cell can harness, increases. Consequently, there are many solutions including different types of solar panel coating which contribute to better efficiency. Nowadays, technology allows coating solar panels for protection and higher efficiency based on nano technology, hydrophobic properties and/or glass coatings.  The different types of solar coatings have several benefits; they for example:

  • Allow capture of sun light from many directions
  • Let more sun light trough the surface
  • Tolerate high temperatures
  • Protect the panels from weather conditions
  • Reduce solar panels maintenance by keeping the panels clean

Hydrophobic solar panel coating and nano technology

Nano coatings often have hydrophobic and self-cleaning properties. Therefore, nano technology is popular in solar panel coating. Hydrophobic solar panel protective coating is a “water proof” solution which protects the substrate against moisture and water damage. The self-cleaning properties, for their part, keep the surface clean. These properties are crucial, for solar panels are constantly exposed to nature and weather conditions and therefore, need protection.

A nano coating for solar panels requires only minimum maintenance, which reduces cleaning and maintenance costs. This type of a coating requires maintenance after about five years from application whereas an ordinary solar panel needs maintenance much sooner. Applying self-cleaning hydrophobic coatings on solar panels protects the surfaces from:

  • Micro organisms and bacteria
  • Bird fouling
  • Salty air
  • Dust and dirt

The following video demonstrates the benefits and functioning of a self-cleaning nano coating.

Reduce solar panels maintenance & increase efficiency

solar panel coating on clean solar panels

Solar panel nanocoatings keep the panels clean and increase energy generation.

Increasing the efficiency of solar panels is a topic of research for many parties. The panels’ efficiency increases when they harness more sun energy, which leads to increasing energy production. Some solar panels have, for instance, special detectors which allow the panels to turn towards the sun and so, produce more energy. Nevertheless,  there are also solar panel coatings which positively affect the efficiency of the panels.

The hydrophobic and self cleaning nano coatings make sure that the surface of the panel is clean and free from water drops. This means that the panel can capture more sun light, for nothing stands between the panel and the light. Thus, if the solar panels are not clean, their efficiency can drop even by 30%!

Furthermore, an anti-reflection coating guarantees less reflection and lets more sunlight through to the panels. More sunlight means more energy! Last but not least, a glass coating application allows the surface to capture sunlight from almost any direction. A coating which has all these properties has been developed. The research shows that with the coating it is possible to increase efficiency of solar panels up to 46% and remarkably reduce solar panels maintenance.

Solar power in the UK

The UK energy mix includes more than 19% of renewable energy sources. In 2015 the share of solar power was 7.6 TWh. This was an increase of more than 85% from the previous year. Ever-increasing pressure to cut emissions as well as rising electricity prices positively affect the popularity of solar power. Consequently, at the moment in the UK the solar power installation capacity is almost 9.8 GW. This is the sixth most on the global scale. The biggest solar farm in the UK is Southwick Estate located near Fareham, Hampshire. The single solar farm provides clean electricity enough to power about 14,500 homes.  Solar panel coatings have also an important role in Fareham where they reduce the need for cleaning the panels and at the same time improve efficiency and energy generation.

Solar power is also present in the annual Clean Energy Live event which in 2017 will take place in Birmingham.


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