Accurate Soiling Ratio Determination with Incident Angle Modifier for PV Modules

Pramod Nepal, Marc Korevaar, Hesan Ziar, Olindo Isabella, Miro Zeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)


The deposition of dust, soil, and microfibers resulting from the surroundings, as well as the growth of minute pollens like moss and fungi, contributes toward photovoltaic (PV) module soiling. Soiling is a widely recognized factor that significantly reduces the power production by acting as a barrier for effective light absorption by the module. The estimated loss in the irradiance and power can be determined with the help of a soiling ratio (SR) parameter, which is the ratio of the short-circuit current (Isc) or the maximum power produced (Pmax) by a soiled module to a clean one. The measured SR is normally not constant throughout a day but changes with the position of the Sun and the amount of dust on the module. This paper proposes an empirical equation to determine the SR at any instant of time of the day based on the Sun's angle of incidence on the module and a single SR value measured at the mid of the day. First, an indoor experiment was done to examine the angular loss dependence of two totally different dust colors for the same SR at normal light incidence. Next, in an outdoor experiment, the SR of an artificially soiled module was measured over the course of the day for three conditions of high, medium, and low daily average irradiance due to variation in cloudiness. Then, an empirical equation is introduced based on an incident angle modifier for soiled and cleaned PV modules. The proposed equation was further used to determine the SR. Finally, the average residuals between the measured and the modeled SRs were determined with the help of root-mean-square deviation. The results showed that the modeled SR was determined with a deviation of ±0.21% and ±0.28%, respectively, for high-and medium-irradiance days, whereas the deviation increased to ±1.04% in the case of low irradiance due to clouds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8556021
Pages (from-to)295-301
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Angle of incidence (AOI)
  • Angular loss (AL)
  • Incident angle modifier (IAM)
  • Module soiling
  • Photovoltaic (PV) module
  • Soiling ratio (SR)
  • Solar power generation
  • Transmission loss (t).


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