Q1. How can we apply the coating?
A1. The type of processes for application of coatings are divided into two groups. First, In place application; Second, Coating line applications. Under the first process, the selected coating is applied in situation conditions without dismantling and interference to the installed application of the glass. The second process involved an automated industrial process wherein the state of the art engineered coating line is used to achieve the goal of coating functionalities.
Q2. What is the life of coating?
A2. The life of the coating depends on the choice customers make for different functionalities of the coating. The durabilities of functions depend on the process of the coating. The Coating line application process has 25 years of life. In place application process has a life of 10 years in some cases and in others, it has 15 years.
Q3. Why should I apply the Multifunctional coating for existing PV fields?
A3. The existing PV fields have two kinds of glass. First, Coated with ARC and Second, Non-coated. The ARC on average has a life in a range of 2 to 3 years in field conditions. The PV modules with ARC coated glass invites more dust due to the open structures of the ARC coatings used by the PV industry. This open structure and mechanical adhesive properties invite or allow water and other elements to get leaked into the structure of the ARC. The process creates instability and corrosion of ARC which leads to peeling out of the coating. Even ARC invites more soiling, cementing, and scaling due to its structure. This leads to a loss of the investment made for the purchase of ARC coated PV modules equivalent to a 3 to 4% increased Wp. As it is known that ARCs are responsible to increase the labeled Wp of a PV module by 3 to 4%. It means this extra cost due to ARC for the module does not give benefits of extra power production to PV project owners. The ARC coated modules give extract benefits to PV modules manufacturers because they sell PV modules on labeled Wp, not on Wp field performance.
In the case of Non-coated PV modules too many issues are faced that have affected the performance of the PV projects.
So to deal with the issues of soiling, decreasing performance, increasing cost of O &M, increasing demand for water for cleaning, cementing of the surface of PV module, corrosion of glass surface, hot spots due to soiling and cementing, and decreasing value of PV assets, all the PV project owners must adopt and deploy the multifunctional coatings to increase the revenue, ROI and profits.
Q4. Why Should I apply the Multifunctional Coating for New (Future) PV fields?
A4. The issues highlighted in Q&A 3 can be addressed at the manufacturing level of the PV modules. It means the long life of the coating will ensure that the effect of antireflectivity, antisoiling, anti corrosive, antiabrasive, anti PID, and self cleaning should NOT vanish within 3 years. Additionally, many more functions ensure that PV modules remain clean, healthy, and better performing for a longer period with better ROI and Payback Period. Falling tariff rates in big projects around the world have created serious risks at field level performance and O&M management. The increasing demand for clean water for cleaning of PV modules has raised new alarming concerns and challenges for policymakers, local supply for drinking and irrigation water, project investors, O&M, and fulfillment of agreements. The water consumption at enormous quantum in PV Project has made it water-intensive renewable energy with a very high water footprint. To avoid wet cleaning, a recent trend has driven companies to adopt robot cleaning. However, modules receive water on their surfaces due to dew, fog, drizzling, and rain. Such small quantities of water at night or day time make surface and soil wet which leads to cementing, scaling, and faster corrosion of the surface in case of Robotic cleaning. It means "Protector needs Protection" in form of coating for fighting against different chemical and physical intervention at the surface level of the PV module glass. The Multifunctional coatings make the surface more smooth, hard, anti-abrasive, anticorrosive, and self-cleaning for Robotic dry cleaning. The Multifunctional Coatings makes Robotic dry cleaning sustainable and reliable. Hence, all the scenarios and conditions suggest that the coatings are essential to harvest the fruits and benefits of New future PV projects in a sustainable way.
Q5. How Multifunctional Coatings are different from the existing standards ARC coatings?
A5. Multifunctional Coatings create a chemical link or bond with the substrate or glass. It means a Si-o-Si bond is created between the coating material and glass. On the other hand, standards ARC coatings are deposited through the painting method by the use of roller coating which makes a physical link between the coating material and glass surface. The chemical links are strongest and permanent in nature in comparison to glue-based physical linkages. The glue-based physical link gets peeled off in a very short time due to abrasions and corrosion in PV modules. The coating line process uses the Patented plasma technology and CCVD process for the creation of very strong chemical linkages.
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