Soiling on PV performance influenced by weather parameters in Northern Nigeria

Yusuf N. Chanchangi, Aritra Ghosh, Hasan Baig, Senthilarasu Sundaram, Tapas K. Mallick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The photovoltaic device's economic and environmental merits have made it the most suitable clean energy alternative to help developing countries achieve the SDG-7. However, the low efficiency of the device, which is undergoing massive study across the globe, there is another omnipresent factor, such as surface soiling that has a deleterious effect on a solar cell's performance, which is influenced by wind speed/direction, humidity and temperature. This study investigates the impact of dust on four PV types (Monocrystalline Silicon, Polycrystalline Silicon, Cadmium Telluride and amorphous Silicon) in a city with two large commissioned and one massive solar farm under construction considering wind, humidity, rain, temperature and dust particles under extreme conditions. Low iron glass coupons were also exposed in seasonal, monthly, and annual categories to determine optical losses, soiling rates, and deposition mass. Accumulated dust particles on the surface of the coupon were subjected to SEM/EDX imaging to identify the deposited minerals' morphology. The findings reveal a massive performance decline due to soiling on all exposed modules with a most significant ISC decrease recorded about 73% on a-Si and least about 65% of the Si modules in one year without cleaning and a total of seventeen months exposure. The outcome shows significant losses recorded, where a yield loss of 78.3% and efficiencies decline of 78% for amorphous Si, 77% and 77% for cadmium telluride, 70% and 71% for polycrystalline and 68.6% and 71% for the monocrystalline Si module. A wide variation of performance losses was recorded between months and seasons in 2021, and the dry season presented the most alarming rates. The optical loss results validated the above output performance losses with a similar trend. The particle characterisation reveals that mineral particles > PM10 size with opaque and translucent morphology were the main constituent of dust formation on the examined coupons. It is recommended to study various mitigation techniques and use the correct one in an optimal cycle, which is cost-effective, which could restore and maintain the installation's optimal efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)874-892
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2021


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