University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Dr. Kwang Kim of UNLV will study fundamental mechanisms of dust accumulation on solar PV panels. This dust accumulation on solar panels often causes their performance degradation. To remove the accumulated dusts from the panel surface, spraying periodically high pressure fluid, mostly water, is most commonly used. However, this method is not cost effective.
Dr. Kim’s work is concentrated in two areas: 1) A mathematical approach to solve the relationship between dust accumulation and intensity or transmittance of solar beams. This is useful when selecting and designing a site of solar panels. 2) Modified surfaces can have less binding and lower surface energies of particles. Specially designed surfaces can allow dust particles less stick to the surface. Such surfaces can let dust particles removed more easily, even with natural breeze.
Kim is Southwest Gas Professor of Energy and Matter at the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, His research interests are in a broad spectrum of “Energy Systems” and “Active Materials/Sensors”. (www.kwangjinkim.org)