Soiling and Abrasion in Photovoltaics

Energy generation through the use of solar energy is experiencing strong growth, especially in arid, sunny regions. However, due to high dust concentrations in the air, surface contamination occurs in these latitudes in particular. This effect is referred to as "soiling" in relation to PV modules. The relative power loss due to soiling on PV modules can be more than 1% per day, and for CSP (Concentrating Solar Power) the effect is even 3-5 times higher.

In order to avoid excessive power losses due to shading or reflection of incident light, the surfaces of solar energy systems have to be cleaned manually or mechanically on a regular basis. This leads to considerable costs due to additional maintenance activities, but also to constantly deteriorating surface properties due to "abrasion". Abrasion represents the constant loss of material, e.g. on a surface of a PV module due to abrasive, rolling, scratching, chemical and thermal stress.


Our Services

Soiling Tests in the Laboratory

  • Realistic simulation of dust deposition
  • Standardized test procedures according to VDI 3956-1
  • Adjustable environmental conditions

Outdoor Soiling Tests

  • Cooperation network for tests in desert areas
  • Specially developed test setup for soiling

Abrasion Tests

  • Testing of brushes and coatings on small and large formats
  • Optical characterization of stressed surfaces and scratches

Detailed Diagnostics

  • Examination of micro- and nano-structures (SEM, FIB, TEM; EDX) for root cause analysis
  • Determination of comprehensive surface properties (LiMi, contact angle, UV VIS NIR spectroscopy, FTIR, ...)