Thermal Variability Due to Dusting in Solar Arrays

Natalia I. Nguyen, Andrew Chen, Dan Liddell, and Abraham K. Ishihara


Dusting, Dust Effects, Solar, Photovoltaic, Thermal Variability


Degradation of photovoltaic (PV) modules remains an important area of research. This paper focuses on degradation due to partial shading caused by controlled dust deposition of medium-sized sand. The sand was deposited in a controlled manner to simulate a dust clumping effect often caused by rainfall on a tilted module. While a number of studies have analyzed dust-induced reduction in power output, its impact on thermal variability during operation has neither been reported, nor quantified to date. Data is presented from four strings of an array in which two strings have been subjected to a dusting protocol and two strings are clean. Thermal statistics of the four strings are presented and compared. In addition, a number of thermal images recorded during IV curve traces are presented which depict dynamic hot spot evolution.

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