When it comes to solar energy, rarely do you hear about a term referred to as “soiling”.
Just as dust and pollen settle on a car windshield of an office building window, the same thing occurs on solar panels. It layers on thickly and the process of removing it can be tedious.
According to CleanTechnica, “The accumulation of dust, soot, or other particulates causes a drop in the efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) panels, which translates to a decline in the amount of power produced and lost income for their operators. But cleaning these solar panels carries a cost as well.”
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, located in Colorado and founded in 1974, is researching the ongoing “soiling” problem its team members are working towards fixing it in the near future. According to CleanTechnica, one of the possible solutions could include patented technology to address the situation and provide a map to where this issue continues to be a problem.
The U.S Department of Energy states that a cleaning that occurs only once – for a 10-megawatt farm, for instance – could cost up to $5,000.00. And that’s simply for an area that powers up to 2,000 homes a day.
We’d like to know how we may be able to lessen the financial blow in the future.