International Scientific Journal

Thermal Science - Online First

online first only

A self-cleaning device for pole mounted solar PV installations

This study aims to develop automatic self-cleaning mechanism (SCM) for pole mounted solar installations and to evaluate its performance. Design and fabrication of device allows the SCM to start cleaning cycle after every 24 hours for a period of 20 seconds. It also restricts the SCM to continue the cleaning process during rain or when the battery voltage level is low. The experiments were done at two identical pairs of PV panels tilted at 33° angle, one with SCM and one without, for a period of six weeks in the climatic conditions of Pakistan. Irradiance, dust density and other performance parameters such as maximum power output, short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill factor and panel efficiency were recorded. The results revealed that with the increasing dust density, the output power, short circuit current and efficiency decreased dramatically for the PV pair without SCM, i.e. by 85%, 80% and 86% respectively. On the other hand, the PV pair having SCM showed fairly a consistent performance due to regular cleaning of the panel surfaces. The proposed SCM is a cost effective mean of removing accumulated dust with a payback period of 2.04 years
PAPER REVISED: 2018-02-18
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2018-02-21
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