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Design of a Low-Cost Multiplexer for the Study of the Impact of Soiling on PV Panel Performance

Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica y Térmica, de Diseño y Proyectos, Universidad de Huelva, 21007 Huelva, Spain
Department of Chemistry and Physics, University of Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain
Photovoltaic Solar Energy Unit, Renewable Energy Division, CIEMAT, Av. Complutense 40, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Centro de Desarrollo Energético Antofagasta, Universidad de Antofagasta, Av. Angamos 601, Antofagasta 1270300, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eduardo F. Fernández
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4186;
Received: 17 May 2021 / Revised: 2 July 2021 / Accepted: 7 July 2021 / Published: 11 July 2021
Atmospheric factors, such as clouds, wind, dust, or aerosols, play an important role in the power generation of photovoltaic (PV) plants. Among these factors, soiling has been revealed as one of the most relevant causes diminishing the PV yield, mainly in arid zones or deserts. The effect of soiling on the PV performance can be analyzed by means of I–V curves measured simultaneously on two PV panels: one soiled and the other clean. To this end, two I–V tracers, or one I–V tracer along with a multiplexer, are needed. Unfortunately, these options are usually expensive, and only one I–V tracer is typically available at the site of interest. In this work, the design of a low-cost multiplexer is described. The multiplexer is controlled by a low-cost single-board microcontroller manufactured by ArduinoTM, and is capable of managing several pairs of PV panels almost simultaneously. The multiplexer can be installed outdoors, in contrast to many commercial I–V tracers or multiplexers. This advantage allows the soiling effect to be monitored on two PV panels, by means of I–V indoor tracers. I–V curves measured by the low-cost multiplexer are also presented, and preliminary results are analyzed. View Full-Text
Keywords: multiplexer; PV plants monitoring; soiling; I–V curves multiplexer; PV plants monitoring; soiling; I–V curves
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MDPI and ACS Style

López, G.; Ramírez, D.; Alonso-Montesinos, J.; Sarmiento, J.; Polo, J.; Martín-Chivelet, N.; Marzo, A.; Batlles, F.J.; Ferrada, P. Design of a Low-Cost Multiplexer for the Study of the Impact of Soiling on PV Panel Performance. Energies 2021, 14, 4186.

AMA Style

López G, Ramírez D, Alonso-Montesinos J, Sarmiento J, Polo J, Martín-Chivelet N, Marzo A, Batlles FJ, Ferrada P. Design of a Low-Cost Multiplexer for the Study of the Impact of Soiling on PV Panel Performance. Energies. 2021; 14(14):4186.

Chicago/Turabian Style

López, Gabriel, Diego Ramírez, Joaquín Alonso-Montesinos, Juan Sarmiento, Jesús Polo, Nuria Martín-Chivelet, Aitor Marzo, Francisco J. Batlles, and Pablo Ferrada. 2021. "Design of a Low-Cost Multiplexer for the Study of the Impact of Soiling on PV Panel Performance" Energies 14, no. 14: 4186.

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