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PV soiling in dry climates: causes, impacts and solutions

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By Benjamin Figgis; Amir Abdallah; Maulid Kivambe; Brahim Aissa; Kamran Ali; Cédric Broussillou; Veronica Bermudez

In arid regions soiling can greatly impact the energy yield of PV systems and drive up their O&M costs. Benjamin Figgis, Amir Abdallah, Maulid Kivambe, Brahim Aissa, Kamran Ali, Cédric Broussillou and Veronica Bermudez of the Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute, and Klemens Ilse of the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics, review the main challenges associated with soiling of PV plants globally, and the most promising techniques for dust prevention and cleaning in dry climates, drawing on research results from six years of PV performance and soiling studies at QEERI’s Outdoor Test Facility in Doha.

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Welcome to the latest edition of PV Tech Power. As we head into a new decade, it would be easier to look back over the spectacular journey solar has walked throughout the 2010s. From nascent technology to a stalwart of power system the world over, the last 10 years will be remembered as the decade of solar’s maturation. But rather than reflect on the journey so far, this edition of the magazine continues to push the envelope and instead glances forward. Indeed, what immediately jumps out is the level of sophistication that can be identified as you flick through the pages of issue 21 of PV Tech Power. This edition’s cover story comes from the deserts of the Middle East, where researchers are getting to grips with the issue of soiling and what can be done to prevent it. And if it’s sophistication you’re seeking, look no further than the issue of bifaciality, which litters the pages of this volume of the magazine. Trade body SolarPower Europe offers a glimpse at how entire swathes of the solar ecosystem is going digital, taking in new developments such as AI and machine learning. Previous editions of this magazine have charted the rise and rise of floating solar, and this has prompted renewed calls for standardisation in the field, as Jose Rojo Martin learns. But this sophistication is not just seen in solar. While recent analysis has shown marked decreases in the price of lithium-ion batteries, longer-duration batteries continue to be of real interest, and our resident energy storage experts Andy Colthorpe and Alice Grundy provide a comprehensive review of new developments in this area.

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