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Anti-Soiling Potential of 1-Axis PV Trackers
B. Figgis, K. Ilse
Tracking, Desert, Soiling, Photovoltaic (PV)
PV Systems and Storage – Modelling, Design, Operation and Performance
Subtopic: Operation, Performance and Maintenance of PV Systems
Event: 36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 5BO.7.1
1312 - 1316
ISBN: 3-936338-60-4
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20192019-5BO.7.1
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


Soiling is strongly affected by a surface’s tilt angle: less dust accumulates at steep angles, and more dust resuspends by tilting toward the wind. One concept then to reduce PV soiling is to stow 1-axis trackers vertically or upside-down at night. A further concept is to use windy periods to partially clean the modules, by tilting the tracker at an angle that maximizes dust resuspension. These concepts were tested experimentally using 10 cm glass coupons and full-size PV modules, on custom-built 1-axis trackers, at a field station in Doha, Qatar. With coupons, stowing vertically at night reduced soiling by 41% on average, and upside-down by a further 9%. However attempts to enhance dust resuspension during windy periods were largely ineffective (and would also sacrifice irradiation harvest). The average results for full-size modules were similar to the average results for coupons, but they differed significantly for individual test rounds. Overall the study showed that modifying 1-axis PV trackers to stow at ≥90° at night could significantly reduce PV soiling in desert environments, but using trackers to promote wind cleaning does not appear promising.