Measuring the dust adhesion on sun reflecting mirrors

Researchers have assessed the dust adhesion forces on hydrophilic and hydrophobic glasses at two representative solar power sites in Morocco.

A solar power plant with reflecting mirrors.
Concentrated solar power systems generate solar power by using mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight into a receiver.  Image source: fabersam - Pixabay (symbol image).

Many sites with high solar radiation like the MENA region face high dust loads that reduce the efficiency generation of solar plants. In this context, a new paper provides an overview of dust adhesion mechanism on the surfaces of concentrated solar power (CSP) mirrors. The assessment of dust adhesion was performed on the hydrophilic/hydrophobic glasses at two representative CSP locations in Morocco (Ouarzazate and Midelt).

Adhesion forces on the surfaces of CSP mirrors

Two types of reflecting mirrors were examined. The first one is based on superhydrophilic TiO2 protective coating, and the second one is the reflector mirror based on hydrophobic Al2O3 protective coating. The research showed that for particle radius of 2 µm, the Van der Waals force dominates for hydrophobic coating for Midelt with high humidity. In contrast, the capillary forces are prominent on the superhydrophilic TiO2 coating for Ouarzazate with low humidity. The results show good agreement with the X-ray diffraction results. According to the authors of the study, their work provides a facile method for the calculus of adhesion forces on the surfaces of CSP mirrors and as result helps us to select the best types of anti-soiling coating for reflector mirrors.

The study has been published in Journal of Coatings Technology and Research, Volume 20, Issue 1, January 2023.

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