Dust control products are necessary where solar panel farms are located. These are often found in Arizona, where people came to, with pulmonary issues, during the 1950s and 1960s. They chose Arizona because of its clean air. Nowadays, dust control products are needed because of the construction dust. Regions in which there are ongoing water shortages favour the least use of water as possible in executing dust control. The dirt is detrimental to their operation. Solar plant construction costs and the cost of dust control products are ultimately passed on to the customer. So, the plant constructors try to do this as effectively as they can.
The severity of the impact of dust on the solar panels heavily depends on the type of solar project. Mirrors that collect the sunlight are used on some solar projects. The rays are directed to a focal point that creates heat. This is used to convert water to steam, which then drives a turbine driven electrical generator. Dust control products increase the efficiency of this process. Wind breaks are often an option for this type of application.
To counteract the effect of wind blowing through the area, another option is surface stabilization to bind dust particles on the surface. The more dust that there is in the surrounding area, the less efficient solar panels become. That is the economic justification for dust control products. Dust particles, once suspended, do eventually come back down to ground. However, on their return, they collect on the surfaces of the panels or mirrors used to capture solar energy. Efficiency is then lost. Organic fluids can be applied to the top of the soil surface. They hold the particles down and keep them weighted. However, the sun’s rays eventually break it down and it blows away, making it necessary to re-apply it.
It takes longer for the smaller particles to become settled down. Bustling movement keeps this dust in suspension and creates a need for the use of dust control products. In many regions there are regulations that limit the quantity of particulate allowed in the surroundings. Dust control products include dust palliatives. These suppress the dust and include water and chemicals based on water, petroleum, organics, electrochemicals, polymers, and clays. In selecting the right palliative for the application, certain questions need to be asked. Should the particles adhere to themselves or larger particles? How much resistance to traffic wear is needed? Is it necessary for the dust to remain in place? Is resistance to aging an important factor?
The surface material is analyzed by a soil study before selection of the optimum dust control product is started. From this study, the required characteristics can be determined and the costs (initial and ongoing) can be estimated. The rate of application, or frequency, is affected by the humidity, amount of traffic, surface particle composition, and surface wear resistance. The success of a dust control product application is affected by the method of application. Surfaces need repairing before application and good drainage is required.