Development of a Mechanical Cleaning Machine for Photovoltaic Arrays Surface

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Dept of Biosystems Engineering, School of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman,, Kerman, Iran

2 Dept. of Biosystems Engineering, School of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

3 Dept. of Biosystems Engineering, School of Agriculture,, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


Dust deposition on the photovoltaic (PV) arrays surface may cause physical damages, weakens the sun's radiation, and increases the panel temperature that results in the reduction of the electrical efficiency of the panel. PV array cleaning is engaged with issues such as water and energy consumption, and long operating time. An efficient mechanical cleaner improves the cleaning operations compared to the manual operation. In this study, development of a mechanical cleaning machine for photovoltaic arrays surface was carried out. The machine was evaluated using two factors including: the equivalent speed ratio of the brush to the cleaning platform, and the type of detergent at three levels, respectively. The tests were arranged at completely randomized design with three replications. The results showed that the effect of equivalent speed ratio of the brush to the cleaning platform on dust removal was significant (p < 0.05). Also, the effect of all studied factors on output power was significant (p < 0.05). It was revealed that the cleaning machine can increase the amount of power in each 280-Watt panel by up to 40 Watt and the efficiency up to 4%.


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