Anti-soiling coating for photovoltaic modules

A new study describes the synthesis of transparent and superhydrophobic coatings with obvious anti-soiling performance for photovoltaic modules.

Desert regions have strong solar radiation, but dust deposition reduces the photoelectric conversion efficiency of photovoltaic module by forming a shadow on the panel. Image source: Thomas Jansa - AdobeStock (symbol image).

Dust deposition on photovoltaic (PV) modules obviously affects power generation efficiency. In order to solve this problem, a fluorinated hydroxyacrylate emulsion (FHA)/SiO2 nanoparticles coating with superhydrophobic (SH) surface and visible light transmittance greater than 93 % has been prepared. A silica sol obtained by hydrolysis of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) is used to cross-link FHA chains, resulting in a significant increase in the SH stability of the SH coating. An FHA hydrophobic coating with smooth surface was also prepared as a control sample. Both anti-soiling and dust removal performances of these two types of coatings were studied.

Excellent self-cleaning properties

The results show that both the hydrophobic coating and the SH coating have better anti-soiling and dust removal performances compared with bare glass. Among them, the SH coating exhibits better performance. The SH coating loses its SH property after being placed outdoors due to dust deposition. However, washing with water can remove most of the dust and restore its SH property. Moreover, the SH coating shows excellent self-cleaning properties when placed outdoors under low precipitation or light rain. In addition, the SH coating also shows good resistance to the impact of sand and water drops.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 183, October 2023.

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