Paper presented to the 3rd Southern African Solar Energy Conference, South Africa, 11-13 May, 2015.
PV systems in tropical regions are gifted with ample sunshine, but also vulnerabilities to high cell temperatures and dust settlement. Dust related degradation is progressive and if left unattended, can severely inhibit by more than 40% the efficiency and output of the system. Current mechanisms of cleaning PV systems adopt large quantities of clean water, making the system unsustainable. The current study thereby investigates the effectiveness of non-water based cleaning mechanisms based on traditional palm-leaf brooms. These brooms were found to be more than 90% effective in comparison to water based cleaning. The reason for this effective cleaning has been further scrutinized based on micro-structure studies and dust adhering properties