Albedo Data to Facilitate Bifacial PV System Planning

William Marion

Research output: NRELPoster


For mono-facial photovoltaic (PV) systems, the ground-reflected radiation typically comprises only 1% to 2% of the total radiation received by the PV module. Consequently, a rudimentary understanding of the ground albedo is adequate for predicting their performance. However, for bifacial PV modules where their benefit is determined by the additional radiation reflected by the ground to their backside, a better understanding of albedo values and characteristics is needed by both the PV and financial communities to better estimate performance and to reduce risk. This was identified as a key need at the 2018 Bifacial PV Workshop. Subsequently, the Department of Energy (DOE) has initiated work with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to provide albedo data for different locations and ground surfaces for both the simulation of bifacial PV systems and for summary information, including variations in albedo with respect to time of day, season, and year. This albedo data base will include data from measurement networks (SURFRAD and Ameriflux), and the PV industry is also asked to provide their albedo measurements and take part in a cooperative effort to provide an expansive and accurate data base of albedo values.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2019 PV Systems Symposium, 14-16 May 2019, Albuquerque, New Mexico

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5K00-73895


  • albedo
  • bifacial
  • data
  • photovoltaic
  • system


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