Keeping Solar Panels Clean

Request Number REQ0351819
Due Date October 6, 2017
Author Jos Cenens
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Keeping Solar Panels Clean
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a multinational company, invites proposals for the cost-efficient maintenance of solar panels that will be installed in several countries around the world. About 5000 installations that are between 60 and 100 m² in size and placed on flat roofs are foreseen. NineSigma’s client is looking for companies with methods or technologies that allow for efficient and safe cleaning of these roof-placed installations. Because the panels are not yet installed, proposals from companies that have ready-to-use self-cleaning coatings or film solutions are also welcome.


NineSigma’s client has decided to install ~5000 solar panel installations in various parts of the world. Countries involved are in Europe (Germany, Benelux, France), the Middle East, the Caribbean islands, most African countries, and in Asia (Pakistan, Cambodia, The Philippines, Fuji Islands, Numea). They want to know what the best approach is towards maintenance of these small installations. They are interested to get in touch with organizations that have expertise with solar panel cleaning. Solutions do not need to be suitable for all countries or possible climate conditions. Specific approaches for each country are possible although the aim is to standardize the maintenance as much as possible. The preference is for solutions that limit the need for workers to go on the roofs.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Evaluation of the proposed approach for cost effectiveness and practical use
  • Demonstration that the proposed method can meet the requirements


Phase 2 – Commercial agreements

  • Plan is to come to commercial arrangements during the course of 2018


Key Success Criteria

The successful cleaning approach will:

  • Be suitable for cleaning panels on flat roofs
    • Each location will have between 60 and 100 m² of panels installed on 2 separate roofs
    • Panels are 1,04 meter width and 1,56 meter length
    • Foreseen installation will be in landscape orientation
    • Height of the roofs is about 5 meter
    • All sites are located close to roads
  • Be cost effective
  • Not scratch or damage the surface during cleaning
  • Comply with all local social, health & safety regulations
    • Preferably limited need for workers to go on the roofs


The criteria for self-cleaning coatings or films are:

  • Not reduce the electrical efficiency of the panel (e.g. not reflect light)
  • Be cost effective and easy to apply on panels stored in a warehouse
  • Be durable - preferably be efficient for 10+ years and withstand temperatures of -40°C to 80°C


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:


  • Water based cleaning methods involving telescopic lances, brushes..
  • Mounted water spray systems
  • Air jets
  • Vibro-acoustic tools
  • Automated cleaning using drones or robots
  • Long lasting coatings or films with dirt repellent properties
  • Combinations of methods


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:


  • Methods that would scratch or damage the glass surface
  • Approaches without proven feasibility and that cannot be commercialized within 6-12 months


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed approach
    • the advantages of the proposed solution
    • type of dirt that can be removed
    • how to use the method and any restrictions that might apply
    • profile of people who can use it
    • countries or climate regions that can be covered
    • options for licensing when not active in certain parts of the world
  • Availability of technology demonstration or sample of proposed coating
  • Preferred business model
  • Brief overview of the organization



Appropriate responses to this Request

Responses from companies (small to large), consultants, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome.  For example:


You represent a company that offers solar panel cleaning services

You represent a company that installs water jet systems for automated cleaning

You represent a company that has a dirt/dust repellent coating solution allowing cleaning by rainfall


Area of Interest
  • Professional Services
Request Priority
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