Study of soiling loss on photovoltaic modules with artificially deposited dust of different gravimetric densities and compositions collected from different locations in India

Jim J. John, Sonali Warade, Govindasamy Tamizhmani, Anil Kottantharayil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Evaluation of soiling loss on photovoltaic (PV) modules in a geographical location involves collecting data from a fielded PV system of that location. This is usually a time-consuming and expensive undertaking. Hence, we propose collecting dust samples from various location of interest, preferably from the module surface, and use them as dust samples so that the soiling experiments can be conducted in the laboratory. In this work, a low-cost artificial dust deposition technique is utilized that could be used to deposit dust on a module surface in a controlled manner, which helps in predicting soiling loss associated with various dust properties, including densities, chemical compositions, and particle sizes. The soil samples covering diverse climatic conditions and six different geographic locations covering all of India were collected and investigated. Soiling loss on a silicon solar cell with Mumbai dust (17.1%) is about two times that of Jodhpur dust (9.8%) for the same soil gravimetric density of 3 g/m2. The dust collected from Mumbai showed the highest spectral loss, followed by Pondicherry, Agra, Hanle, Jodhpur, and Gurgaon. The worst affected module technology was amorphous silicon (17.7%), followed by cadmium telluride (15.7%), crystalline silicon (15.4%), and CIGS (14.5%) for the same density (1.8 g/m2) of dust from Mumbai.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7327130
Pages (from-to)236-243
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Artificial soiling
  • photovoltaic (PV) modules
  • quantum efficiency (QE)
  • soiling loss
  • solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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