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Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3937;

A Review of Conventional and Innovative- Sustainable Methods for Cleaning Reflectors in Concentrating Solar Power Plants

R&D Department, Masen, Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy, N° 50 Rocade Sud, Rabat-Casablanca, Rabat, 10 000, Morocco
CIEMAT—PSA, Ctra. Senés Km. 4, P.O. Box 22, 04200 Tabernas, Almería, Spain
Precision Engineering Institute, School of Applied Sciences, Cranfield University, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK
Fundación IK4, Avda. Otaola 20, 20600 Eibar, Spain
DLR German Aerospace Center, Solar Research, Plataforma Solar de Almería, 04200 Tabernas, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 23 October 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 29 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Mediterranean Climate)
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The severe soiling of reflectors deployed in arid and semi arid locations decreases their reflectance and drives down the yield of the concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. To alleviate this issue, various sets of methods are available. The operation and maintenance (O&M) staff should opt for sustainable cleaning methods that are safe and environmentally friendly. To restore high reflectance, the cleaning vehicles of CSP plants must adapt to the constraints of each technology and to the layout of reflectors in the solar field. Water based methods are currently the most commonly used in CSP plants but they are not sustainable due to water scarcity and high soiling rates. The recovery and reuse of washing water can compensate for these methods and make them a more reasonable option for mediterranean and desert environments. Dry methods, on the other hand, are gaining more attraction as they are more suitable for desert regions. Some of these methods rely on ultrasonic wave or vibration for detaching the dust bonding from the reflectors surface, while other methods, known as preventive methods, focus on reducing the soiling by modifying the reflectors surface and incorporating self cleaning features using special coatings. Since the CSP plants operators aim to achieve the highest profit by minimizing the cost of cleaning while maintaining a high reflectance, optimizing the cleaning parameters and strategies is of great interest. This work presents the conventional water-based methods that are currently used in CSP plants in addition to sustainable alternative methods for dust removal and soiling prevention. Also, the cleaning effectiveness, the environmental impacts and the economic aspects of each technology are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable cleaning; CSP reflectors; soiling; dust removal; mirror washing sustainable cleaning; CSP reflectors; soiling; dust removal; mirror washing

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bouaddi, S.; Fernández-García, A.; Sansom, C.; Sarasua, J.A.; Wolfertstetter, F.; Bouzekri, H.; Sutter, F.; Azpitarte, I. A Review of Conventional and Innovative- Sustainable Methods for Cleaning Reflectors in Concentrating Solar Power Plants. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3937.

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