Effect of soiling on solar photovoltaic performance under desert climatic conditions

Idris Al Siyabi, Arwa Al Mayasi, Aiman Al Shukaili, Sourav Khanna

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The solar irradiation at the gulf Arabia is considered one of the highest in the world. However, this region is classified as a desert with high dust accumulation. Thus, the objective of this study is to analyze the effect of soiling and the photovoltaic (PV) tilt angle on the performance of 2.0 MWp of car park PV plant in Oman. Experimental measurements were taken and a model was developed for simulation. The power generation by the cleaned PV system was measured as 1460 kW around noon. After one week of operation, the power production (at the same irradiance level) reduced to 1390 kW due to soiling. It further reduced to 1196 kW and 904 kW after three and five weeks of operation, respectively. The results also show that a soiling-percentage of 7.5% reduced the monthly electricity generation (307 MWh) by 5.6% and a soiling-percentage of 12.5% reduced the generation by 10.8%. Furthermore, the increase in tilt is not recommended due to the duo-pitch canopy effect of the car park where the panels with 180° azimuth generate lower electricity than the panels with 0° azimuth. In addition, the part of the car park with 180° azimuth caused shading to the other part for high tilt angles.
Original languageEnglish
Article number659
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2021


  • photovoltaic
  • solar energy
  • dust
  • soiling
  • building integrated photovoltaics


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