DustIQ: Soiling Monitoring of PV

An important challenge in the solar energy field is the panels getting soiled. Considering the growth of the industry, such issues lead to loss of efficiency and a decrease in performance ratio. A new cost-effective alternative is available now.

The DUSTIQ is simple to integrate with any new or existing solar arrays and can be combined into plant management systems. The unit is fixed to the frame of a PV panel and does not require sunlight to operate.

It is capable of continuously measuring the transmission loss via glass caused by soiling. This enables users to analyze the reduction in the light reaching the solar panel.

DustIQ Soiling Monitoring System

Video Credit: Kipp & Zonen

Dust IQ is installed in several test sites and PV projects.

DustIQ: Soiling Monitoring of PV

Image Credit: Kipp & Zonen

DustIQ: Soiling Monitoring of PV

Image Credit: Kipp & Zonen

Case Study: DustIQ and NOMADD’s Cleaning Robots

Dust is a major issue for solar energy in desert regions. On average, 0.6% of output losses are registered in the Arabian Peninsula due to soiling. During strong sand storms, losses can increase to 60%. Users can learn the case study regarding five results of PV cleaning and DustIQ tests in real desert conditions.

Free Whitepaper and Soiling of PV Modules

The impact of soiling is notable in arid areas. However, it can cause considerable effects in other climates as well. While developing DustIQ, Kipp & Zonen analyzed soiling and its various compositions across the world. The company has summarized these insights into a whitepaper, which is available free for public view.

DustIQ is the Missing Link in Solar Monitoring

The reason to buy DustIQ was the fact that this sensor was the first in the world able to perform soiling measurements without the need to use two reference photovoltaic modules, one constantly cleaned and another for soiling deposition. This promises to significantly change the way O&M is performed in large photovoltaic systems.

Cesar Biasi de Moura, Researcher, University of São Paulo

Dattatreya Poosarla, an automation engineer, said, “I would definitely recommend DustIQ to measure soiling. Other soiling stations within the industry have several moving parts. It’s a big advantage that DustIQ doesn’t have that. It’s just like any other sensor you can put in the field and use the open MODBUS protocol to read the data. This makes it easier to use and moreover, it has its own software interface that can be used to change the device parameter settings as required.”

Based on our initial experience and the fact that there is no comparable system available in the market, we would recommend to install DustIQ at solar projects, certainly in more dusty areas.

Veselin Aleksandrov, Project Manager

Measure Soiling and Comply with IEC 61724-1

The IEC 61724-1 mandates soiling measurement. The soiling ratio is a requirement for Class A monitoring if the soiling losses are predicted to be more than 2%. It is necessary to record the data every minute and the least number of monitoring points is related to the power capacity of the plant. DustIQ facilitates compliance with the standard usage of a small, light, simple and more economical measurement system.

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