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Dust Deposition’s Effect on Solar Photovoltaic Module Performance: An Experimental Study in India’s Tropical Region

K. R. Chairma Lakshmi*, Geetha Ramadas
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, R.M.K. Engineering College, Chennai, India
* Corresponding Author: K. R. Chairma Lakshmi. Email:

Journal of Renewable Materials 2022, 10(8), 2133-2153.

Received 06 October 2021; Accepted 07 December 2021; Issue published 25 April 2022


A solar PV panel works with maximum efficiency only when it is operated around its optimum operating point or maximum power point. Unfortunately, the performance of the solar cell is affected by several factors like sun direction, solar irradiance, dust accumulation, module temperature, as well as the load on the system. Dust deposition is one of the most prominent factors that influence the performance of solar panels. Because the solar panel is exposed to the atmosphere, dust will accumulate on its surface, reducing the quantity of sunlight reaching the solar cell and diminishing output. In the proposed work, a detailed investigation of the performance of solar PV modules is carried out under the tropical climatic condition of Chennai, India, where the presence of dust particles is very high. The data corresponding to four different dust samples of various densities at four solar irradiation levels of 220, 525, 702, and 905 W/m2 are collected, and performance analysis is carried out. Based on the analysis carried out, the maximum power loss is found to be 73.51%, 66.29%, 65.46%, and 61.42%, for coal, sand, brick powder, and chalk dust respectively. Hence, it can be said that coal dust contributes to the maximum power loss among all four dust samples. Due to heat dissipation produced by dust deposition, the performance of solar PV modules is degraded as the temperature rose.


Solar photovoltaic power generation system; dust effect; electrical efficiency loss; dust samples; surface contamination

Cite This Article

R., K., Ramadas, G. (2022). Dust Deposition’s Effect on Solar Photovoltaic Module Performance: An Experimental Study in India’s Tropical Region. Journal of Renewable Materials, 10(8), 2133–2153.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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