Smart Shield for Photovoltaic (PV) Panels

INNOVATION:

An economical, simple, and elegant solar-panel protection and cleaning solution involving a smart, UV resistant, waterproof, retractable cover with micro-fiber pads beneath removes dust along the slope of the panel.  

The proposed solution takes a 'prevention-based' approach to the protection and cleanliness of Solar PV panels, as the panels are automatically covered when they are not generating power. In addition, we offer customers a packaged solution by seamlessly integrating the canopy and the dusting/scrubbing mechanism. This approach will consistently maintain the reliability and efficiency of solar panels throughout their work span. The key benefits are:

  • Panels get protected (when not generating power) from elements such as snow, rain, smoke/smog particulates from industrial chimneys, vehicle exhausts, ambient dust, and bird droppings (AI-based selective panel-covering and exposing schedules).
    This mechanism covers and uncovers the panels and elegantly moves the micro-fiber pads up and down along the sun-facing side of the panels, scrubbing and dusting them in the process.
  • Multiple drive options (namely, manual crank, single motor for a set of tables, individual motor for one set of panels, etc.) can be offered based on customers' budgets.
  • This innovative, external solution helps to control the amount of generated power without risk of damage or wear and tear to the expensive electrical connections/components.
  • Built-in battery overcharge protection (automated cover actuation once fully charged)
  • AI-driven selective panel-covering tech can solve the 'Hot Spot' problem in PV panels.
  • The Removable microfibre pads (velcro attached) increase ease of maintenance. 
  • Possibility of using covers as Advertisement banners or having pictures of birds to act as a scarecrow/decoy at suitable locations

MANUFACTURABILITY: 

The solution is easy to design and manufacture as popular products with similar mechanisms are robust and cost-effective. Examples include but are not limited to roll-up banner stands, projector screens, and garage door openers that operate efficiently for multiple daily uses. The design of the smart PV shield can be easily tailored and manufactured in a pre-existing facility. Furthermore, the covering can be integrated into new PV installations and onto existing installations out in the field. Further, AI-based selective panel-covering and exposing schedules can reduce it even more.

MARKETABILITY:  

A clean PV panel surface can be up to 50% more efficient than an unclean one. In addition, the maintenance and replacement costs of switchgear required to regulate power injected by the solar plant into the grid are significantly reduced.

Several countries and companies have set aggressive sustainability goals (especially after COP26). As a result, the market for renewable energy solutions such as solar panels, and effective maintenance equipment like this offering, is growing and will continue to grow in the future.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Prashanth Kumar Gopala
  • Type of entry:
    team
    Team members:
    Prashanth Kumar Gopala
    Karthik Muruganantham
    Padmanabhan Kumar
  • Profession:
    Engineer/Designer
  • Prashanth Kumar is inspired by:
    Simplicity, Elegance, Cost-effectiveness and Problem-solving
  • Software used for this entry:
    N/A
  • Patent status:
    none