The environment and location play a significant role in the accumulation of dirt, dust, and other debris on the surface of solar panels. Some of the key environmental factors that can impact solar panel soiling include:
Climate: The climate of an area, including temperature, humidity, and precipitation, can affect the rate of solar panel soiling. For example, in hot, humid regions, algae and mold can grow more quickly on the panels. In arid regions, dust storms and high winds can deposit more dirt and debris on the panels.
Air pollution: Areas with high levels of air pollution, such as cities and industrial areas, can experience more rapid soiling due to the accumulation of particulate matter and other pollutants on the panels.
Topography: The topography of an area, such as the presence of nearby forests, deserts, or oceans, can impact the rate of solar panel soiling. For example, coastal regions can experience more soiling due to the accumulation of salt and other minerals from the ocean.
Location: The location of a solar panel, such as on a rooftop or in an open field, can impact its exposure to environmental factors that can cause soiling. For example, panels located in open fields may be more susceptible to dust and wind-blown debris, while panels on rooftops may be more protected but more likely to be impacted by biological growth.
By understanding the roles that environment and site locations play in solar panel soiling, it is possible to develop strategies for minimizing its impact, such as choosing a suitable location for the panels.
Here at Fracsun, we offer a service we call SRA or Soiling Research Assessment. In a nutshell, this involves the placement of an ARES soiling device in a prospective solar development site. This allows our customers to assess soiling rates if they were to construct their array in the area. Multiple devices can be deployed at several different potential sites in order to determine the site with the least amount of soiling.