Photovoltaic Module R&D Considerations for Soiling Mitigation

Lin Simpson, Matthew Brandtl, Ryo Huntamer

Research output: NRELPoster


Photovoltaic (PV) modules work best in the sunniest environments. Unfortunately, often the sunniest places also have substantial amounts of airborne "dust" that deposits on the front surface of the modules and blocks the sunlight; reducing energy output. In fact, natural soiling has reduced the energy output of PV systems since the technology was first used, and viable mitigation strategies have remained elusive ever since. With the ever-increasing deployments around the world, especially in dusty environments, soiling is becoming a billion-dollar problem, worldwide. While substantial work has been done to examine and resolve some of the issues with PV soiling, often mitigation comes down to physically cleaning the modules. However, a more systematic evaluation of the different module properties correlations to soiling mitigation needs to be done. In many instances, the causal connections between module properties and soiling are simply not known. This lack of knowledge results in a substantial increase in time and effort to evaluate and qualify appropriate soiling mitigation protocols based on site specific issues and the intrinsic module properties that are typically not optimized for mitigating soiling in a given environment. Thus, module property protocols and/or standards are needed to more quickly help identify appropriate module and site-specific mitigation.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the 49th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 49), 5-10 June 2022, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5K00-83104


  • mitagation
  • module cleaning
  • PV
  • reliability
  • soiling
  • solar panel


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