Electrical and Optical Modeling of Electrode Configuration for Optimal Dust Removal in Electrodynamic Screens (EDS)
Joshua Bone1, Ryan Eriksen1, Carolyn Ellinger2, Kevin O'Connor2, Doug Garman2, Annie Bernard1, Malay Mazumder1, Mark Horenstein1
1Boston University, Boston, MA, United States
/2Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY, United States

Large solar collection facilities are often located in desert regions where annual solar irradiance is high, in order to maximize energy yield. However, these regions also experience high amounts of soiling, where dust and sand particles are naturally deposited onto the surface of photovoltaic modules. This soiling can gradually decrease the energy yield of the photovoltaics by decreasing optical efficiency. The Electrodynamic Screen (EDS) is a viable technology for the mitigation of this dust impact. The EDS employs a transparent film with embedded electrodes, which are energized at a high electric potential in order to generate an electric field above the solar collector. This electric field applies a Coulomb force which propels charged dust particles off the surface, restoring optical efficiency. We present two models in order to predict the effect of variations in EDS electrode configuration. A meshed-based model computes the electric field generated by the EDS, and traces particles above the EDS in order to predict particle movement and evaluate the effects of different electrode designs on various dust depositions. The second model traces collimated rays from a distant source through the EDS in order to evaluate optical efficiency. Used in tandem, these models predict the restoration in optical efficiency due to EDS activation.