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Title: A Sensitivity Study of the Impact of Installation Parameters and System Configuration on the Performance of Bifacial PV Arrays

Abstract

In this paper, we present the effect of installation parameters (tilt angle, height above ground, and albedo) on the bifacial gain and energy yield of three south-facing photovoltaic (PV) system configurations: a single module, a row of five modules, and five rows of five modules utilizing RADIANCE-based ray tracing model. We show that height and albedo have a direct impact on the performance of bifacial systems. However, the impact of the tilt angle is more complicated. Seasonal optimum tilt angles are dependent on parameters such as height, albedo, size of the system, weather conditions, and time of the year. For a single bifacial module installed in Albuquerque, NM, USA (35 degrees N) with a reasonable clearance (~1 m) from the ground, the seasonal optimum tilt angle is lowest (~5 degrees) for the summer solstice and highest (~65 degrees) for the winter solstice. For larger systems, seasonal optimum tilt angles are usually higher and can be up to 20 degrees greater than that for a single module system. Annual simulations also indicate that for larger fixed-tilt systems installed on a highly reflective ground (such as snow or a white roofing material with an albedo of ~81%), the optimum tilt angle ismore » higher than the optimum angle of the smaller size systems. We also show that modules in larger scale systems generate lower energy due to horizon blocking and large shadowing area cast by the modules on the ground. For albedo of 21%, the center module in a large array generates up to 7% less energy than a single bifacial module. To validate our model, we utilize measured data from Sandia National Laboratories' fixed-tilt bifacial PV testbed and compare it with our simulations.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S), SunShot National Laboratory Multiyear Partnership (SuNLaMP)
OSTI Identifier:
1437222
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5K00-71518
Journal ID: ISSN 2156-3381
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2156-3381
Publisher:
IEEE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 42 ENGINEERING; bifacial PV; optimization; photovoltaic systems; ray tracing; solar power generation

Citation Formats

Asgharzadeh, Amir, Marion, Bill, Deline, Chris, Hansen, Clifford, Stein, Joshua S., and Toor, Fatima. A Sensitivity Study of the Impact of Installation Parameters and System Configuration on the Performance of Bifacial PV Arrays. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1109/JPHOTOV.2018.2819676.
Asgharzadeh, Amir, Marion, Bill, Deline, Chris, Hansen, Clifford, Stein, Joshua S., & Toor, Fatima. A Sensitivity Study of the Impact of Installation Parameters and System Configuration on the Performance of Bifacial PV Arrays. United States. doi:10.1109/JPHOTOV.2018.2819676.
Asgharzadeh, Amir, Marion, Bill, Deline, Chris, Hansen, Clifford, Stein, Joshua S., and Toor, Fatima. Thu . "A Sensitivity Study of the Impact of Installation Parameters and System Configuration on the Performance of Bifacial PV Arrays". United States. doi:10.1109/JPHOTOV.2018.2819676.
@article{osti_1437222,
title = {A Sensitivity Study of the Impact of Installation Parameters and System Configuration on the Performance of Bifacial PV Arrays},
author = {Asgharzadeh, Amir and Marion, Bill and Deline, Chris and Hansen, Clifford and Stein, Joshua S. and Toor, Fatima},
abstractNote = {In this paper, we present the effect of installation parameters (tilt angle, height above ground, and albedo) on the bifacial gain and energy yield of three south-facing photovoltaic (PV) system configurations: a single module, a row of five modules, and five rows of five modules utilizing RADIANCE-based ray tracing model. We show that height and albedo have a direct impact on the performance of bifacial systems. However, the impact of the tilt angle is more complicated. Seasonal optimum tilt angles are dependent on parameters such as height, albedo, size of the system, weather conditions, and time of the year. For a single bifacial module installed in Albuquerque, NM, USA (35 degrees N) with a reasonable clearance (~1 m) from the ground, the seasonal optimum tilt angle is lowest (~5 degrees) for the summer solstice and highest (~65 degrees) for the winter solstice. For larger systems, seasonal optimum tilt angles are usually higher and can be up to 20 degrees greater than that for a single module system. Annual simulations also indicate that for larger fixed-tilt systems installed on a highly reflective ground (such as snow or a white roofing material with an albedo of ~81%), the optimum tilt angle is higher than the optimum angle of the smaller size systems. We also show that modules in larger scale systems generate lower energy due to horizon blocking and large shadowing area cast by the modules on the ground. For albedo of 21%, the center module in a large array generates up to 7% less energy than a single bifacial module. To validate our model, we utilize measured data from Sandia National Laboratories' fixed-tilt bifacial PV testbed and compare it with our simulations.},
doi = {10.1109/JPHOTOV.2018.2819676},
journal = {IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics},
number = 3,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Apr 19 00:00:00 EDT 2018},
month = {Thu Apr 19 00:00:00 EDT 2018}
}

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