Analysis of Irradiance Models for Bifacial PV Modules

Clifford W. Hansen, Joshua S. Stein, Chris Deline, Sara Macalpine, Bill Marion, Amir Asgharzadeh, Fatima Toor

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

41 Scopus Citations


We describe and compare two methods for modeling irradiance on the back surface of rack-mounted bifacial PV modules: view factor models and ray-tracing simulations. For each method we formulate one or more models and compare each model with irradiance measurements and short circuit current for a bifacial module mounted a fixed tilt rack with three other similarly sized modules. Our analysis illustrates the computational requirements of the different methods and provides insight into their practical applications. We find a level of consistency among the models which indicates that consistent models may be obtained by parameter calibrations.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2016
Event43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2016 - Portland, United States
Duration: 5 Jun 201610 Jun 2016


Conference43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5J00-67943


  • bifacial PV module
  • irradiance
  • ray tracing
  • view factor


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