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Title: Enhancement of Optical Efficiency of CSP Mirrors for Reducing O&M Cost via Near-Continuous Operation of Self-Cleaning Electrodynamic Screens (EDS). Final Report

Abstract

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Over the past decade, techno-economical advancements in solar energy systems, particularly the improvement in the conversion efficiency of PV modules made with mono-crystalline silicon solar cells from 12% to 20%, as well as the cost reduction in manufacturing by a factor of about 10%, have made it possible to achieve a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) in PV plants that is comparable to, or less than, the cost of deriving electricity from fossil fuels. Operating PV plants in mid-latitude sun-belt regions, where the solar irradiance level is highest, provides a high annual energy-yield (kWh/kWp) due to two factors: (1) the availability of predictable high solar irradiance throughout the year with the fewest interruptions in solar flux from clouds and rain, and (2) the increased conversion efficiency of crystalline solar cells, as recombination loss has decreased with increased intensity of the sunlight that illuminates the silicon solar cells. Semi-arid and desert regions, however, are plagued by high atmospheric dust concentrations and frequent sand storms. The deposition of a layer of dust on the optical surfaces of solar collectors such as PV modules and concentrating mirrors reduces the transmission efficiency of sunlight that actually reaches the solar cells or receivers,more » resulting in high energy-yield soiling loss. There are two major cost components to operating a solar plant: (1) installation costs, and (2) operation-and-maintenance (O&M) costs. There is no fuel cost; hence operating a solar plant in a semi-arid or desert region provides high returns on investment if soiling losses are mitigated via efficient cleaning methods and optimized cleaning frequency. If solar collectors are not cleaned, the accumulation of dust layers on solar collectors may cause the operation of such plants in arid regions to become economically unviable. Washing solar collectors with water and detergent, as is most commonly done now, is an efficient method for cleaning. The conventional approach in utility-scale solar plants is to use a large truck with a water tank and pump system for spraying deionized water on the surface of the solar collectors. Robotic cleaning with brushes, used for many solar plants, requires lesser water for cleaning. The water consumed using semi-automated cleaning of PV modules in utility-scale solar plants is approximately 2 liters/m 2 per cleaning cycle. The total optical surface area of the solar collectors in 1 TW-scale solar installation will be more than 3 × 109 m 2; hence an enormous amount of water be needed for cleaning. There simply is not enough fresh water in the sun-belt areas of the world for predicted cleaning needs. In solar power plants, the estimated cost of cleaning solar collectors includes expenses related to the equipment used, labor, cost of transportation of water, the energy required for cleaning, plus ancillary costs whereas the cost of water is not considered. The water used is obtained from sources located close to plant sites, unmindful of the environmental and societal impact as the power plants are oftentimes located in regions that face severe drought. This practice is very similar to the cost calculations in deriving the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) in conventional power plants based on burning fossil fuel such as coal and gas, while disregarding the cost of climate change and health effects. Unless a water-free or low-water cleaning method is established, the expansion of solar plants may lose public support in areas suffering long intervals of drought. The goal of this research project has been the development and application of the Electrodynamic Screen (EDS) as a means for a water-free, scalable cleaning process applicable to solar-power installations, including rooftop applications. We describe here the development of an EDS film-based cleaning process as an emerging method for use on PV modules, parabolic troughs, and heliostats. This report aims to show the feasibility of integrating or retrofitting EDS films onto the optical surfaces of solar collectors (both PV and CSP) while maintaining high transmission or reflection efficiency. The cleaning action provided by the EDS film is an active method to remove dust deposits by electrodynamic force. Current lab-scale prototype EDS films, retrofitted onto solar panels and mirrors, have shown to be capable of maintaining optical transmission or specular-reflection efficiencies higher than 90% of initial values under clean conditions. The