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New ice phobic coating keeps snow off solar panels

Everyone knows that solar panels are awesome, right? But unfortunately they can be a little finnicky about their performance. For instance, the electrical output drops significantly if any part of a panel is in shade, say from a nearby tree or chimney. Another thing that really messes up solar power output is snow. No exposed panel, no power. Simple really. Now a team from Michigan University seem to have cracked the snowy panel problem with a new spray on material which keeps the panels magically snow free. The new icephobic stuff can be spray or painted onto the panels and will work for up to a year to keep the solar panels relatively clear of gunk. The result is a panel which can deliver up to 85% more power in the winter months. Pretty impressive, especially since the plastic and vegetable oil based material is pretty inexpensive to manufacture. More information here.

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