U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

SunShot Initiative

Self-Cleaning CSP Collectors

3M logo Graphic of 2 gray squares at the bottom with yellow and black arrows over 2 horizontal lines at the top.

This graphic illustrates the project's self-cleaning concentrated solar power collectors.

Boston University and its partners, under the 2012 SunShot Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) R&D FOA, are working to develop a new method to keep solar collectors dirt- and dust-free and thereby maintain high optical efficiency.

Approach

This project aims to develop large-scale prototypes, cost-effective manufacturing processes, and commercialization of the technology in large-scale CSP devices for their applications in semi-arid and desert climates. Specific objectives include:

  • Establishing proof-of-concept of the application of the electrodynamic screen (EDS) for self-cleaning solar concentrators
  • Producing and evaluating laboratory-scale prototypes of self-cleaning solar collectors, including flat mirrors and curved mirrors
  • Testing the EDS-incorporated collectors for their optical efficiency of sunlight, dust-removal efficiency, power requirements, and durability.

Innovation

This novel EDS-based system may be the only one in the world that:

  • Can remove dust with more than 90% efficiency in a matter of minutes
  • Uses a very small fraction of energy produced by the solar collectors
  • Minimizes the use of water and maintenance costs.

If successful, these valuable features will give the system high potential to be widely deployed.

Publications, Patents, and Awards

At this time, this project does not have published articles, patents, or awards.

SunShot logo

The SunShot CSP R&D program seeks to accelerate progress toward the cost target of $0.06 per kilowatt-hour through novel and revolutionary research into CSP technologies. Learn about other DOE competitive awards for concentrating solar power research that are in progress.