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The impact of dust on photovoltaic power generation

Photovoltaic arrays are often placed in outdoor environments. The atmospheric environment is covered with particles of different shapes and sizes, especially in the Iberian Peninsula, which is sometimes disturbed by dusty weather from North Africa, and dust is easily deposited on the surface of PV modules. These dusts not only block the sunlight, thus reducing the transmittance of the glass on the surface of PV modules and the solar radiation irradiated to the surface of PV cells, but also lead to changes in the form of heat transfer on the surface of the products. Absorption of solar radiation and converted into its own heat energy while blocking the external heat dissipation of the PV module cover glass.

Effect on sunlight radiation

The dust on the glass surface will not only seriously affect the solar radiation transmission and irradiation to the photovoltaic cells, but also lead to a large diffuse reflection of the solar radiation irradiated to the surface of the photovoltaic modules. According to experimental measurements, the accumulated dust on the glass surface will lead to solar radiation loss of 5-30%, the loss is mainly caused by the absorption, reflection, and scattering of solar radiation by the dust attached to the glass surface.

Theoretically, the installation inclination of the module should be close to or greater than the local latitude value, but it should also be designed according to the actual situation, and climatic factors such as roof load, wind resistance, wind, rain and snow in a year should be considered. For larger rooftop power stations, it is recommended to use a smaller inclination angle.

The effect of dust calcification deposition on light transmission

Dust contains a lot of calcium and magnesium oxides, when the dust on the surface of the PV module encounters rainfall, a small amount of calcium and magnesium ions will be dissolved in the rain, and again attached to the glass surface of the PV module. If not cleaned in time, it will form a layer of thick and hard calcium and magnesium scale on the surface of the PV module, and once this layer of scale is formed, it is not easy to remove, which will seriously affect the power generation effect of the PV module, and seriously lead to some PV cells to produce hot spots and other problems.

The effect of dust on the temperature of PV modules

The dust attached to the tempered glass surface will make part of the solar radiation absorbed by the dust and converted into heat energy, which will increase the working temperature of the PV module. At the same time, the dust on the surface of the module will also play a role in covering the insulation effect, affecting the heat dissipation of the PV module, further increasing the thermal temperature effect of the PV module and affecting the generation effect.

In PV power generation system, PV module is the power generation component, and the core unit of the whole system. The photoelectric conversion efficiency of PV module is inversely proportional to the temperature, and the photovoltaic efficiency of the module will decrease with the increase of temperature. As the dust attached to the surface of the module absorbs part of the heat energy, the internal temperature of the panel tends to rise through heat transfer resulting in lower PV efficiency

Conclusion

In PV power generation system, the dust on the module surface will not only affect the solar radiation irradiated to the PV cell, but also increase the temperature rise of the PV module. If the dust on the glass surface is not cleaned in time, it will greatly affect the power generation performance of the PV module. In the case of a certain thickness of accumulated dust, the greater the angle of incidence of sunlight, the longer the path of sunlight in the layer of accumulated dust, more likely to occur reflection, scattering, absorption and other phenomena. Therefore, in the process of PV operation and maintenance, it is necessary to clean up in time to keep the surface of PV modules clean, so that the power station can operate efficiently.

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