A Practical Irradiance Model for Bifacial PV Modules: Preprint

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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


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 (CFs) 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-of-incidence 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 the RADIANCE ray tracing program.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2017
Event2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC) - Washington, D.C.
Duration: 25 Jun 201730 Jun 2017


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

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5K00-73962 for paper as published in IEEE proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5J00-67847


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


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