Author(s): E. Suresh Kumar, Dr. Bijan Sarkar, D.K. Behera
Published in: International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology
License: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Volume/Issue: Vol.2 - Issue 2 (February - 2013)
The installation of PV systems for optimum yield is primarily dictated by its geographic location and installation design to maximize solar exposure. However, there are other depending factors that arise in determining the system performance (efficiency and output). Dust is the lesser acknowledged factor that significantly influences the performance of the PV installations. PV modules are highly reliable. However, in polluted environments, over time, they will collect grime and dust. There are also limited field data studies about soiling losses on PV modules. The photovoltaic cells already have low conversion efficiencies in the range of 16% to 18% , the accumulation of sand and dust particles from the outdoor environment on their surface further reduces the generated output power. This is due to the reduction the solar radiation incident on the solar cell. Further dust changes the dependence on the angle of incidence of such radiation. This limitation makes photovoltaic cells an unreliable source of power for unattended remote devices, such as solar-powered traffic and other remote applications in environmentally hazard areas. For large-scale solar plants to maintain their maximum efficiency, the photovoltaic cells must be kept clean, which can be a challenging task in dusty environments. This paper is an insight into the losses caused by the accumulation of dust on the surface of photovoltaic modules and an attempt to analyze and quantify such losses based on the experiments conducted by various researchers all over the world.
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