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Home > News > Self-cleaning solar panels could find use in the dusty environs of Arizona, the Middle East or Mars

August 23rd, 2010

Self-cleaning solar panels could find use in the dusty environs of Arizona, the Middle East or Mars

Abstract:
The best places to collect solar energy are also some of the dustiest on Earth and beyond, a quandary that leads to inefficiencies in how well the cells are able to convert strong sunlight into renewable electricity. The solution, according to new research, is to coat solar cells with material that enables them to chase away dirt particles on their own with the help of dust-repelling electrical charges.

Several other approaches rely on nanotechnology. U.K.-based glass manufacturer Pilkington has since 2001 sold its ActivGlass, which features a nanocoating of transparent titania. And Michael Rubner and Robert Cohen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) are working with industrial partners to commercialize glass surfaces (mirrors and windshields, in particular) coated with nanoparticles that resist fogging.

Source:
scientificamerican.com

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