Google Earth Engine for the Detection of Soiling on Photovoltaic Solar Panels in Arid Environments

Supe, H., Avtar, R., Singh, D., Gupta, A., Yunus, A.P., Dou, J., A. Ravankar, A., Mohan, G., et al. (2020). Google Earth Engine for the Detection of Soiling on Photovoltaic Solar Panels in Arid Environments. Remote Sensing 12 (9) e1466. 10.3390/rs12091466.

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The soiling of solar panels from dry deposition affects the overall efficiency of power output from solar power plants. This study focuses on the detection and monitoring of sand deposition (wind-blown dust) on photovoltaic (PV) solar panels in arid regions using multitemporal remote sensing data. The study area is located in Bhadla solar park of Rajasthan, India which receives numerous sandstorms every year, carried by westerly and north-westerly winds. This study aims to use Google Earth Engine (GEE) in monitoring the soiling phenomenon on PV panels. Optical imageries archived in the GEE platform were processed for the generation of various sand indices such as the normalized differential sand index (NDSI), the ratio normalized differential soil index (RNDSI), and the dry bare soil index (DBSI). Land surface temperature (LST) derived from Landsat 8 thermal bands were also used to correlate with sand indices and to observe the pattern of sand accumulation in the target region. Additionally, high-resolution PlanetScope images were used to quantitatively validate the sand indices. Our study suggests that the use of freely available satellite data with semiautomated processing on GEE can be a useful alternative to manual methods. The developed method can provide near real-time monitoring of soiling on PV panels cost-effectively. This study concludes that the DBSI method has a comparatively higher potential (89.6% Accuracy, 0.77 Kappa) in the detection of sand deposition on PV panels as compared to other indices. The findings of this study can be useful to solar energy companies in the development of an operational plan for the cleaning of PV panels regularly.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: land surface temperature; normalized differential sand index; soiling of solar panels
Research Programs: Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA)
Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA) > Systemic Risk and Resilience (SYRR)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2023 09:07
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2023 09:07

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