Understanding the effects of sand and dust accumulation on photovoltaic modules

Beattie, Neil, Moir, Robert, Chacko, Charlslee, Buffoni, Giorgio, Roberts, Simon and Pearsall, Nicola (2012) Understanding the effects of sand and dust accumulation on photovoltaic modules. Renewable Energy, 48. pp. 448-452. ISSN 0960-1481

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2012.06.007

Abstract

Numerical and analytical models of sand and dust particle accumulation on photovoltaic modules in dry regions are presented and supported by a laboratory investigation of sand particle accumulation on a glass surface. Both models and the experimental data indicate that the reduction in the free fractional area can be described by an exponential decay resulting from the formation of clusters of particles. Such clusters can support particles in upper layers which reduce the available area for photon capture by a much smaller amount than particles resting directly on the glass surface. The results qualitatively describe existing field data beyond the linear regime and are developed to account for field conditions, including analysis of photovoltaic module tilt, humidity and wind speed. This investigation is intended as a basis of an engineering design tool to assess the case for including photovoltaics in dry regions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sand, dust, accumulation, photovoltaic, cluster
Subjects: F300 Physics
H100 General Engineering
H600 Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Physics and Electrical Engineering
Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Neil Beattie
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2012 12:14
Last Modified: 09 May 2017 10:37
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/7989

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