Dust effect on flat surfaces - a review paper

Sanaz Ghazi, Ali Sayigh, Kenneth Ip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dust accumulation is one of the natural phenomena that adversely affects the performance of solar systems. Since 1942, many efforts have been made to address the severity of deposited particles like dust, water stains, carbon from smoke, pollen in agricultural regions, etc. on the efficiency reduction of solar devices, which results in additional costs either from oversizing the system or from cleaning it. Although various innovative methods have been employed to clean the surface of grimy PVs, a holistic approach needs to show the cleaning mechanism under different climate conditions. This review highlights the findings from several references in three time periods and focusing on their similarities. For scaling up the appropriate mitigation method, four different global zones are explored based on suspended particles in the air. Consequently, the pattern of dust distribution in different parts of the world is assessed and it was found that the Middle East and North Africa have the worst dust accumulation zones in the world. Finally, a set of recommendations and guidelines with regard to the different climatic zones and their characteristics are presented especially for the installers of PV or other solar devices to implement a suitable cleaning system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-751
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


  • Dust
  • Accumulation
  • Solar energy
  • Cleaning
  • Mitigation
  • Performance


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