Solar farms with photovoltaic cells require regular cleaning to maintain the efficiency of the solar power plant. Most such power plants are located in dry areas as they can get maximum sun light without reduction in performance due to clouds. This makes the area arid and high level of dust in the atmosphere. Most of the solar photo voltaic installations use manual labour to clean the dust accumulated over the panels.
Cleaning equipment for photo voltaic cells like other cleaning equipment can also be categorised in various types :
Categorisation based on contruction :
Categorisation based on washing technology used :
Photovoltaic Cell mounted equipment
Photo voltaic cell mounted equipment are mounted on one row of panels which regularly clean the panels. This is suitable only for small installations and is not economical for larger installations. This mostly used brush washing technology.
Truck Mounted Equipment
This type of equipment is mounted behind a truck and has an excavator type arrangement. The arm rotates and lowers towards the panels and cleans the panels. This type of system is suitable for washing large solar photovoltaic installations and is mobile from one place to another. The only limitation is that the array of panels need to be distant apart to allow safe movement of vehicle within the installation. This type can use both brush and high pressure for cleaning.
Trolley Type of System
The trolley type photo voltaic cleaning system is a trolley which can move on irregular surfaces. The equipment moves over the PV installation and thereby does not require more track width. The trolley can move sideways also eliminating the distance required for turning radius required within the plant.