Photovoltaic Soiling Sensor

Improving Solar Efficiency through Sensing Soiling Buildup

Overview: Soiling is the accumulation of dirt, dust, and other pollutant particles onto the surface of solar panels. Every year, it contributes to a net loss of $670,000,000 in the solar energy industry. Current devices quantifying soiling levels cost upwards of $5,000. As a result, researchers and smaller solar panel owners have to cope with sporadic cleaning schedules. A market need exists for a lower cost device. In this project, an optimal sensor was created to detect soiling and optimize cleaning schedules. The device fulfills the main design criteria of durability, cost, accuracy, and ease of use.

Collaborators: Edem Ahorlu, Rahul Prakash, Marcos Arias, Daniel Dequech