Stepping into the light
The past three years have seen a welcome improvement in the integration of solar panels into grid systems of major and sub-major cities all around the world. There is good news in the fact that some heavily polluted countries such as China and India have doubled their production from Solar Energy in the past year. The change in their energy production methods is a great step toward environmental and ecological sustainability in the future. This has only been possible through years of hard work and dedication toward the environment’s cause. There are still discoveries to be made and places to improve in the field of sustainable engineering, but the steps taken in the right direction finally show more hope for the Earth’s ecology.
Promise of the Spotlight
One of the problems that have popped up in the discipline of solar engineering is the disadvantage caused by air pollution to the production of energy from solar panels. Air pollution has shown to decrease solar efficiency by a staggering 25 percent. The effect is more prevalent in some heavily polluted countries like China, India, and countries in the Arabian peninsula. This is becoming a thorn in the side of the energy departments of these respective countries, leading to hesitation and distrust in the methods of solar energy production. After all, it is obvious that an investment in solar engineering would not be advised if it doesn’t show promise of savings or returns in investment
Only 15 minutes of fame?
To understand the cause of the drop in efficiency, we have to take a look at the substances or ‘grime’ that usually settle on top of solar panels. The grime usually consists of around 91% dust and dirt, and around 9% carbon and ion pollutants that are from man-made chemicals in the atmosphere. Although the dust makes up for most of the grime, the man-made pollutants actually block sunlight a lot more than dust does. Every time grime is cleared off the surface of the solar panel, the panel regains most of the efficiency that it lost. But cleaning the solar panels so often is not advised as they are prone to damage.
Caught staring at the Sun
Assuming a solar panel is cleaned every month, even still a loss of 17 to 25 percent in efficiency occurs after a while in polluted countries. Furthermore, if it is left uncleaned for two months, there is a drastic 25-35 percent drop in efficiency. In Arabian desert countries, efficiency drops mostly due to the dust collected on solar panel surfaces. But in China and India, 80% of the drop occurs due to pollutants in the atmosphere. For India, solar power generation drops to 50% sometimes due to the practice of burning crops in northwestern India. With countries using solar production now more than ever, it will be interesting to find out how these issues will be tackled by the respective countries.
Intelizon solar energy-oriented powerhouse
Intelizon is a solar energy-oriented powerhouse of solutions based on the integration and acceptance of sunlight as a valid source of sustainable energy. Focussed on the efficient and appropriate infusion of solar engineering into the daily demands of urban and rural life, Intelizon is affecting lives and bringing about a change in the attitude toward the environment with our efficient methodology, sustainable economics, and path-breaking innovation.