© 2022To cope with the growing installation capacities of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in desert areas, it is necessary to revisit the energy production models and the optimal angles of PV panels given the significant impacts of ambient temperature, wind speed, dust accumulation, and cleaning frequency. In this study, these four factors are examined for four PV technologies (polycrystalline, microcrystalline, monocrystalline, and thin-film) at three cities in Jordan, Egypt, and Tunisia using precise ground-level meteo-solar measurements. Different models are compared to estimate the diffuse irradiance, as well as account for the effects of operating temperature, wind speed, and dust accumulation on energy production and optimal tilt and azimuth angles of the panels. The results reveal 1.5 % higher energy production estimates using the isotropic model, compared to the anisotropic model in the summer months. Considering the cooling effect of wind speed decreases the operating cell temperature drops by up to 7.05 % for thin film panels. The annually produced energy decreases by 24 % when the panels are cleaned bi-monthly. When the dust accumulation rate doubles, the energy production decreases by ∼10 % for all studied cases. Also, the variations in optimal tilt and azimuth angles with dust accumulation rate are within ∼3.0°.