Characterisation of Dust Particles Deposited on Photovoltaic Panels in the United Arab Emirates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) experiences up to 50% power losses in photovoltaic (PV) panels caused by frequent dust accumulation over the panels trailed by extreme temperature. Compositional and morphological insights into dust particle can potentially help design PV cleaning mechanisms inclusive of self-cleaning explored in the current article. Five different locations were studied to discover potential differences in dust samples. The collected samples were characterised employing Optical Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD), and Elemental Composition Analysis (Energy Dispersive Spectrometry, EDS). The micrographs revealed that the majority of particles were irregularly shaped, providing interlocking for the dust to stay over the surface. The particle size ranged from 0.01 to 300 µm, and some of the collected dust exhibited cavities. XRD analyses revealed variations in the chemical composition among the samples studied. Elemental Composition Analysis via EDS revealed both consistent patterns and variations in element presence among the dust samples, highlighting specific detections of chlorine (Cl) at some sites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13162
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • dust accumulation
  • dust chemical composition
  • performance degradation
  • photovoltaic
  • scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
  • X-ray powder diffraction (XRD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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