A Short Duration Experimental Study on the Effect of Soiling on the Performance of PV Modules

Abdullahi Abdulhadi, Hasan Ghazale, Leon Gaillard, Christophe Menezo

Keywords: Photovoltaic Soiling, Short Term (Indoor) Experiment, Performance Deterioration, Soil Distortion Factor, Soiling Loss Index


Photovoltaic (PV) technology is on a great rise and is becoming more accepted by society due to its flexibility and renewable nature. A substantial amount of money has been spent to bring the technology to its current state of performance and reliability. However, relatively less has been invested in addressing externalities that can be impediments to the technology deployment. Soiling or dust accumulation on PV has been proven to be one of the external factors that lead to deterioration in the performance of PV modules. This study will provide a literature review on soiling and factors affecting soiling. Additionally, it will present the results of an indoor experiment conducted to determine the effect of soiling (specifically, charcoal ash) on the output performance of PV module, for which Soil Distortion Factor (SDF) and Soiling Loss Index (SLI) were investigated. SDF of 0.7247 and 0.7627 were determined for soiling densities of 38.67 g/m2 and 15.48 g/m2 , resulting in power losses of 28% and 24%, respectively. The results also revealed SLI values of 6.97%, 8.62%, 6.41%, 5.85%, and 4.83% for irradiations of 235 W/m2 , 435 W/m2 , 645 W/m2 , 668 W/m2 , and 800 W/m2 , respectively, when 9g of charcoal ashes was used (equivalent to 13.27 g/m2 ). In summary, the results obtained demonstrated that soiling has a significant impact on the output performance of a PV module, with higher soiling densities leading to a more pronounced deterioration in the PV output performance