Dancing dust - cleaning solar panels without water
Author: Imma Perfetto
It’s expected that solar power will provide 10% of worldwide power generation by the year 2030, and much of that will be produced from desert areas where sunlight is plentiful - but so is dust. The accumulation of dust on solar panels or mirrors is already a significant issue, reducing output by as much as 30% in just one month, so cleaning solar panels regularly is essential. However, doing so with water would use almost 38 billion litres every year - enough to supply drinking water to 2 million people. Now, researchers have devised a new no-contact system to automatically clean solar panels, which could significantly reduce the amount of dust accumulating on them without using precious water resources to do so.