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Dynamic modelling of the relationship between tilt angle, soiling rate and system efficiency for CIGS under the tropical locale

Sadler, Jarrod (2017). Dynamic modelling of the relationship between tilt angle, soiling rate and system efficiency for CIGS under the tropical locale. Bachelor of Engineering (4th Year Project) Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

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Author Sadler, Jarrod
Title Dynamic modelling of the relationship between tilt angle, soiling rate and system efficiency for CIGS under the tropical locale
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2017-05
Thesis Type Bachelor of Engineering (4th Year Project)
Supervisor Yap, Wai Kean
Yeo, Charles
Abstract Solar photovoltaic (PV) presents a huge potential for the tropical climate of Darwin in the Northern Territory (NT), due to the high level of solar irradiance and extended solar exposure. Darwin’s distinct annual dry season increases the dust accumulation on the PV panels due to the dry conditions, and the absence rainfall, which acts as a natural cleaning mechanism. A previous study conducted in the NT highlighted the dust accumulation, coupled with lack of an optimum cleaning schedule of typical installations, significantly reduced the solar power output. It has also been found that varying the tilt angle of the PV affects the soiling rate on the PV surface. A typical PV installation in Darwin is 15°, north-facing, to achieve the optimum year-round power output. However, this typical setup does not consider the effects of dust disposition on the panel surface.

The aim of the research is to investigate the effects of soiling for a CIGS PV through particle analysis. This was achieved by highlighting the relationship between the tilt angle, soiling rate and power output for a thin-film Copper, indium, gallium, selenide (CIGS) PV under the typical urban Darwin condition. The proposed model can be used to improve the cleaning cycle of the PV, and therefore optimize its power output. The model utilized experimental local weather data, and dust particle coverage taken from a PV rig on the CDU casuarina campus

To develop the overall mathematical model, a simulation of the local irradiance and power output of the experimental PV rig were developed and verified against experimental data. The results of the power output model were specific to a CIGS solar panel located in Darwin during the dry season. The theoretical and measured data were used to determine the system efficiency and power reduction coefficients of the dust power-loss model. To validate the dust power-loss model, power output data from the CIGS PV rig during May 2017 was used to calculate the proportion of dust particle sizes. The results were compared to the experimental results of the particle analysis to determine the validity of the model.

The outcome of the experimental analysis found that the simulated of irradiance yielded a percentage error of approximately 3%, and the sunrise, solar noon and sunset times differed from 5-90 minutes from the measured values. The power output model of a clean PV yielded a percentage difference of approximately 30% from the measured values, with an optimal tilt angle of approximately 30°. The dust particle analysis found the area of the PV surface obstructed to be 3.54%, 1.56%, 1.34%, and 0.82% for particle ranges of <75μm, 75-150μm,150-300μm, & >300μm respectively. Whilst the power-loss model predicted results of 3.38%, 1.51%, 1.08%, and 0.53% for the same particle ranges.

The model can be used to predict the power output reductions of a CIGS solar panel in Darwin during the dry season. This is valuable as the information can be used to advise solar power operators to improve their cleaning cycle to increase the overall power output of the solar panel array’s.

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Created: Wed, 16 Aug 2017, 15:39:28 CST by Jessie Ng