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Energies 2016, 9(12), 1006;

Soiling and Cleaning of Polymer Film Solar Reflectors

Global CSP Laboratory, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
Plataforma Solar de Almeria (PSA), Senes Road, Km. 4.5, P.O. Box 22, E04200 Tabernas, Almería, Spain
Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institute of Solar Research, PSA, Senes Road, Km. 4.5, P.O. Box 44, E04200 Tabernas, Almería, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francisco Manzano Agugliaro
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Generation of Renewable Energy and Sustainable Cities)
Full-Text   |   PDF [13947 KB, uploaded 29 November 2016]   |  


This paper describes the accelerated ageing of commercially available silvered polymer film by contact cleaning using brushes and water in the presence of soiling created by dust and sand particles. These conditions represent cleaning regimes in real concentrating solar power (CSP) solar fields in arid environments, where contact cleaning using brushes and water is often required to clean the reflecting surfaces. Whilst suitable for glass reflectors, this paper discusses the effects of these established cleaning processes on the optical and visual characteristics of polymer film surfaces, and then describes the development of a more benign but effective contact cleaning process for cleaning polymer reflectors. The effects of a range of cleaning brushes are discussed, with and without the presence of water, in the presence of sand and dust particles from selected representative locations. The experiments were repeated using different experimental equipment at Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) in Spain and Cranfield University in the UK. The results highlight differences that are attributable to the experimental methods used. Reflectance measurements and visual inspection show that a soft cleaning brush with a small amount of water, used in a cleaning head with both linear and rotational motion, can clean polymer film reflecting surfaces without inflicting surface damage or reducing specular reflectance. View Full-Text
Keywords: concentrating solar power (CSP); solar collector; reflectance; soiling; polymer film; mirror cleaning concentrating solar power (CSP); solar collector; reflectance; soiling; polymer film; mirror cleaning

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Sansom, C.; Fernández-García, A.; Sutter, F.; Almond, H.; King, P.; Martínez-Arcos, L. Soiling and Cleaning of Polymer Film Solar Reflectors. Energies 2016, 9, 1006.

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