Local Variability in PV Soiling Rate

Michael Deceglie, Michael Gostein, Kendra Passow, Bill Stueve, Leonardo Micheli

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

11 Scopus Citations


We explore local and hyper-local variability in PV soiling rate by examining the correlation between PV system soiling rates over a multi-year period within two groups of First Solar soiling stations in separate regions of California. The results demonstrate significant seasonal variations in monthly-averaged soiling rates, with soiling varying from near 0 to ~0.1%/day in different months and with seasonal patterns that differ between sites. Monthly patterns at nearby sites were more highly correlated, suggesting that soiling rates can be strongly affected by local geography and weather. For the two regions studied, soiling rate pattern correlation diminished beyond a distance on the order of 50 km. In addition, for selected sites we demonstrate within-site variation in soiling rate of up to ~1.5-2x, which may be correlated with proximity to nearby agricultural activity.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2018
Event35th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 24 Sep 201827 Sep 2018


Conference35th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
CityBrussels, Belgium

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-72438


  • photovoltaics
  • soiling rate
  • variability


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