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PV Module Sand Abrasion Testing
G. Mathiak, J.J. John, N. Sha, H. Alshanquiti, A. Seentakath, P. Gabbadi, Y. Kumar, M. Weston, L.M.P. Pomares, V. Alberts
Qualification and Testing, Sand Abrasion, Sandstorm, Sand Twister, Blowing Sand
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: Materials for PV Modules, Durability, Reliability and Accelerated Testing Methods
Event: 8th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion
Session: 3DV.3.2
879 - 886
ISBN: 3-936338-86-8
Paper DOI: 10.4229/WCPEC-82022-3DV.3.2
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


An increasing number of PV systems are being installed in deserts with hot-dry climates. Higher module temperatures, ultraviolet radiation, sandstorms and soiling by dust are the main challenges for special module design and module testing. In this work, the abrasion effect of blowing sand on glass samples and PV modules is investigated in the blowing sand test chamber at the MBR Solar Park in Dubai. Currently there is no suitable standardized method for testing the abrasion resistance of PV modules and solar glass under sandstorm conditions. Qualification testing of PV modules for arid climate conditions must include a sand abrasion test and a dry-cleaning resistance test. Blowing sand tests were performed in a wind tunnel chamber according to IEC 60068-2-68Lc2, using different PV modules and glass samples with different coatings. The air temperature can be adjusted up to 70°C and wind speeds from 18 m/s to 30 m/s can be set. The sand concentration of 2.2 g/m³ is used for most PV module tests. The typical test duration for PV applications is 2 hours with normal exposure to the module vulnerable areas. Coaxial microscopy, short-circuit current, and reflectance measurements were used to characterize PV modules with and without anti-reflective coating as well as glass samples before and after the sand abrasion tests.