A Techno-Economic Review of Dust Accumulation and Cleaning Techniques for Solar Energy Harvesting Devices

Ahmad Bilal Ahmadullah, Abdullah Al-Sharafi*, Ghassan Hassan, Hussain Al-Qahtani, Abba Abdulhamid Abubakar, Bekir Sami Yilbas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Solar energy is a promising and sustainable natural resource that can be harnessed through solar harvesting devices such as photovoltaic (PV) cells and concentrating solar collectors. The efficiency of these systems can reach up to 23% and 70%, respectively. However, their performance is significantly affected by geographical and environmental factors, such as orientation, inclination angle, longitude, latitude, solar intensity, shade, wind, temperature, and dust accumulation. Among these factors, dust deposition is a major contributor to reduced efficiency, power production, and profitability of solar energy harvesting devices. Accumulated dust can decrease the efficiency of solar systems by more than 70% within a month, depending on their geographical location. The intensity and characteristics of dust, such as shape, size, meteorology, and type, vary worldwide and are determined by the system. Numerous studies have investigated the intensity of dust and various dust cleaning techniques with prospects and challenges to restore the performance of solar energy harvesting systems. This paper focuses on the intensity of dust around the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It provides a detailed review of recent investigations into dust-cleaning techniques for solar energy harvesting systems for researchers, designers, and engineers in this field. Furthermore, it includes a techno-economic comparison of the techniques, which can aid in selecting the most suitable dust-cleaning technique for a particular geographic region based on technical and financial aspects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArabian Journal for Science and Engineering
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals.


  • Cleaning
  • Dust accumulation
  • Middle East
  • Performance
  • Solar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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