Solar panels operate when solar cells are exposed to sunlight. Energy production depends on the amount of sunlight the solar panels are exposed to in a particular location and at a specific time of the day. Since most C&I consumers prefer rooftop solar power plants for their industries, it is important to note that due to the positioning and upward angle of the solar panels, they are prone to gather dust and grime over time. This layer of dust and grime creates a barrier between the solar panels and the sunlight, due to which the solar cells do not receive maximum sunlight to produce optimum power.
Moreover, the projected output of the solar panels calculated by manufacturers and project developers is based on optimum performance of clean solar panels. The build-up of dust and grime negatively affects the panel’s capability to meet these projections.
According to a recent study1, the efficiency of solar panels can decrease up to 60% due to the accumulation of dust on solar panels. The research also concluded that the mean of the daily energy loss throughout the year caused by dust deposition on the panel surface is around 4.4%.
Solar power plants installed in industries that are situated near main roads and farmlands will require more frequent and thorough cleaning in order to maintain the maximum efficiency of the solar panels. Failure to clean PV modules installed in these areas will impact power generation negatively. Research also notes that the reduction in solar efficiency due to dust on solar panels is approximately 40% in dust-prone areas.