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Novel Soiling Detection System for Solar Panels
M. Korevaar, J. Mes, P. Nepal, G. Snijders, X. van Mechelen
Environmental Effect, Monitoring, Optical Losses, Performance, Plant Control
PV System Performance and Integration
Subtopic: Design and Operation of PV Systems
Event: 33rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 6BV.2.11
2349 - 2351
ISBN: 3-936338-47-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20172017-6BV.2.11
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper, poster


Environmental factors such as wind, rain and back panel temperature all affect the PV plant performance ratio; but, in many environments, soiling of PV modules has the largest impact on the performance ratio. Cost effective soiling measurements within a solar plant can give reliable insights into the soiling behaviour over the whole production area, allow for an optimal cleaning schedule and trigger action after a dust storm. Kipp & Zonen present a novel system for measuring the soiling on PV plants, the DustIQ. Using the Optical Soiling Monitoring technology the DustIQ measures the soiling without need for manual daily cleaning, moving parts or water. The system communicates via a Modbus® protocol through a two-wire RS-485 connection. Different amounts and colours of soiling were characterised and a linear relationship between DustIQ signal and PV glass transmission loss was found. And different colours of dust result in a different linear slope. The effect of dust grain size was also investigated and no effect on the DustIQ signal and transmission loss was found. Furthermore, a rooftop PV monitoring station was built up where modules can be artificially soiled.