Analysis of the soiling effect on solarpanel power efficiency in the Colombian Caribbean región
This paper summarizes the impact of soil/dirt in solar-panel performance in the Colombian Caribbean Region. The corresponding experiment compares the performance of two identical solar panels, which are subjected to different scenarios. The objective of this research is, to categorize or establish on site solar-radiation ranges in order to estimate the actual solar-panel efficiency compared to 1000 W/m2. The maximum power point is calculated using an I vs V transfer function approximation. The soiling related maximum-power-point impact analysis is carried out with a complete Multivariate Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) considering three fundamental factors: dirt/particles, solar radiation and day. According to experimental results, the soiling effect in the solar-panel efficiency reduction has been estimated as up to 6% during times of the day with the maximum solar radiation; while for lower radiations, the effect decreases exponentially becoming negligible on the available electric power. Thus, empirically it is shown that the effect of dirt/particles is significant from a clean solar-panel to one with light accumulation, but such a negative effect rapidly diminishes as accumulation changes from light to heavy. Therefore, it is suggested that once some dirt accumulates on a panel, a cleaning procedure can wait until the particle accumulation becomes heavy. Thus, this study can become a tool that solar-power-plant operators can employ to estimate the trade-off between photovoltaic-system power efficiency and its financial viability.
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