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University of Edinburgh (2022)

Understanding particulate matter pollution and photovoltaic power output using data and models

Yao, Fei

Titre : Understanding particulate matter pollution and photovoltaic power output using data and models

Auteur Yao, Fei

Université de soutenance : University of Edinburgh

Grade : PhD Doctor of Philosophy 2022

Résumé partiel
Particulate matter (PM) both in the atmosphere and deposited on solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels reduce PV energy generation efficiency. Atmospheric PM near the surface, particularly those with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 µm (PM2.5), have well-documented deleterious impacts on human health. It is imperative to develop models to accurately simulate PM impacts on PV efficiency in order to enlighten relevant policy-making aimed at reducing these impacts. It is important to develop models to accurately capture magnitudes and variabilities of ground-level PM2.5 concentrations in order to inform follow-on epidemiological studies. In this thesis I use a combination of satellite observations, in situ measurements, process-driven models, and data-driven models to understand PM pollution and PV power output with a focus on their links from global to regional scales. In Chapter 2, I integrate the GEOS-Chem global 3-D model of atmospheric composition, equipped with online radiative transfer calculations, with PVLIB-Python which is a solar PV performance model, to quantify PV efficiency losses due to atmospheric and deposited PM. I calculate three PV efficiencies : 1) real PV efficiency considering atmospheric and deposited PM ; 2) hypothetical PV efficiency considering atmospheric PM only ; and 3) hypothetical PV efficiency assuming no PM. By comparing these PV efficiencies, I find that regions with low PV efficiency are typically associated with high PM-induced PV efficiency losses, and that the losses due to deposited PM far exceed those due to atmospheric PM, with the maximum magnitude of the former almost eight times that of the latter. Desert regions including the Sahara, Arabian-Peninsula, Central Asia, and Southern South America are most susceptible to deposited PM which causes PV efficiency losses that are comparable to the maximum PV efficiency close to 0.3 achieved elsewhere. Coastal regions are also significantly affected by deposited PM, e.g. countries around the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and over New Zealand. The main regions where PV efficiency losses due to atmospheric PM are East and South Asia, particularly over highly polluted regions such as North China and the Indo-Gangetic Plain. In Chapter 3, I focus on developing strategies to mitigate PM-induced PV efficiency losses. From the perspective of reducing emissions, I calculate the aforementioned three PV efficiencies by halving anthropogenic source sector emissions


Page publiée le 19 janvier 2023