Comparing the impact of climate on dust accumulation and power generation of PV modules: A comprehensive review

On the one hand, one of the main obstacles to the photovoltaic (PV) power production is the presence of dust in the atmosphere, which prevents sunlight from reaching the surface of PV modules. On the other hand, the economic operation of PV power plants largely depends on cleaning of dust particles settled on the module surface. In this study, a comprehensive review of experimental (field) studies conducted in different parts of the world is presented to investigate the effect of different climates on the natural and artificial dust particle deposition on the modules surface. The different geographical climates have different potentials for dust production. Some regions such as North Africa, North China, and the Middle East act as a source and transport the generated dust to all parts of the world. Therefore, even areas with less potential for dust generation can be exposed to emitted dust from the sources. This study describes the effect of important factors in dust settlement on the PV module surface such as relative humidity, rainfall, and gravity. The reduction in the power production capacity of PV modules installed in different parts of the world due to dust deposition on their surface was compared and discussed. Furthermore, some studies, which used the artificial particle, i. e. the particles produced from urban pollution sources such as industrial pollutants and vehicular exhaust smoke were also reviewed.

» Author: Tahereh Zarei, Morteza Abdolzadeh, Mahmood Yaghoubi

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 768737


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