optical surfaces of solar collectors laminated with EDS films can remove more than 90% of deposited dust when the EDS is activated for less than two minutes. As an electrodynamic dust removal process, the EDS film-based method is designed primarily for the removal of dust in solar installations located in semi-arid and desert areas, where the atmosphere is often dry and dusty and rainfall is infrequent. While EDS film application minimizes water consumption and facilitates cleaning as frequently as needed, it has limitations in removing contaminants such as soot, organic pollutants deposited as fine films on the surface, and bird droppings. The dust removal efficiency of the EDS is maximum at relative humidity RH is 40 to 50% and decreases at when RH > 65%. Many solar plant sites undergo diurnal and seasonal cycles of high ambient, early afternoon temperatures and an RH that reaches the dew point early in the morning. These variations in atmospheric conditions do not limit the operation of the EDS film. This report presents a brief review of the progress and the potential of EDS film technology for mitigating the impact of dust on solar collectors via water-free cleaning, as well as current technical challenges regarding efficiency and durability. Our experimental data on the performance of EDS films show that: (1) the dust-removal efficiency (DRE) can reach levels higher than 90%, (2) the specular reflectivity (SR) of EDS film-laminated second-surface mirrors reach levels in excess of 90%, (3) the specular reflectivity restoration (SRR) can exceed 90%, (4) the output-power restoration (OPR) of PV modules can exceed 95%, and (5) the optical transmission efficiency (TE) of the EDS films can be greater than 90%. Working with Sandia National Laboratories (NM), Corning Research and Development Corporation (NY), Eastman Kodak (NY), Tomark-Worthen Industries (NH), and EDS Chile SPA (Chile), we have produced EDS film-laminated PV modules and demonstrated their self-cleaning functions without requiring water. We have demonstrated that the operational range of EDS films will cover the expected ambient temperature of solar fields at RH cycling varying from 20 to 95% as long as the EDS films are activated in the RH range 20 to 50%. (Typical solar-field climates in deserts and semi-arid lands often reach near dew point in coastal areas.) Our experiments on the application of hydrophobic-fluorinated nanoparticle coatings on EDS film surfaces show that the EDS operational range can be extended to higher RH levels that approach the dew point. At Eastman Kodak, as one of our industrial partners, we were able to establish a process for manufacturing EDS films using flexographic printing of the electrodes onto transparent polymer films. This process utilizes an existing manufacturing line at Eastman Kodak that allows fabrication of medium-scale EDS films (26 cm × 30 cm). The manufacturing process has the capacity to produce EDS films at high production speeds. The medium-scale EDS films that have been printed at Kodak were evaluated in the lab at Boston University. The EDS films produced at Kodak were laminated at Tomark-Worthen using an industrial scale vacuum laminator to produce EDS film stacks, which can be affixed onto the optical surfaces of PV modules or concentrating mirrors. The EDS film stack consists of the EDS films that have Willow® Glass (WG) which has a thickness of 100 μm as the front surface. The WG sheets obtained from Corning Research and Development Corporation are customized in size and shape to cover the active area of the EDS films. The back surface of the EDS film stack is integrated onto the optical surface of the solar panel or mirror using optically clear adhesive (OCA) films or silicone adhesives. The OCA films (thickness 25 μm) are produced by 3M. The EDS film stacks have the architecture: WG/OCA/EDS Film/OCA/ over PV module or solar mirror. The power-supply units needed for activating the electrodes of the EDS film were designed and produced at Boston University. These power supply units provide three-phase, 1.2 kV voltage pulses at a very low current (micro-ampere) level and at a low frequency (≈ 5 Hz). The voltage pulses are applied to the electrodes in a sequence such that the train of pulses resembles a unidirectional traveling wave of electrical field on the surface of the EDS film. The dust particles on the surface become charged electrostatically and are levitated by the Coulomb force. The lateral sweeping action of the traveling electric field created by the three-phase voltages pulses then sweeps the dust off the surface. The energy consumed by the EDS electrodes is less than 0.2 Wh/m 2/cleaning cycle, enabling energy-efficient restoration of output power (OPR) of PV module or specular reflectivity restoration (SRR) for solar