Field Soil Sampling Electrical Performance Loss Station

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Accumulated soil on the surface of a PV module (soiling) is widely recognized as a significant factor that reduces the power output of PV systems. The California Energy Commission (CEC) estimates annual losses due to soiling to be 7%, while other sources report annual losses ranging from 5 25%. The uncertainties associated with soiling impact the predicted energy yield of installed PV systems and therefore the return on investment. The effects of soiling are immediate and influence the value of PV projects during the crucial first few years of operation just as much as in later years after project payback has been achieved. Soiling studies are often confined to a single location and a single methodology. Simulated soiling can accelerate understanding of the influence of a particular type of soil on loss, and can guide development of anti-soiling coatings and environmentally friendly cleaning products. However, relatively few researchers have investigated simulated soiling and no consistent methodology has been adopted. Most of these investigations have been qualitative rather than quantitative. A comprehensive soil sampling study will allow consistency between site surveys and facilitate consistent, measurement-based model inputs. Airborne particulate matter differs from soil samples taken directly from the earth, therefore appropriate sampling methods must be employed to ensure that laboratory analysis is relevant. In this task, a soiling station designed to collect soil samples for laboratory analysis will be developed.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date3/20/149/30/16

Funding

  • US Department of Energy (DOE): $153,792.00

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