Effects of Photovoltaic Module Soiling on Glass Surface Resistance and Potential-Induced Degradation

Peter Hacke, Patrick Burton, Alex Hendrickson, Sergiu Spataru, Stephen Glick, Kent Terwilliger

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

20 Scopus Citations


The sheet resistance of three soil types (Arizona road dust, soot, and sea salt) on glass were measured by the transmission line method as a function of relative humidity (RH) between 39% and 95% at 60°C. Sea salt yielded a 3.5 orders of magnitude decrease in resistance on the glass surface when the RH was increased over this RH range. Arizona road dust showed reduced sheet resistance at lower RH, but with less humidity sensitivity over the range tested. The soot sample did not show significant resistivity change compared to the unsoiled control. Photovoltaic modules with sea salt on their faces were step-stressed between 25% and 95% RH at 60°C applying -1000 V bias to the active cell circuit. Leakage current from the cell circuit to ground ranged between two and ten times higher than that of the unsoiled controls. Degradation rate of modules with salt on the surface increased with increasing RH and time.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 14 Dec 2015
Event42nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 14 Jun 201519 Jun 2015


Conference42nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5J00-64492 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5J00-66358


  • dust
  • photovoltaic modules
  • potential-induced degradation
  • sea salt
  • soiling
  • soot
  • surface resistance


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