From pv magazine USA
Soiling losses occur when solar panels are obstructed by particles such as dirt, dust, and animal droppings, leading to lower electrical output. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that as much as $3 billion to $5 billion in lost revenues each year can be attributed to PV soiling.
However, accurate soiling-loss measurements have been a challenge for the global solar industry. As site conditions shift due to localized weather and changing climates, understanding the progression of soiling losses becomes crucial for asset operators to more effectively predict their impact.
“Our collaboration with Fracsun proves how the predictive analytics and decision-making AI built on App Orchid’s platform can enable the solar industry to be more sustainable while improving profitability,” said Vaibhav Nadgauda, chief executive officer of App Orchid.
The tool will provide project developers with more precise modeling data, offer operation and maintenance teams a clearer view of operational expenses and maintenance schedules, and give insights to origination teams into the most suitable regions for development.
“Developers and operational professionals alike are often asking for better insight into future costs and production impacts due to soiling for their assets,” said Catlin Matthies, chief executive officer of Fracsun. “This unforeseen impact to project performance has been a source of pain for years and only looks to be getting worse looking to the future.”
The IEA estimates that in 2018, soiling caused at least a 3% to 4% loss to global annual energy production from PV. And this is expected to increase to around 4% to 5% this year, thanks to an increase in PV installations in regions highly prone to soiling, economic pressures, and the fact that more efficient PV modules will suffer larger losses to their output due to soiling.
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