IMPACT OF DUST PARTICLES ON THE OUTPUT POWER OF PHOTOVOLTAIC MODULES IN CALABAR, CROSS RIVER STATE
During the dry season, dust particles on photovoltaic modules (PV modules) are a regular occurrence in Calabar, Cross River State. This dusty condition or environment is caused by the migration of dust particles from the Sahara region via the east-west wind. The concentration of dust on PV modules has an impact on the overall performance of solar energy systems. This research looks into the effect of dust particles on the output power of solar modules. This investigation was carried out by subjecting 80-watt monocrystalline PV modules to an outdoor experiment and analyzing the changes in current and voltage from the control and dusty PV modules with a digital multimeter. Other environmental factors such as relative humidity, ambient temperature, and solar radiation were also measured with a hygrometer, thermometer, and solar power meter respectively. Appropriate formulars were employed to calculate output power and efficiency. Dust particles on the surface of PV modules dramatically reduces the quantity of sunlight that penetrate the panel by 21.10%, resulting in a drop in the system's overall output power. The study emphasizes on the importance of frequent cleaning and maintenance of PV systems.