Reduction of solar mirror reflectivity by airborne particle accumulation in an arid region

Zvi Y. Offer, Abraham Zangvil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Measurements of airborne particle concentration and their accumulation on solar mirrors were conducted at the Solar Technologies Test Center, situated in the northern Negev desert of Israel. Measurements were made during periods of relatively isotropic conditions from seven hours to seven days and during dust storms (6 hours). During these isotropic periods airborne particle concentration ranged between 75-156 mg/m3, and the amount accumulated ranged between 0.1-1.34 g/m2. The decrease of reflectivity was 2.1-2.5% (for 7 hours) and 7.9% for 7 days. In the day the dust storms' airborne particle concentration ranged between 511-832 mg/m3, and accumulation between 0.17-0.20 g/m2. The decrease in reflectivity was 4.2-5.1%. During a nocturnal dust storm experiment airborne particle concentration averaged 540 mg/m3, and accumulation ranged on average of 0.13 g/m2. the decrease in reflectivity was 1.8%. From the measurements it is demonstrated that airborne particle accumulation on solar mirrors causes a significant decrease in their reflectivity. This situation reduces the efficiency of mirror-based solar systems. It is possible to apply the results of this work to optimizing cleaning and maintenance procedures for solar mirrors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Solar Energy (English translation of Geliotekhnika)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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