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On the temporal modelling of solar photovoltaic soiling: Energy and economic impacts in seven cities

Siming You, Yu Jie Lim, Yanjun Dai and Chi-Hwa Wang

Applied Energy, 2018, vol. 228, issue C, 1136-1146

Abstract: This work developed a framework to predict the energy and economic impacts of solar photovoltaic soiling. This framework includes the effects of relative humidity, precipitation and tilt angle on solar photovoltaic soiling. A concept of relative net-present value change was introduced to determine the optimal cleaning interval. The uncertainties in the economic analysis were accounted for using a Monte Carlo simulation method. The framework was used to study the soiling-induced efficiency and economic losses of solar photovoltaic modules in seven cities (i.e. Taichung, Tokyo, Hami, Malibu, Sanlucar la Mayor, Doha, and Walkaway). Overall, the efficiency loss (in ascending order) for Tokyo/Walkaway < Taichung < Sanlucar la Mayor < Malibu/Hami < Doha for a one-year study period. Doha experiences an efficiency loss over 80% for a 140-day exposure, while Tokyo has an efficiency loss less than 4% for a one-year exposure. Malibu has longest optimal cleaning intervals (70 days for manual cleaning and 49 days for machine-assisted cleaning) that leads to the relative net-present value changes of 1.7% and 1.1%. Doha has the shortest optimal cleaning intervals (23 days for manual cleaning and 17 days for machine-assisted cleaning) that leads to the relative net-present value changes of 21% and 19%. The work serves as an effective tool for designing optimal cleaning protocols for solar photovoltaic systems.

Keywords: Solar PV; Soiling; Energy loss; Economics; Cleaning; Renewable energy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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