Effect of Sandstorms on PV Arrays and Components

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    Photovoltaic (PV) systems deployed in desert areas are exposed to wind-blown particles during most of their life. Here, I describe the characteristics of wind-blown particles and with their effect on exposed surfaces. I provide insights for use in array design to minimize the effects of exposure and keep system costs as low as possible. Finally, I present some data describing the exposure ofpolymer-encapsulated arrays to both field and laboratory wind-blown sand environments, and I present evidence that an encapsulated or 'soft' array has a higher abrasion resistance and, therefore, a much higher probability of surviving a severe sand environment.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages7
    StatePublished - 1992

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-411-4787


    • photovoltaic systems
    • polymer-encapsulated arrays
    • wind-blown particles


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