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Modelling of Photovoltaic Modules Optical Losses Due to Saharan Dust Deposition in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa

Dialo Diop, Mamadou Simina Drame, Moussa Diallo, David Malec, Dominique Mary, Philippe Guillot
Smart Grid and Renewable Energy , Volume 11, pp 89-102; doi:10.4236/sgre.2020.117007

Abstract: This study aims to evaluate the optical losses of photovoltaic modules due to Saharan dust deposition in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa. For this purpose, an air-dust-glass system is modeled to simulate optical losses in transmittance and reflectance. To do this, we have collected dust samples from Photo-Voltaic (PV) surface in Dakar area (14°42'N latitude, 17°28'W longitude), Senegal. X-ray fluorescence reveals that silicon (Si), iron (Fe), calcium (Ca) and potassium (K) mainly composed these dust samples. Then, dust refractive indices obtained from an ellipsometer were used as an input to be used in the model. Simulations show that for radiation (at normal incidence) arriving on a dust layer of 30 μm-thick (corresponding to a dust deposit of 1.63 g/m2), 79% of the visible spectrum is transmitted; 19% is reflected and 2% is absorbed. Overall, the transmittance decreases by more than 50% as of dust layer of 70 μm-thick corresponding to a dust deposit of 3.3 g/m2.
Keywords: Modeling / X-Ray Fluorescence / Dust Characterization / PV Transmittance / Ellipsometry / Solar Panel / Spin Coating

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