Novel protection film for photovoltaic panels

Researchers present a novel transparent superhydrophobic film with excellent self-cleaning and UV resistance for photovoltaic panels.

the accumulation of contaminants on the surface of PV panels inevitably results in a deterioration in power generation efficiency, and prolonged contaminant accumulation may even lead to damage to PV modules. Image source: mrganso - Pixabay (symbol image).

Photovoltaic (PV) energy as a sustainable environmental-friendly power source is expected to solve the issues of resource scarcity and environment deterioration, but the accumulation of contaminants on surface and the degradation of internal materials induced by ultraviolet (UV) severely affect the power generation efficiency and service life of PV modules. Researchers have now presented a transparent superhydrophobic UV resistant film (TSURF) fabricated via lamination and CHF3 gas etching. The TSURF can withstands external damages and chemical environments and still maintain superhydrophobic after >10,000 wet abrasions by using different surface tension liquids and surfactants.

Increased power generation efficiency

Benefitting from the high UV reduction (99.5 %) and the excellent mechanochemical durability as well as extraordinary weatherability of the TSURF, the annual power generation efficiency of the TSURF covered PV panel increases by 66.89 % higher than that of pristine PV panel. Although the size of TSURF film may be constrained by etching machine, this work is expected to solve the problem of low efficiency in the long-term use of renewable energy PV panels.

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

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