The progressive soiling of the heliostats of a solar field penalizes the performance of solar power plants, since they do not take full advantage of the available solar resource. As a consequence, there is a decrease in the electrical energy produced that has a negative impact on the income from the sale of electricity.
The impact that soiling can have on solar plants located in North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula has recently been evaluated. To this end, the monitoring of soiling in heliostats was carried out following the same optical characterization work methodology in the Green Energy Park (GEP) in Benguerir, Morocco, and in Évora, Portugal. The data was entered into a molten salt thermoelectric solar power plant model and the annual production of the power plant was simulated in both locations, with and without including soiling effect. The results of the study, recently published in the Renewable Energy journal*, indicate that the average soiling daily rate in Morocco is two to three times that of Portugal (1.6% versus 0.6%). Given the irradiance conditions, both locations are favorable for the implementation of solar thermal power plants. However, the study concludes that, taking into account soiling, southern Europe and northern Africa are equally favorable to the installation of the technology.
(*) CSP performance and yield analysis including soiling measurements for Morocco and Portugal. Ahmed Alami Merrouni, Ricardo Conceição, Ammar Mo, Hugo Gonçalves Silva, Abdellatif Ghennioui. Renewable Energy Vol. 162, December 2020, Pages 1777-1792. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148120315809
More information: Ricardo Conceição, Postdoctoral researcher, High Temperature Processes Unit, firstname.lastname@example.org
LCOE calculation results for the Green Energy Park (GEP), Benguerir, Morocco, and Évora, Portugal, for the clean and soiled scenarios.