Comprehensive Review of the Impact of Dust on the Use of Solar Energy: History, Investigations, Results, Literature, and Mitigation Approaches

Travis Sarver, Ali Al-Qaraghuli, Lawrence L. Kazmerski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

708 Scopus Citations

Abstract

The energy delivery of a solar-energy system is generally associated with the sun's available irradiance and spectral content, as well as a variety of environmental and climatic factors and inherent system and component performances. However, other external factors relating to geographical location and conditions can have even greater impacts on system performance. Among these, soiling is a commonly overlooked or underestimated issue that can be a showstopper for the viability of a solar installation. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of soiling problems, primarily those associated with dust (sand) and combined dust-moisture conditions that are inherent to many of the most solar-rich geographic locations worldwide. We review and evaluate key contributions to the understanding, performance effects, and mitigation of these problems. These contributions span a technical history of almost seven decades. We also present an inclusive literature survey/assessment. The focus is on both transmissive surfaces (e.g., those used for flat-plate photovoltaics or for concentrating lenses) and reflective surfaces (e.g., mirrors or heliostats for concentrating power systems).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)698-733
Number of pages36
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Volume22
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5A00-54842

Keywords

  • Cleaning
  • Concentrating Photovoltaics (CPV)
  • Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)
  • Dust
  • Mitigation
  • Performance
  • Photovoltaics (PV)
  • Preventative
  • Reflective
  • Restorative
  • Soiling
  • Transmissive

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Comprehensive Review of the Impact of Dust on the Use of Solar Energy: History, Investigations, Results, Literature, and Mitigation Approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this