Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Dust on Moncrystalline Photovoltaic Module Performance in Kirkuk, Iraq


Photovoltaic module surface soiling due to dust deposition is a common problem, especially in the desert environment. In Iraq, Massive dust and sand-storms are environmental phenomena that frequently occurs during the year. Increasing desertification and decreasing vegetation coverage are one of the reasons for the recurrence of this phenomenon. Dust accumulation can reduce the performance of photovoltaic modules output power. This paper investigates the effect of dust accumulation on the performance of PV modules and the possibility of the energy losses experimentally. For this purpose, a microcontroller based dual axes sun tracker is designed and installed at the rooftop of the Engineering faculty Building located at Kirkuk University Kirkuk, Iraq. Two identical PV modules and real-time measurements with data monitoring system are used in this study. This study covers measurements done in August and December (2017). The results showed that the dust deposition on PV module could cause significant losses in PV output power generation on both fixed and sun-tracking modules. However, the losses was less in tracker system.