Solar Energy is a great source of renewable power. However, harnessing this power requires constant maintenance, since even a thin layer of dust can reduce the efficiency of these panels by a large amount.
While keeping Solar Panels clean is not a tough job, it can however become exhausting when you have to do it on a daily basis on large scale solar farms.
Now, researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology and the Humboldt University in Berlin have created a way of automating this process by giving solar panels the ability to shake off any dust that settled on them, without using any electricity.
This amazing ability comes in the form of a thin polymer film that oscillates when exposed to sunlight. What this means is that when exposed to light, the material bends and stretches on it’s own.
This ability to move comes with the help of light-sensitive molecules known as Azo-Dyes. While we don’t know for sure exactly how this process works, but it is nevertheless a great innovation in the field of solar energy.
It is important to note, that while materials that move in response to light have been created before, they’ve still been inefficient as they required high-intensity ultraviolet light.
On the other hand, this new material needs nothing more than natural daylight. Once this technology is developed further, we can expect it to cut down on the maintenance cost of Solar Power Plants considerably.