Portuguese start-up Solarud has unveiled the next generation of its water drainage device for low-tilt PV modules. The new design avoids clogging by sand and dust, in nano and custom versions to fit installations and modules of different sizes.
Portuguese start-up Solarud has launched a new version of its water drainage device. The new model can be attached to solar panels to solve dust and pollution problems.
After launching the original device in May, the company listened to customer feedback to develop anti-clog technology.
“In extreme environments such as deserts or arid environments with low humidity, the device would clog as soon as the first rains fell or during morning condensation,” said António Neves, co-founder of Solarud PV Magazine.
Accumulated dirt can lead to blockages in domestic installations, the devices must be cleaned after a few months.
The company’s Solarud Nextgen solution features the company’s patented anti-clog design to address this issue. It claims power gains averaging 3.5% with the original device and expects even better results with the next-gen, though it has yet to start testing the design.
The product is also more adaptable to different module sizes than its predecessor. The original device worked with frame heights of 30 mm, 35 mm and 40 mm.
“The new device can adapt to any dimension between 30 mm and 40 mm. The tabs are no longer broken [to adapt to the intended measure] but are more folded. This folding gives them a spring effect, allowing them to adapt to different heights,” says Neves.
The new device thus adapts to the frame heights of 32 mm and 38 mm customary in the industry. The company switched from industrial 3D printing to injection molding for the Nextgen. The switch has “increased the production factor by almost 20 times and also enabled the development of more robust devices,” Neves said.
It offers a six-year warranty for the Nextgen – a four-year improvement over its predecessor. The new device is also cheaper and available in quantities of 50 or more for 99.50 euros (96.61 US dollars) or 1.99 euros per unit plus VAT and shipping costs for orders of 50 or more. The original device is no longer manufactured or offered for sale.
The company has also launched nano and custom versions of the device, both of which feature the anti-clog design. The Solarud Nano, with a base of less than 10mm compared to the 22mm of the Nextgen, is designed for installations with very small spacings between modules of up to 10mm.
The Nextgen and the Nano devices can only be fitted to frames between 8mm and 11mm thick, but the Solarud Custom can be custom made.
“We were asked about 13mm and 15mm thick devices, particularly from customers in Australia, so we decided to set up a custom device service,” explained Neves. “Customers send us the datasheet of the modules, we design the device according to the specs, send some samples to the customers, and then if they are satisfied, they can order the devices on our website.”
Both the nano and custom devices are 3D printed and available for bulk purchase from €2.49 per unit plus VAT and shipping. The company develops and produces all devices in Portugal and has an international customer base, particularly concentrated in Europe and Germany.
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