The Abrasion of Photovoltaic Glass: A Comparison of the Effects of Natural and Artificial Aging

David Miller, Bobby To, Joshua Morse, Paul Ndione, Helio Moutinho, Lin Simpson, Chaiwat Engtrakul, Asher Einhorn, Clare Lanaghan, Aaesha Alnuaimi, Jim John, James Newkirk, Derek Holsapple

Research output: NRELPresentation


Natural soiling and the subsequent requisite cleaning of photovoltaic (PV) modules result in abrasion damage to the cover glass. The durability of the front glass has important economic consequences, including determining the use of antireflective and/or antisoiling coatings as well as the method and frequency of operating maintenance (cleaning). The abrasion of coatings and glass has been explored in a field study, including the soiling-prone locations of Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Kuwait City (Kuwait), Mesa (Arizona), Mumbai (India), and Sacramento (California). Dry-brush-cleaned specimens will be compared to those subjected to artificial-brush testing. The characteristics of material integrity, surface energy, optical transmittance, surface roughness, and scratch size were examined using an optical microscope, contact goniometer (for water), spectrophotometer, interferometer, and atomic force microscope (AFM), respectively. The findings of this study will be used to provide feedback regarding the cleaning equipment, cleaning methods, and coatings used in the PV industry. The study here will also be used to aid in developing an abrasion standard for the PV industry.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePresented at the 46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 46), 16-21 June 2019, Chicago, Illinois

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5K00-74183


  • abrasion
  • antireflective coating
  • antisoiling coating
  • erosion
  • operations maintenance
  • photovoltaic
  • PV
  • solar


Dive into the research topics of 'The Abrasion of Photovoltaic Glass: A Comparison of the Effects of Natural and Artificial Aging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this