Design and Performance Evaluation of Photovoltaic Systems with Automatic Dust Wiper in a Natural Dusty Environment
Asian Journal of Physical and Chemical Sciences,
The accumulation of dust on solar panels affects the transmittance of solar panel glazing which leads to the degradation of its efficiency due to low levels of irradiance reaching the cells. In this work, the response of polycrystalline silicon solar panels toward dust in a natural dusty environment was experimentally investigated at a location in Calabar close to the Calabar river. The experimental measurements were carried out in real-time outdoor conditions where human activities take place. An automatic dust wiping/cleaning mechanism to ensure the panel surface was kept clean was deployed in the study. An intelligent maximum power point (MPP) trackers for tracking the maximum power points of the panels were also utilized for this work. Results obtained revealed that the accumulation of dust on polycrystalline solar panel adversely affects its power output and efficiency. From the results, it was also revealed that the average panel temperature of the photovoltaic system with the automatic dust wiping mechanism was 5.300C lower than the other system without the mechanism. This lower panel temperature led to an increase of 16%, 32.5%, 43.40% and 43.37% in average voltage, average current, average power and average efficiency respectively over the dusty panel. It was demonstrated that solar panel efficiency plummets as panel temperature rises due to heat dissipation caused by the accumulation of dust.
- automatic dust-wiping mechanism
- maximum power point
- solar panel
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