Laboratory and Field Tests of Weather-Resistant Electrodynamic Dust Shield Prototypes
Bing Guo1, Ben Figgis2, Chufan Zhou3, Wasim Javed1, Chang-Yu Wu3
1Texas A&M University at Qatar, Doha, Qatar
/2Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, HBKU, Doha, Qatar
/3University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States

Solar PV power generation in dusty environments can suffer significant soiling loss due to dust accumulation on solar panels. Electrodynamic dust shield (EDS) is a potential soiling mitigation technology for solar PV, which has received attention in recent years. A number of laboratory studies have been reported, but field tests of the technology have been scarce. In this study, two standalone weather-resistant EDS prototypes were tested in the laboratory and in the field for their dust removal efficiency. A gravimetric method was used in the lab to assess the dust removal efficiency of the prototypes. A photomicrography method was used to quantify the dust removal efficiency of the prototypes in the field. In the laboratory, dust was deposited onto the EDS prototypes using a sieve deposition method, and the EDS efficiency was measured in the single-operation mode. In the field, dust accumulation on the EDS prototypes occurred naturally over time, and the EDS efficiency was measured in the cyclic-operation mode, by energizing the EDS prototypes once every 24 hours, for four consecutive days. In the lab test, the method of cleaning prior to the experiment affected the dust removal efficiency, apparently because the cleaning action led to tribo-charging of the EDS surface. Dry wiping resulted in the lowest single-operation EDS efficiency of approximately 10%. In the field, the cyclic-operation EDS efficiency decreased from approximately 40% to 14% over a 4-day period. The lab and field test results provide very useful information about the EDS prototypes, but longer field tests are needed to evaluate the dust removal benefits of the EDS technology.

Area: Sub-Area 9.5: Effects of Soiling on PV Systems