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WEB Study of soiling on different photovoltaic glasses exposed in Atacama Desert

Wednesday (23.09.2020)
14:30 - 14:45 F: Functional Materials, Surfaces, and Devices 1
Part of:

The accumulation of dust on photovoltaic (PV) modules affects the performance of PV systems worldwide. Soiling reflects, scatters and absorbs a fraction of the upcoming sunlight reducing the incident radiation on the solar cells. This effect depends of the characteristics of the dust particle mainly its size, shape and chemical composition. In this work, we report the relationship between the physical and chemical characteristics of cumulated dust on two different PV glasses and their optical degradation once already exposed to desert conditions. Bare low iron glasses and antireflection-antisoiling coated low iron glasses were exposed in the Salvador PV farm located in the Atacama Desert, during eight weeks. Samples of dust were collected from each glass and characterized by x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscope. SEM images were analyzed by the software ImageJ in order to obtain the Fractional area coverage and the particle size distribution. The PV glasses were weighted previously and after the exposition in order to know the cumulative dust loading, while their optical properties were measured by an spectrophotometer.

The characteristics of the dust samples collected from both PV glasses are very similar. Soiling is composed mainly by gypsum, quartz, calcite, muscovite and chlorite; in general, particles of these minerals have a polyhedral shape. The dust particles have a mean size below to 10 µm, i.e., an ultrafine dust in both cases. The figure 1 shows a higher accumulation of dust on the coated glass than on the uncoated one; to the end of the exposure time, it was found a cumulative dust load of 10.5 gm-2 and 7.2 gm-2, respectively. This fact can be attributable to the higher roughness of the coated glasses and in consequence their major interaction with the ultrafine dust. It is possible to notice that despite to have a higher load of dust, the coated glass suffers less degradation of their optical properties than the uncoated glass at similar load of dust.


Dipl.-Ing. Pablo Tobosque
University of Concepcion
Additional Authors:
  • Dr. Marisol Maril
    Universidad de Concepción
  • Dr. Claudia Carrasco
    Universidad de Concepción
  • Dr. Javier Nuñez
    Universidad de Concepción


Category Short file description File description File Size
Extended Abstract Version 1 This is a short manuscript to the abstract 57 KB Download