AEPOL’s Dustech 2 polymer suppresses dust on solar farm sites

As a developer of large-scale solar PV projects in some of the more arid regions of Australia, Solar Choice is keenly aware of the impact that dust accumulation can have on solar plant maintenance and ROI. AEPOL’s Dustech 2 is one product on the market that seeks to address this challenge. The informative article below provides and overview of what Dustech 2 offers.

Running photovoltaic devices at high efficiencies is a critical challenge in the solar industry, and one of the key roadblocks in this endeavor is dust. Dust accumulates over time on the glass of solar panels and leads to decreases in efficiency – sometimes as much as 40 percent. Fortunately, companies like Australia Engineered Polymers (AEPOL) have developed a wide array of dust control and soil stabilization products for use around solar farms.

AEPOL specializes in the development of dust suppression polymers that, when mixed with water, bind to soil and prevent the spread of dust. The polymers exist in particulate form with an average particle size of one micron, which allows the polymer to penetrate into soil, dust, and asbestos more easily than other dust suppressant products.

The polymer dust suppressants are mixed with stabilizing agents while in transit to prevent aggregation of the individual polymer molecules. Once onsite, the polymer is mixed with water and then dispersed over roadways. One liter of mixture can typically be spread over an area of 20 square meters.

The company’s flagship product, DusTech 2, is an environmentally friendly, acrylic water-based dust suppressant that has been formulated specifically for use in the construction and mining industries. The product consists of a polymer that is prepared in a 1:10 dilution (i.e., one part polymer, nine parts water) prior to application. It dries into a hard film that seals the dust and dirt beneath it. DusTech 2 regenerates after rainfall by absorbing the water to form a gel-type film and then dries back to a hard film once sunlight returns. The polymer can undergo as many as four regeneration cycles and is stable under ambient conditions.

Dustech 2

AEPOL offers both stabilization and dust suppression services for roadways. Stabilization is typically needed prior to dust suppression for roads with significant damage and high traffic loads. The stabilization process involves the road surface being ripped to a depth of 150 mm. A SoilTech polymer is poured in the void and then compacted with a heavy roller. The process strengthens the foundation and ensures that the road does not turn muddy once exposed to water.

For roads in decent condition, only dust suppression is required. This reduces water consumption as well as maintenance and labor costs. During the first month, 300 mL of DusTech is applied per square meter every third day.

Secondary dust can be managed with the use of motorized brooms and tractors, both of which AEPOL also develops.

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