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Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2018)

How wind and dust affect the electrical characteristics of a solar module

Lundholm, Rickard

Titre : How wind and dust affect the electrical characteristics of a solar module

Auteur : Lundholm, Rickard

Université de soutenance : Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Grade : Master in Energy 2018

The electrical performance of photovoltaic cells is primarily dependent on the irradiance and the temperature of the cell. It is known that the cooling effect from wind has a positive effect on the electrical performance. It is also known that a layer of dust on a PV module reduces the irradiance. The effects of dust and wind have been studied individually both experimentally and theoretically, but to get a complete understanding of how dust affects the power output in the presence of wind (a common situation in field conditions) their combined effect needs to be known. This master’s thesis aims to systematically study the effect that soiling has on the short circuit current and the open circuit voltage of a solar module while exposed to wind in a controlled environment. Dust was homogeneously displaced across a PV module of 10 cells in a dust wind tunnel. Dust densities spanned from 0 to 40 g/m2 in increments of 5 g/m2. Wind speeds spanned from 0 to 4 m/s in increments of 1 m/s. Using a dust wind tunnel, the experiments were done in an indoor controlled environment so that the variables tested are isolated and their trends become more visible. The setup was designed to apply to typical outdoor conditions in that the dust used resembles that which can be found in most desert climates, the wind speeds span the range of annual average wind speeds that are recorded near the Earth’s continental surfaces, and the PV module was raised by 1.3 cm off the wind tunnel floor to simulate normal building applied photovoltaics (BAPV) conditions. Measurements were taken when thermal equilibrium was reached for no wind and in the presence of a wind. This was repeated for all dust layers. The results confirm previous studies done individually on wind or dust. There is a decreasing cooling trend across the module from upwind to downwind due to a boundary layer that is formed. The highest wind speed of 4 m/s has the highest overall cooling and 1 m/s has the lowest. The drop in irradiance due to dust follows an exponentially decreasing trend which closely corresponds to other literature. The main new trends that were observed were that for more dense dust layers the relative Voc was larger than the recorded temperature difference. The slope across the module was analyzed to see if an increasing dust layer affected the cooling across the module. There is a consistent decreasing trend amongst the different wind speeds, but the R squared values are too low to draw definite conclusions. There seemed to be no additional effect on Voc due to dust alone.


Page publiée le 10 décembre 2018