Skip to Main Content

Latest News

Advertise Here
August 30, 2010
Volume 88, Number 35
p. 24
DOI: 10.1021/CEN082310150422

Self-Cleaning Solar Panels

ACS Meeting News: Collected dust particles that block sunlight can be shaken off with a jolt of electricity

Elizabeth K. Wilson

U.S. Air Force
  • Print this article
  • Email the editor

Latest News

October 28, 2011

Speedy Homemade-Explosive Detector

Forensic Chemistry: A new method could increase the number of explosives detected by airport screeners.

Solar Panel Makers Cry Foul

Trade: U.S. companies complain of market dumping by China.

Novartis To Cut 2,000 Jobs

Layoffs follow similar moves by Amgen, AstraZeneca.

Nations Break Impasse On Waste

Environment: Ban to halt export of hazardous waste to developing world.

New Leader For Lawrence Livermore

Penrose (Parney) Albright will direct DOE national lab.

Hair Reveals Source Of People's Exposure To Mercury

Toxic Exposure: Mercury isotopes in human hair illuminate dietary and industrial sources.

Why The Long Fat?

Cancer Biochemistry: Mass spectrometry follows the metabolism of very long fatty acids in cancer cells.

Text Size A A

Dust particles that collect on solar panels and block sunlight can be shaken off with a jolt of electricity—a technique that could help keep the panels operating efficiently. Malay K. Mazumder of Boston University described a “self-cleaning” technology for solar panels, which he and his colleagues originally developed for solar panels on spacecraft. The panels are covered with a transparent screen impregnated with transparent indium tin oxide electrodes. Pulses of electricity sent through the electrodes generate waves of electrostatic and dielectrophoretic forces that literally shake both charged and uncharged dust particles off to the sides of the panels. Mazumder cited experiments showing that 4 g of dust on a 1-m2 panel reduces solar power conversion by 40%. In desert regions such as those of Arizona, Australia, and India, where large-scale solar panels are common, the dust problem can be even worse. With the Boston group’s technology, a solar panel could dust itself off in two minutes using less than 10 W/m2, which is only a small amount of the power generated by the panels, Mazumder said.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
  • Print this article
  • Email the editor

Services & Tools

ACS Resources

ACS is the leading employment source for recruiting scientific professionals. ACS Careers and C&EN Classifieds provide employers direct access to scientific talent both in print and online. Jobseekers | Employers

» Join ACS

Join more than 161,000 professionals in the chemical sciences world-wide, as a member of the American Chemical Society.
» Join Now!