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Title: Modelling photovoltaic soiling losses through optical characterization

Abstract

The accumulation of soiling on photovoltaic (PV) modules affects PV systems worldwide. Soiling consists of mineral dust, soot particles, aerosols, pollen, fungi and/or other contaminants that deposit on the surface of PV modules. Soiling absorbs, scatters, and reflects a fraction of the incoming sunlight, reducing the intensity that reaches the active part of the solar cell. Here, we report on the comparison of naturally accumulated soiling on coupons of PV glass soiled at seven locations worldwide. The spectral hemispherical transmittance was measured. It was found that natural soiling disproportionately impacts the blue and ultraviolet (UV) portions of the spectrum compared to the visible and infrared (IR). Also, the general shape of the transmittance spectra was similar at all the studied sites and could adequately be described by a modified form of the Angstrom turbidity equation. In addition, the distribution of particles sizes was found to follow the IEST-STD-CC 1246E cleanliness standard. The fractional coverage of the glass surface by particles could be determined directly or indirectly and, as expected, has a linear correlation with the transmittance. It thus becomes feasible to estimate the optical consequences of the soiling of PV modules from the particle size distribution and the cleanliness value.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [6];  [3];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [9];  [10];  [3];  [4];  [11];  [3];  [12]
  1. Sol Ideas Technology Development, San Jose, CA (United States)
  2. National Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD (United States)
  3. Univ. of Exeter, Penryn (United Kingdom)
  4. Univ. de Jaén (Spain)
  5. Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research, Chennai (India)
  6. Tezpur Univ. (India)
  7. Heriot-Watt Univ., Dubai (United Arab Emirates); Robert Gordon Univ., Aberdeen (United Kingdom)
  8. South Valley Univ., Qena (Egypt); Univ. of York, Toronto, ON (Canada)
  9. The British Univ. in Egypt, Cairo (Egypt)
  10. CSIR-Central Electronics Engineering Research Inst. & Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research, Chennai (India)
  11. Indian Inst. of Technology Madras, Chennai (India)
  12. Univ. de Jaén (Spain); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1593694
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5K00-74546
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; soiling; particle size distribution; cleanliness value

Citation Formats

Smestad, Greg P., Germer, Thomas A., Alrashidi, Hameed, Fernández, Eduardo F., Dey, Sumon, Brahma, Honey, Sarmah, Nabin, Ghosh, Aritra, Sellami, Nazmi, Hassan, Ibrahim A. I., Desouky, Mai, Kasry, Amal, Pesala, Bala, Sundaram, Senthilarasu, Almonacid, Florencia, Reddy, K. S., Mallick, Tapas K., and Micheli, Leonardo. Modelling photovoltaic soiling losses through optical characterization. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56868-z.
Smestad, Greg P., Germer, Thomas A., Alrashidi, Hameed, Fernández, Eduardo F., Dey, Sumon, Brahma, Honey, Sarmah, Nabin, Ghosh, Aritra, Sellami, Nazmi, Hassan, Ibrahim A. I., Desouky, Mai, Kasry, Amal, Pesala, Bala, Sundaram, Senthilarasu, Almonacid, Florencia, Reddy, K. S., Mallick, Tapas K., & Micheli, Leonardo. Modelling photovoltaic soiling losses through optical characterization. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56868-z.
Smestad, Greg P., Germer, Thomas A., Alrashidi, Hameed, Fernández, Eduardo F., Dey, Sumon, Brahma, Honey, Sarmah, Nabin, Ghosh, Aritra, Sellami, Nazmi, Hassan, Ibrahim A. I., Desouky, Mai, Kasry, Amal, Pesala, Bala, Sundaram, Senthilarasu, Almonacid, Florencia, Reddy, K. S., Mallick, Tapas K., and Micheli, Leonardo. Thu . "Modelling photovoltaic soiling losses through optical characterization". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56868-z. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1593694.
@article{osti_1593694,
title = {Modelling photovoltaic soiling losses through optical characterization},
author = {Smestad, Greg P. and Germer, Thomas A. and Alrashidi, Hameed and Fernández, Eduardo F. and Dey, Sumon and Brahma, Honey and Sarmah, Nabin and Ghosh, Aritra and Sellami, Nazmi and Hassan, Ibrahim A. I. and Desouky, Mai and Kasry, Amal and Pesala, Bala and Sundaram, Senthilarasu and Almonacid, Florencia and Reddy, K. S. and Mallick, Tapas K. and Micheli, Leonardo},
abstractNote = {The accumulation of soiling on photovoltaic (PV) modules affects PV systems worldwide. Soiling consists of mineral dust, soot particles, aerosols, pollen, fungi and/or other contaminants that deposit on the surface of PV modules. Soiling absorbs, scatters, and reflects a fraction of the incoming sunlight, reducing the intensity that reaches the active part of the solar cell. Here, we report on the comparison of naturally accumulated soiling on coupons of PV glass soiled at seven locations worldwide. The spectral hemispherical transmittance was measured. It was found that natural soiling disproportionately impacts the blue and ultraviolet (UV) portions of the spectrum compared to the visible and infrared (IR). Also, the general shape of the transmittance spectra was similar at all the studied sites and could adequately be described by a modified form of the Angstrom turbidity equation. In addition, the distribution of particles sizes was found to follow the IEST-STD-CC 1246E cleanliness standard. The fractional coverage of the glass surface by particles could be determined directly or indirectly and, as expected, has a linear correlation with the transmittance. It thus becomes feasible to estimate the optical consequences of the soiling of PV modules from the particle size distribution and the cleanliness value.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-019-56868-z},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
issn = {2045-2322},
number = 1,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {1}
}

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