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Article

Photovoltaic Cleaning Optimization: A Simplified Theoretical Approach for Air to Water Generator (AWG) System Employment

1
SEAS SA, Société de l’Eau Aérienne Suisse, Technical Office, Via dell’Industria 13/A, 6826 Riva San Vitale, Switzerland
2
Freelancer Engineer and Developer, Via Piermarini 4/L, 26900 Lodi, Italy
3
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luis Hernández-Callejo
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4271; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144271
Received: 28 May 2021 / Revised: 7 July 2021 / Accepted: 9 July 2021 / Published: 14 July 2021
Photovoltaic panel efficiency can be heavily affected by soiling, due to dust and other airborne particles, which can determine up to 50% of energy production loss. Generally, it is possible to reduce that impact by means of periodic cleaning, and one of the most efficient cleaning solutions is the use of demineralized water. As pauperization of traditional water sources is increasing, new technologies have been developed to obtain the needed water amount. Water extracted from the air using air to water generator (AWG) technology appears to be particularly suitable for panel cleaning, but its effective employment presents issues related to model selection, determining system size, and energy efficiency. To overcome such issues, the authors proposed a method to choose an AWG system for panel cleaning and to determine its size accordingly, based on a cleaning time optimization procedure and tailored to AWG peculiarities, with an aim to maximize energy production. In order to determine the energy loss due to soiling, a simplified semiempirical model (i.e., the DIrt method) was developed as well. The methodology, which also allows for energy saving due to an optimal cleaning frequency, was applied to a case study. The results show that the choice of the most suitable AWG model could prevent 83% of energy loss related to soling. These methods are the first example of a design tool for panel cleaning planning involving AWG technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: atmospheric water condensation; air water generator; photovoltaic cleaning; panel cleaning optimization atmospheric water condensation; air water generator; photovoltaic cleaning; panel cleaning optimization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cattani, L.; Cattani, P.; Magrini, A. Photovoltaic Cleaning Optimization: A Simplified Theoretical Approach for Air to Water Generator (AWG) System Employment. Energies 2021, 14, 4271. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144271

AMA Style

Cattani L, Cattani P, Magrini A. Photovoltaic Cleaning Optimization: A Simplified Theoretical Approach for Air to Water Generator (AWG) System Employment. Energies. 2021; 14(14):4271. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144271

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cattani, Lucia, Paolo Cattani, and Anna Magrini. 2021. "Photovoltaic Cleaning Optimization: A Simplified Theoretical Approach for Air to Water Generator (AWG) System Employment" Energies 14, no. 14: 4271. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144271

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