Spectral nature of soiling and its impact on multi-junction based concentrator systems
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Soiling, which consists of dust, dirt and particles accumulated on the surface of conventional or concentrator photovoltaic modules, absorbs, scatters, and reflects part of the incoming sunlight. Therefore, it reduces the amount of energy converted by the semiconductor solar cells. This work focuses on the effect of soiling on the spectral performance of multi-junction (MJ) cells, widely used in concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) applications. Novel indexes, useful to quantify the spectral impact of soiling are introduced, and their meanings are discussed. The results of a one-year experimental investigation conducted in Spain are presented and are used to discuss how soiling impacts each of the subcells of a MJ cell, as well as the cell current-matching. Results show that soiling affects the current balance among the junctions, i.e. the transmittance losses have found to be around 4% higher in the top than in the middle subcell. The spectral nature of soiling has demonstrated to increase the annual spectral losses of around 2%. Ideal conditions for the mitigation of soiling are also discussed and found to be in blue-rich environments, where the higher light intensity at the shorter wavelengths can limit the impact of soiling on the overall production of the CPV system.
Is part ofSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 2019, vol. 201, núm. 110118
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