mirrors. The EDS system consists of (1) an EDS film stack laminated onto the solar collectors, (2) connection of the EDS film to its power supply unit and (3) Interconnection of the power supply to PV modules or solar mirrors. Design, construction and assessment of field-testing units that have EDS stack laminated PV modules for evaluating the performance of the EDS films in solar fields is being carried out at BU. Our progress under this project, aimed at the advancement of EDS film technology, has reached DOE Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6. Based on the extensive laboratory evaluations and limited field trials, as well as contacts with potential users, we believe that the technology has reached its commercial stage. We are conducting a cost analysis using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) System Advisory Model (SAM) and are preparing for field trials of EDS films in different solar fields in the US, Chile, India and in the Middle East. A brief description of EDS film performance, construction and testing of the field-test unit, autonomous operation of the field-test unit for evaluating EDS performance in increasing energy yield, associated revenue savings, and water conservation is presented.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [4];  [1]
  1. Boston University
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  3. Eastman Kodak; Eastman Kodak
  4. Corning Research & Development Corporation
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Boston University
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE EERE SETP CSP Research and Development
Contributing Org.:
Eastman Kodak Corning Research and Development Corporation Sandia National Laboratories EDS Chile SpA Tomark-Worthen Industries
OSTI Identifier:
1644255
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0007119
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: N/A
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; Concentrated Solar Power Systems Self-cleaning solar mirrors Electrodynamic Screen (EDS) films

Citation Formats

Mazumder, Malay K, Horenstein, Mark N, Joglekar, Nitin, Yellowhair, Julius, Ellinger, Carolyn, Eriksen, Ryan, Garner, Sean, and Bernard, Annie Rabi. Enhancement of Optical Efficiency of CSP Mirrors for Reducing O&M Cost via Near-Continuous Operation of Self-Cleaning Electrodynamic Screens (EDS). Final Report. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.2172/1644255.
Mazumder, Malay K, Horenstein, Mark N, Joglekar, Nitin, Yellowhair, Julius, Ellinger, Carolyn, Eriksen, Ryan, Garner, Sean, & Bernard, Annie Rabi. Enhancement of Optical Efficiency of CSP Mirrors for Reducing O&M Cost via Near-Continuous Operation of Self-Cleaning Electrodynamic Screens (EDS). Final Report. United States. doi:10.2172/1644255.
Mazumder, Malay K, Horenstein, Mark N, Joglekar, Nitin, Yellowhair, Julius, Ellinger, Carolyn, Eriksen, Ryan, Garner, Sean, and Bernard, Annie Rabi. Mon . "Enhancement of Optical Efficiency of CSP Mirrors for Reducing O&M Cost via Near-Continuous Operation of Self-Cleaning Electrodynamic Screens (EDS). Final Report". United States. doi:10.2172/1644255. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1644255.
@article{osti_1644255,
title = {Enhancement of Optical Efficiency of CSP Mirrors for Reducing O&M Cost via Near-Continuous Operation of Self-Cleaning Electrodynamic Screens (EDS). Final Report},
author = {Mazumder, Malay K and Horenstein, Mark N and Joglekar, Nitin and Yellowhair, Julius and Ellinger, Carolyn and Eriksen, Ryan and Garner, Sean and Bernard, Annie Rabi},
abstractNote = {EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Over the past decade, techno-economical advancements in solar energy systems, particularly the improvement in the conversion efficiency of PV modules made with mono-crystalline silicon solar cells from 12% to 20%, as well as the cost reduction in manufacturing by a factor of about 10%, have made it possible to achieve a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) in PV plants that is comparable to, or less than, the cost of deriving electricity from fossil fuels. Operating PV plants in mid-latitude sun-belt regions, where the solar irradiance level is highest, provides a high annual energy-yield (kWh/kWp) due to two factors: (1) the availability of predictable high solar irradiance throughout the year with the fewest interruptions in solar flux from clouds and rain, and (2) the increased conversion efficiency of crystalline solar cells, as recombination loss has decreased with increased intensity of the sunlight that illuminates the silicon solar cells. Semi-arid and desert regions, however, are plagued by high atmospheric dust concentrations and frequent sand storms. The deposition of a layer of dust on the optical surfaces of solar collectors