skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Quantification of a Minimum Detectable Soiling Level to Affect Photovoltaic Devices by Natural and Simulated Soils

Abstract

Here, we report that soil accumulation on photovoltaic (PV) modules presents a challenge to long-term performance prediction and lifetime estimates due to the inherent difficulty in quantifying small changes over an extended period. Low mass loadings of soil are a common occurrence but remain difficult to quantify. In order to more accurately describe the specific effects of sparse soil films on PV systems, we have expanded upon an earlier technique to measure the optical losses due to an artificially applied obscurant film. A synthetic soil analog was sprayed onto glass coupons at very brief intervals with a high-volume, low-pressure pneumatic sprayer. Light transmission through the grime film was evaluated using a quantum efficiency test stand and UV/vis spectroscopy. A 0.1-g/m 2 grime loading was determined to be the limit of mass measurement sensitivity, which is similar to some reports of daily soil accumulation. Predictable, linear decreases in transmission were observed for samples with a mass loading between 0.1 and 0.5 g/m 2. A similar change was observed for soiled coupons from an outdoor monitoring station. Collected soil from the field coupons was analyzed to develop a compositional analog for indoor studies. Lastly, natural and synthetic soils produced similar decreases inmore » transmission.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1496992
Report Number(s):
SAND-2015-3570J
Journal ID: ISSN 2156-3381; 672042
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2156-3381
Publisher:
IEEE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Performance loss; photovoltaic (PV) cells; soiling; standardized test methods; surface contamination

Citation Formats

Burton, Patrick D., Boyle, Liza, Griego, James J. M., and King, Bruce H.. Quantification of a Minimum Detectable Soiling Level to Affect Photovoltaic Devices by Natural and Simulated Soils. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1109/JPHOTOV.2015.2432459.
Burton, Patrick D., Boyle, Liza, Griego, James J. M., & King, Bruce H.. Quantification of a Minimum Detectable Soiling Level to Affect Photovoltaic Devices by Natural and Simulated Soils. United States. doi:10.1109/JPHOTOV.2015.2432459.
Burton, Patrick D., Boyle, Liza, Griego, James J. M., and King, Bruce H.. Fri . "Quantification of a Minimum Detectable Soiling Level to Affect Photovoltaic Devices by Natural and Simulated Soils". United States. doi:10.1109/JPHOTOV.2015.2432459. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1496992.
@article{osti_1496992,
title = {Quantification of a Minimum Detectable Soiling Level to Affect Photovoltaic Devices by Natural and Simulated Soils},
author = {Burton, Patrick D. and Boyle, Liza and Griego, James J. M. and King, Bruce H.},
abstractNote = {Here, we report that soil accumulation on photovoltaic (PV) modules presents a challenge to long-term performance prediction and lifetime estimates due to the inherent difficulty in quantifying small changes over an extended period. Low mass loadings of soil are a common occurrence but remain difficult to quantify. In order to more accurately describe the specific effects of sparse soil films on PV systems, we have expanded upon an earlier technique to measure the optical losses due to an artificially applied obscurant film. A synthetic soil analog was sprayed onto glass coupons at very brief intervals with a high-volume, low-pressure pneumatic sprayer. Light transmission through the grime film was evaluated using a quantum efficiency test stand and UV/vis spectroscopy. A 0.1-g/m2 grime loading was determined to be the limit of mass measurement sensitivity, which is similar to some reports of daily soil accumulation. Predictable, linear decreases in transmission were observed for samples with a mass loading between 0.1 and 0.5 g/m2. A similar change was observed for soiled coupons from an outdoor monitoring station. Collected soil from the field coupons was analyzed to develop a compositional analog for indoor studies. Lastly, natural and synthetic soils produced similar decreases in transmission.},
doi = {10.1109/JPHOTOV.2015.2432459},
journal = {IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics},
number = 4,
volume = 5,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {6}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share: