PV module testing lab PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) has introduced a new Soiling Station program designed to measure power and energy loss due to module soiling (i.e., dirt accumulation) in the field. Soiling can reduce annual energy output of a plant by up to 10%, depending on the site location, the company says.
‘The measurement of soiling is essential if a project owner or developer wants to truly understand measured or expected performance,’ notes Evan Riley, a PV specialist at global consultancy Black & Veatch. ‘When done with a prospecting station, soiling measurement reduces uncertainty in forward-looking production estimates.’
Available as a standalone unit or integrated with a plant's existing monitoring system, PVEL's Soiling Stations use two full-sized modules. One is allowed to soil naturally, while the other is cleaned with an automatic washing system. Power and energy are monitored for both modules, and additional modules can be added to the system and cleaned at varying intervals, the company explains.