Making Solar Panels Efficient with Heavy-duty Coatings
Keeping solar panels efficient and clean requires around-the-clock maintenance. This is not an issue for easy to get to fixtures such as: solar spotlights but it can be a problem for systems installed on roofs, poles and other elevated positions. Moreover, the process can be risky during crippling weather, such as blizzards and hurricanes.
A solution to such concerns involves the application of different types of coatings on the panels. Read on to learn more about various protective coatings for PV systems.
One of the most common coatings for solar panels is high-quality glass. The main benefits of glass coatings include the following properties: waterproof, anti-reflective and streamlined cleaning. Installations in cold-climate regions frequently plagued by snow may deter the presence of ice with this type of coating.
During operation, a glass coating can boost output, due to the reduction of reflectiveness. Glare is also decreased when a glass coating is present on the PV panels. From a cost perspective, manufacturers can use traditional fabrication methods to create this type of coating.
For addressing energy efficiency challenges, a mineral coating is typically applied on solar panels. Specifically, a layer of perovskite can be utilized to improve energy generation rates by a whopping 20 percent. This type of PV coating also offers other advantages, such as its lightweight properties.
Perovskite was discovered by Lev Perovski, founder and active member of the Russian Geographical Society. This type of mineral (note, not structure) consists of titanium, calcium and oxygen.
Because of perovskite’s promising benefits for solar panels, the mineral can be found in third-generation solar panels. Other types of solar panels in this category include quantum dot PV panels and organic PV panels.
Compared to glass coatings, perovskite is more costly to process and commercialize. When it comes to lifespan, mineral coatings are prone to rapid deterioration during exposure to moisture. Hence, the panels must be fully sealed.