THERMAL SCIENCE

International Scientific Journal

Thermal Science - Online First

online first only

Investigation of the impact of atmospheric pollutants on solar module energy efficiency

ABSTRACT
Soiling is a term used to describe the deposition of dust (dirt) on the solar modules, which reduces the amount of solar radiation that reaches the solar cells. This can cause a more difficult operation of the entire PV system and therefore generation of less electric energy. This paper presents the results of the influence of various pollutants commonly found in the air (carbon, calcium carbonate and soil particles) on the energy efficiency of solar modules. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) investigation of carbon powder, calcium carbonate and soil particles which were applied to solar modules showed that the particles of carbon and calcium carbonate are similar in size, while the space between the particles through which the light can pass, is smaller in carbon than in calcium carbonate. Dimensions of soil particles are different, and the space between the soil particles through which the light can pass is similar to calcium carbonate. Solar radiation more easily reaches the surface of solar modules soiled by calcium carbonate and soil particles than the surface of the solar modules soiled by carbon. The efficiency of the module soiled by carbon on average decreases by 37.6%, the efficiency of the module soiled by calcium carbonate by 6.7%, and the efficiency of the module soiled by soil particles by 6.8%, as compared to the clean solar module. The greatest influence on reducing the energy efficiency of solar modules by soiling exerts carbon, and the influence of calcium carbonate and soil particles is similar.
KEYWORDS
PAPER SUBMITTED: 2016-04-08
PAPER REVISED: 2016-07-13
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2016-07-14
PUBLISHED ONLINE: 2016-08-07
DOI REFERENCE: https://doi.org/10.2298/TSCI160408176R
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