such as PV modules and concentrating mirrors reduces the transmission efficiency of sunlight that actually reaches the solar cells or receivers, resulting in high energy-yield soiling loss. There are two major cost components to operating a solar plant: (1) installation costs, and (2) operation-and-maintenance (O&M) costs. There is no fuel cost; hence operating a solar plant in a semi-arid or desert region provides high returns on investment if soiling losses are mitigated via efficient cleaning methods and optimized cleaning frequency. If solar collectors are not cleaned, the accumulation of dust layers on solar collectors may cause the operation of such plants in arid regions to become economically unviable. Washing solar collectors with water and detergent, as is most commonly done now, is an efficient method for cleaning. The conventional approach in utility-scale solar plants is to use a large truck with a water tank and pump system for spraying deionized water on the surface of the solar collectors. Robotic cleaning with brushes, used for many solar plants, requires lesser water for cleaning. The water consumed using semi-automated cleaning of PV modules in utility-scale solar plants is approximately 2 liters/m2 per cleaning cycle. The total optical surface area of the solar collectors in 1 TW-scale solar installation will be more than 3 × 109 m2; hence an enormous amount of water be needed for cleaning. There simply is not enough fresh water in the sun-belt areas of the world for predicted cleaning needs. In solar power plants, the estimated cost of cleaning solar collectors includes expenses related to the equipment used, labor, cost of transportation of water, the energy required for cleaning, plus ancillary costs whereas the cost of water is not considered. The water used is obtained from sources located close to plant sites, unmindful of the environmental and societal impact as the power plants are oftentimes located in regions that face severe drought. This practice is very similar to the cost calculations in deriving the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) in conventional power plants based on burning fossil fuel such as coal and gas, while disregarding the cost of climate change and health effects. Unless a water-free or low-water cleaning method is established, the expansion of solar plants may lose public support in areas suffering long intervals of drought. The goal of this research project has been the development and application of the Electrodynamic Screen (EDS) as a means for a water-free, scalable cleaning process applicable to solar-power installations, including rooftop applications. We describe here the development of an EDS film-based cleaning process as an emerging method for use on PV modules, parabolic troughs, and heliostats. This report aims to show the feasibility of integrating or retrofitting EDS films onto the optical surfaces of solar collectors (both PV and CSP) while maintaining high transmission or reflection efficiency. The cleaning action provided by the EDS film is an active method to remove dust deposits by electrodynamic force. Current lab-scale prototype EDS films, retrofitted onto solar panels and mirrors, have shown to be capable of maintaining optical transmission or specular-reflection efficiencies higher than 90% of initial values under clean conditions. The optical surfaces of solar collectors laminated with EDS films can remove more than 90% of deposited dust when the EDS is activated for less than two minutes. As an electrodynamic dust removal process, the EDS film-based method is designed primarily for the removal of dust in solar installations located in semi-arid and desert areas, where the atmosphere is often dry and dusty and rainfall is infrequent. While EDS film application minimizes water consumption and facilitates cleaning as frequently as needed, it has limitations in removing contaminants such as soot, organic pollutants deposited as fine films on the surface, and bird droppings. The dust removal efficiency of the EDS is maximum at relative humidity RH is 40 to 50% and decreases at when RH > 65%. Many solar plant sites undergo diurnal and seasonal cycles of high ambient, early afternoon temperatures and an RH that reaches the dew point early in the morning. These variations in atmospheric conditions do not limit the operation of the EDS film. This report presents a brief review of the progress and the potential of EDS film technology for mitigating the impact of dust on solar collectors via water-free cleaning, as well as current technical challenges regarding efficiency and durability. Our experimental data on the performance of EDS films show that: (1) the dust-removal efficiency (DRE) can reach levels higher than 90%, (2) the specular reflectivity (SR) of EDS film-laminated