A Practical Irradiance Model for Bifacial PV Modules

William Marion, Christopher Deline, Amir Asgharzadeh, Fatima Toor, Daniel Riley, Joshua Stein, Clifford Hansen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

12 Scopus Citations


A model, suitable for a row or multiple rows of photovoltaic (PV) modules, is presented for estimating the backside irradiance for bifacial PV modules. The model, which includes the effects of shading by the PV rows, is based on the use of configuration factors to determine the fraction of a source of irradiance that is received by the backside of the PV module. Backside irradiances are modeled along the sloped height of the PV module, but assumed not to vary along the length of the PV row. The backside irradiances are corrected for angle-ofincidence losses and may be added to the front side irradiance to determine the total irradiance resource for the PV cell. Model results are compared with the measured backside irradiances for NREL and Sandia PV systems, and with results when using ray tracing software.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2018
Event2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC) - Washington, D.C.
Duration: 25 Jun 201730 Jun 2017


Conference2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC)
CityWashington, D.C.

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5J00-67847 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-73962


  • bifacial PV module
  • configuration factor
  • irradiance
  • model
  • performance


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