Solar Energy, Vol.188, 271-277, 2019
Solar PV soiling mitigation by electrodynamic dust shield in field conditions
Soiling of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules by dust accumulation can cause significant loss in electricity production. Electrodynamic dust shield (EDS) is a potential anti-dust solution that can be used to repel dust from a PV module surface, but so far there have been few studies of EDS performance in the field. In this study, we fabricated prototype PV modules with integrated EDS electrodes, and carried out field tests of the EDS function. Each prototype was made by fabricating EDS electrodes on the front glass of a base module and insulating the electrodes with a polymer dielectric cover. Three units, comprising two EDS-integrated PV modules and one reference PV module without the EDS electrodes, were tested in a solar test facility at Doha, Qatar for six months. The soiling loss of each solar module was quantified by comparing the module's temperature-corrected performance ratio to that of the clean module. The EDS efficiency was in turn assessed by comparing the soiling loss of the EDS-PV module with EDS activation to that of the EDS-PV module without activation. When activated hourly at 9 kV(pp), EDS could reduce soiling loss by 16-33%, while at 6 kV(pp) activation voltage EDS had no observable soiling mitigation effect. Further research with larger sample sizes and longer testing time is needed to better understand the soiling mitigation capability of EDS in field conditions.