New water drainage device for rooftop photovoltaic installations – pv magazine International

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The Portuguese startup Solarud has developed a way to remove dirt around the frames of low-slope photovoltaic panels. The device drains water that would otherwise remain stagnant on the surface of the modules.

The Portuguese startup Solarud has unveiled a water drain device that can be clipped onto solar modules, in order to solve dust and dirt problems.

“The part can be used on panels with frame heights of 40mm, 35mm or 30mm and thickness between 8mm and 11mm. It is suitable for modules with slopes between 3 degrees and 20 degrees,” said company co-founder António Peres. photo magazine.

The unit was designed with rooftop installations in mind, where difficult access and height hazards make soiling an even greater concern for operations and maintenance contractors. While the device cannot replace cleaning, which remains essential, “the goal is to improve energy production between cleaning cycles by preventing the impact of soiling,” Peres said.

The company claims energy gains of 3.5% on average, with better performance achieved with solar panels in the portrait position, when fouling at the bottom of the module affects all of its three sub-strings.

In a case study, the company showed the gains between two equal strings in the same installation – one installed with Solarud and one without.

“The modules were all cleaned at week zero and we then compared string performance at week 13,” Peres said.

The company developed and produced the device in Portugal. It’s available for bulk purchases, starting at 50 units for €100 ($106), or €2 per unit. Each piece weighs 630 grams and is made from UV-resistant recyclable plastic for longer life.

The company focuses on the European market but distributes globally. Its main customers are investors and building owners looking for quick returns on investment, as well as O&M companies looking to deliver better performance alongside their cleaning services.

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