second-surface mirrors reach levels in excess of 90%, (3) the specular reflectivity restoration (SRR) can exceed 90%, (4) the output-power restoration (OPR) of PV modules can exceed 95%, and (5) the optical transmission efficiency (TE) of the EDS films can be greater than 90%. Working with Sandia National Laboratories (NM), Corning Research and Development Corporation (NY), Eastman Kodak (NY), Tomark-Worthen Industries (NH), and EDS Chile SPA (Chile), we have produced EDS film-laminated PV modules and demonstrated their self-cleaning functions without requiring water. We have demonstrated that the operational range of EDS films will cover the expected ambient temperature of solar fields at RH cycling varying from 20 to 95% as long as the EDS films are activated in the RH range 20 to 50%. (Typical solar-field climates in deserts and semi-arid lands often reach near dew point in coastal areas.) Our experiments on the application of hydrophobic-fluorinated nanoparticle coatings on EDS film surfaces show that the EDS operational range can be extended to higher RH levels that approach the dew point. At Eastman Kodak, as one of our industrial partners, we were able to establish a process for manufacturing EDS films using flexographic printing of the electrodes onto transparent polymer films. This process utilizes an existing manufacturing line at Eastman Kodak that allows fabrication of medium-scale EDS films (26 cm × 30 cm). The manufacturing process has the capacity to produce EDS films at high production speeds. The medium-scale EDS films that have been printed at Kodak were evaluated in the lab at Boston University. The EDS films produced at Kodak were laminated at Tomark-Worthen using an industrial scale vacuum laminator to produce EDS film stacks, which can be affixed onto the optical surfaces of PV modules or concentrating mirrors. The EDS film stack consists of the EDS films that have Willow® Glass (WG) which has a thickness of 100 μm as the front surface. The WG sheets obtained from Corning Research and Development Corporation are customized in size and shape to cover the active area of the EDS films. The back surface of the EDS film stack is integrated onto the optical surface of the solar panel or mirror using optically clear adhesive (OCA) films or silicone adhesives. The OCA films (thickness 25 μm) are produced by 3M. The EDS film stacks have the architecture: WG/OCA/EDS Film/OCA/ over PV module or solar mirror. The power-supply units needed for activating the electrodes of the EDS film were designed and produced at Boston University. These power supply units provide three-phase, 1.2 kV voltage pulses at a very low current (micro-ampere) level and at a low frequency (≈ 5 Hz). The voltage pulses are applied to the electrodes in a sequence such that the train of pulses resembles a unidirectional traveling wave of electrical field on the surface of the EDS film. The dust particles on the surface become charged electrostatically and are levitated by the Coulomb force. The lateral sweeping action of the traveling electric field created by the three-phase voltages pulses then sweeps the dust off the surface. The energy consumed by the EDS electrodes is less than 0.2 Wh/m2/cleaning cycle, enabling energy-efficient restoration of output power (OPR) of PV module or specular reflectivity restoration (SRR) for solar mirrors. The EDS system consists of (1) an EDS film stack laminated onto the solar collectors, (2) connection of the EDS film to its power supply unit and (3) Interconnection of the power supply to PV modules or solar mirrors. Design, construction and assessment of field-testing units that have EDS stack laminated PV modules for evaluating the performance of the EDS films in solar fields is being carried out at BU. Our progress under this project, aimed at the advancement of EDS film technology, has reached DOE Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6. Based on the extensive laboratory evaluations and limited field trials, as well as contacts with potential users, we believe that the technology has reached its commercial stage. We are conducting a cost analysis using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) System Advisory Model (SAM) and are preparing for field trials of EDS films in different solar fields in the US, Chile, India and in the Middle East. A brief description of EDS film performance, construction and testing of the field-test unit, autonomous operation of the field-test unit for evaluating EDS performance in increasing energy yield, associated revenue savings, and water conservation is presented.},
doi = {10.2172/1644255},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {5}
}

Works referenced in this record:

Effects of soiling on photovoltaic (PV) modules in the Atacama Desert
journal, September 2018