Design and implementation of an automated self-cleaning solar panel. The panel detects the presence of an obstruction shading a cell, and actuates a cleaning mechanism that cleans off the obstruction and, therefore, restores the panel to normal capacity. To power the cleaning mechanism, a power supply which is supplied by a 12V battery was built. When required, this battery is charged by solar power when the cleaning mechanism is idle. Routine solar cleaning was time based, thanks to an interfaced real-time clock module. The control mechanism triggered remotely using an RF remote control module operating at a short range distance. To power the cleaning mechanism, a power supply with capacity to regulate 5V from 12V battery was built. When required, this battery will be charged by solar power when the cleaning mechanism is idle. The fully assembled system was able to detect a shaded cell from debris. Furthermore, it initiated the wiper motion down and up the panel to clear the debris. Also, the system maintained the battery charged when there was no cleaning and sufficient power was available. More importantly, the project decreased the daily energy lost compared to the case where the PV panel was left shaded for an entire day. In order to determine energy savings, the PV Panel was placed under a solar test bed under identical conditions to test the energy loss from one half shaded cell. The losses due to shading alone was determined by taking the difference between the maximum power of the unshaded PV Panel and the maximum power of with one PV cell half shaded. The power losses of the entire Automated Self-Cleaning Solar Panel was also measured. Energy loss was normalized for one day of operation with one cleaning cycle.
Keywords: Solar panel, PV panel and Power generation
HOW TO CITE
Edwin Aryamanya, Kalyankolo Umar and Kalyankolo Zaina (2022). Efficiency Improvement in Solar Power Generation. IDOSR JOURNAL OF COMPUTER AND APPLIED SCIENCES 7(1):61-79.