Kipp & Zonen offers easy measurement of utility-scale solar panel soiling

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 ‘DustIQ’ measures the soiling ratio (SR) and can be easily added to new or existing solar arrays and integrated into plant management systems.Image: Kipp & Zonen

Kipp & Zonen is launching a completely new technology and product to monitor PV panel soiling at Intersolar Europe 2017 in Munich, Germany. Based on Kipp & Zonen’s unique optical technology, ‘DustIQ’ measures the soiling ratio (SR) and can be easily added to new or existing solar arrays and integrated into plant management systems.

Problem

The performance ratio of PV panels is primarily determined by four main parameters; the incoming solar irradiance, the cell (back panel) temperature, the soiling ratio and the power produced. Soiling of the panel glass is one of the major problems in the rapidly expanding solar energy market, with the attendant loss of efficiency and reduction in performance ratios. 

Solution

DustIQ measures the SR, which can be translated to generating power loss in real time. This enables the plant operation and maintenance staff to know when a critical level of soiling is reached and it has become necessary to start cleaning procedures. Dust IQ needs no maintenance and is cleaned in the same way, and at the same time, as the panels around it. Large solar parks have different soiling rates across the site, which is why IEC 61724-1 requires multiple measurement points. The significantly lower purchase, installation and maintenance costs of DustIQ compared to traditional systems make this much more economic, so that cleaning can be scheduled when and where it is needed.

Applications

Soiling ratio measurements for large commercial and utility-scale PV power plants.

Platform

DustIQ communicates digitally via ‘Modbus’ and has an input for an optional back panel temperature sensor. It can be networked with Kipp & Zonen Smart pyranometers for irradiance measurements and be integrated into a plant SCADA system.

Availability

May 2017, onwards.

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