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Development of low power laser in-situ thickness measurement for correlating the dust thickness to the PV performance

Panidhara, KM and Ramamurthy, PC (2021) Development of low power laser in-situ thickness measurement for correlating the dust thickness to the PV performance. In: Cleaner Engineering and Technology, 5 .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clet.2021.100332


Maintaining the photovoltaic (PV) panels operating at their optimum performance is a critical objective for energy harvesting. However, dust deposition due to natural, vehicular, and construction work over a period on the panels reduces the performance of the system. The primary goal of this work is to develop an in-situ laser-assisted dust thickness measurement unit and correlate the deposited dust thickness to the PV panel performance. The performance of the PV panel for various dust samples and coating thicknesses is analyzed, and the results from this in-situ measurement were correlated to the PV module's electrical performance. In this study, the effect of dust thickness on the panel temperature and the developed modular system is calibrated with various industry-standard thickness measurement techniques. The developed system suggests that even a few microns of dust deposition are enough to drop the PV performance by 50. To understand the holistic effect of the deposited dust on the PV panel, a modular integrated system is developed which measured not only dust thickness, but also dust-spectroscopic effect, temperature variation due to dust, and the decrease in the electrical performance of PV panel. Real-time monitoring and establishing the relationship of deposited dust thickness and PV performance helps to determine the panel cleaning frequency in large PV fields. These results lead to a reduction in human resources and resources utilized in the cleaning of PV panels. This portable, modular system could be used in site assessment of a new proposed PV field and scheduling plant maintenance in an existing PV field. © 2021 The Authors

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Cleaner Engineering and Technology
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Elsevier Ltd
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Research
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Materials Engineering (formerly Metallurgy)
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2021 11:38
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2021 11:38
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/70532

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