Field data of soiling energy losses on PV plants are scarce. Furthermore, since dirt type and accumulation vary with the location characteristics (climate, surroundings, etc.), the available data on optical losses are, necessarily, site dependent. This paper presents field measurements of dirt energy losses (dust) and irradiance incidence angle losses along 2005 on a solar-tracking PV plant located south of Navarre (Spain). The paper proposes a method to calculate these losses based on the difference between irradiance measured by calibrated cells on several trackers of the PV plant and irradiance calculated from measurements by two pyranometers (one of them incorporating a shadow ring) regularly cleaned. The equivalent optical energy losses of an installation incorporating fixed horizontal modules at the same location have been calculated as well. The effect of dirt on both types of installations will accordingly be compared. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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