Having worked hard on our new products for 6 months in a row it was time for a well-earned vacation and recharge for the introduction of DustIQ and RT1 at Intersolar Europe. The first is a real breakthrough in the technology to measure PV panel soiling and the second is a very practical sensor to monitor the efficiency of commercial PV rooftop installations.
On a warm sunny beach on the island of Bonaire in the Caribbean, with my feet covered in sand, I can’t help but think about sand and dust and my far-away colleagues and their hard work to get all our materials ready for Intersolar in Munich.
Much like my lunch, I’m now covered with sand and can imagine all too well what it must be like to be a solar panel in a dusty environment waiting to be cleaned. Taking a quick shower is easy enough for me, but cleaning thousands, or even millions, of solar panels isn’t an easy decision as you must know the exact energy losses and then decide if it’s worth the effort and money involved.
Introducing DustIQ for PV soiling monitoring
This is where the new DustIQ comes into play, to help you make well-founded operation and maintenance decisions. Not just in one place, but in several places in your solar park, to supply you with a representative set of information across the site. Just the kind of information you need to make cleaning decisions and to meet SLA or ROI objectives.
With its 99 cm length and 16 cm width it’s an easy fit on top of, or between, solar panels to give you readings representing the nearby arrays. DustIQ doesn’t rely on measuring a pair of clean and soiled reference panels, but has Kipp & Zonen’s new Optical Soiling Measurement (OSM) technology to monitor the soiling ratio. It only needs cleaning at the same time as the PV panels around it and yet still gives you reliable data, via its digital Modbus® output.
Using DustIQ is as easy as sitting on the beach and enjoying a cool drink.
And, the RT1 rooftop duo-sensor
Looking around me on Bonaire, I can see many rooftops covered with solar panels that are saving a lot of diesel, traditionally used in the local power plants. However, I can also see that not all the panels are really clean and I don’t have a clue if the inverters are working as they should and giving the owners the right performance ratio. To calculate the performance ratio you need to know the actual kWh output from the inverter and the real, measured, solar irradiation and the PV panel temperature.
For easy measurement of both the solar radiation and panel temperature Kipp & Zonen used its 100 years of experience to develop the rt1 rooftop duo-sensor. It is the new standard in reliable and affordable commercial rooftop sensors that is virtually tool-free to install and doesn’t need any extra support structures.
The conical light receiver of RT1 makes it much more resistant to soiling than devices with conventional flat glass windows and allows for many months of unattended operation. Again, this new duo-sensor supplies digital Modbus® information, ready to be picked up by data loggers or internet gateways.
Getting ready for Intersolar
By the time I return, relaxed and tanned, our two new and unique products will be the stars of our show and we invite you come and visit us on booth A4.420. At Intersolar we’re ready to tell you all you want to know about our products and our vision.
Looking forward to seeing you there!