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

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: This study aims to evaluate the optical losses of photovoltaic modulesdue to Saharan dust deposition in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa. For thispurpose, an air-dust-glass system is modeled to simulate optical losses intransmittance and reflectance. To do this,we have collected dust samples from Photo-Voltaic (PV) surface in Dakararea (14°42 N latitude, 17°28 W longitude), Senegal. X-ray fluorescence revealsthat silicon (Si), iron (Fe), calcium (Ca) and potassium (K) mainly composed these dust samples. Then, dust refractive indicesobtained 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 dustlayer 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, thetransmittance decreases by more than 50 as of dust layer of 70 μm-thickcorresponding to a dust deposit of 3.3 g m2.

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