Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Marina E. Vance

Second Advisor

Michael P. Hannigan

Third Advisor

Shelly L. Miller


Photovoltaic (PV) systems are an important source of renewable energy in the United States and the world. As PV systems become more commonly used in urban environments, PV soiling by urban air pollution must be investigated. This study investigates the effects of aging and urban air pollutant deposition on multiple nanotechnology-enabled coating materials, described as “self-cleaning”, “hydrophilic”, and “hydrophobic”, applied onto glass panels that were exposed to natural soiling at different tilt angles (30°, 45°, 60°). Light meter measurements in the field showed no significant differences among samples. UV-Vis analysis showed that new self-cleaning coating started with 3.9% lower transmittance values than other samples, but after 4 months of natural aging, the hydrophobic sample performed ~ 2% better than others. XPS results showed that although freshly-coated samples had distinct elemental compositions, those compositions became similar after 4 months of field deployment. Results from this study will help elucidate the reliability of additive coatings for the protection of PV systems in urban environments and bring insights into the chemical and physical processes associated with urban PV aging.