Spatio-temporal assessment of dust risk maps for solar energy systems using proxy data

Yassine Charabi*, Adel Gastli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a new approach for spatio-temporal assessment of dust risk map for solar energy systems in arid area using proxy open source data. The approach considers the recent NASA satellite data from the Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (MISR) which provides significant information about dust emission, transport, concentration and property evolution, through Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD). The analysis was conducted on Oman as a case study. The dust risk maps were developed based on the spatio-temporal evolution of MISR AOD in blue band (446 nm). These maps showed significant variations of AOD over the year. The summer season presents the highest risk of dust contamination because of the favorable regional weather synoptic conditions for the dispersion of mineral dust and creation of haze conditions. The annual average map of AOD was also developed and compared to the dust emission sources (desert sand locations), and the annual average maps of wind direction and air temperature at 100 m and 2 m above the ground, respectively. These maps show a good correlation between dust emission sources, wind and temperature profiles, and high atmospheric dust concentration captured by AOD. Finally, the impact of dust constraint on solar energy resource assessment and systems siting was investigated for Oman. It was found that a considerable reduction (64%) of the highly suitable land is obtained after consideration of dust concentration constraint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Aerosol optical depth
  • Dust
  • Risk map
  • Solar energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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