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Dust accumulation on solar panels is an issue in areas with high wind. Dirt particles accumulate on the panels and prevent them from working efficiently. Scientists are studying methods to remove the dust in an efficient manner, and are drawing inspiration from the lotus leaf. Water smoothly rolls off of the leaf, and the researchers are attempting to replicate the particle design with silicon substrate. The self-cleaning power is not only due to lack of friction, but accentuating the power of particles that detach the water and debris.

Key Takeaways:

  • New procedure based on leaf biology is able to reduce dust accumulation on solar panels by 98%
  • The lotus leaf is able to shed dust due to it’s intricate nano texture. The same design can be replicated in artificial technology
  • Researchers modified a silicon substrate used for making solar panels to mimic the hydrophobic abilities of the leaf. The effect is self-cleaning

“Dust adhesion on solar panels is a major challenge to energy harvesting through photovoltaic cells and solar thermal collectors.”

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