One issue with practical photovoltaic (PV) implementations and with solar energy related applications in general is a need to clean the energy collecting optical surfaces. Case by case, cleaning needs to be carried out more or less often. For example, to have continued good performance in the PV farms the cleaning needs regular attention to avoid degradation of the production revenues. Optimization of cleaning frequency is another topic, but it’s known that there can be seasonal changes in optimal frequency. Also, the cleaning can be expensive, but the production losses due to dirty surfaces could overtake the cost of cleaning in a relatively short time too. The need for cleaning the surfaces is present also in other solar energy applications. The industrial actors are looking for anti soiling solutions that help keeping the surfaces clean and the production revenues high while minimizing the need to clean surfaces manually.
Plant leafs are hydrophobic and this is thought to help plants to keep clean and making plants self cleaning. Self cleaning is assumed to be one favorable feature that has “won” in the course of the evolution of plants.
Our bio mimicking surfaces inherit the hydrophobic feature by default. We’re looking into more details of this feature since we believe that the hydrophobic feature gives additional advantage in production revenue optimization and cleaning of the surfaces. The hydrophobic feature can play in favor of the bio mimicked surface products that WMZ-NanoSurfaces is developing.
(Images: WMZ-NanoSurfaces Ltd.)