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Acta Nova

On-line version ISSN 1683-0789


NUNEZ GARCIA, Waldo Bernardo; CALLA DURANDAL, Edwin  and  FERNANDEZ FUENTES, Miguel. Development of a photovoltaic panel cleaning prototype. RevActaNova. [online]. 2021, vol.10, n.2, pp.147-172.  Epub Nov 31, 2021. ISSN 1683-0789.

Dust accumulation in photovoltaic (PV) panels is an important factor that influences the efficiency of photovoltaic generation. Studies have shown that when dust and dirt from the environment accumulate on the surface that captures solar radiation, the capacity to generate electricity is significantly reduced. In Bolivia, currently, only manual methods are used to clean solar plants, and it is interesting to analyze technological solutions based on automated cleaning machines, as a promising and efficient alternative. In this article, the design and manufacture of a prototype of these characteristics is proposed.

In the development of the prototype, concepts of computer-aided design, mechanics, electronics, microcontroller programming and software development were applied, all from a mechatronics approach. The tests were carried out in a laboratory environment, and a significant increase in the electricity production of the panels was observed. It was also determined that the prototype is capable of cleaning 700 linear meters (side-by-side arrays of panels) in approximately three hours. Finally, an analysis of the prototype's capacity is presented, determining its costs and the time it takes to clean different photovoltaic plants in Bolivia.

Keywords : Mechatronics; photovoltaics; automatic mechanical cleaning; prototype.

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