A novel method for dust mitigation from PV cell surfaces

Bekir Sami Yilbas*, Abba Abdulhamid Abubakar, Hussain Al-Qahtani, Anwaruddin Siddiqui Mohammed, Abdullah Al-Sharafi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A novel method is introduced eliminating dust from PV cells by rolling droplets. Since hydrophobizing of PV cell surfaces reduces the optical transmittance, hydrophobized meshes are adopted laying over PV cell surfaces towards reducing the coverage area of hydrophobized coating over cell surfaces. Droplet rolling and droplet fluid spreading conditions on PV cell surfaces are evaluated and the mesh size resulting in droplet rolling over the PV cell surface is incorporated in the experiments. Droplet dynamics over the hydrophobic mesh laid dusty PV cell surfaces are examined incorporating the high-speed recorded data. Findings reveal that rolling droplets mitigate dust from hydrophobic mesh-laid PV cells surfaces without leaving droplet fluid residues on PV cell surfaces. During dust mitigation, droplet fluid interacts with dust via infusion, which slightly reduces the translational velocity of the rolling droplet. PV cell output reduction becomes less (almost 11%) for the hydrophobic mesh laid surface than that of hydrophobized cell surfaces after dust removal by rolling droplets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-717
Number of pages10
JournalSolar Energy
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 International Solar Energy Society


  • Dust mitigation
  • Hydrophobic
  • Mesh
  • PV cells
  • Rolling drop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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