Analysis of the Impact of Installation Parameters and System Size on Bifacial Gain and Energy Yield of PV Systems

William Marion, Christopher Deline, Amir Asgharzadeh, Tomas Lubenow, Joseph Sink, Clifford Hansen, Joshua Stein, Fatima Toor

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

6 Scopus Citations


In this work, we present the combined effect of installation parameters (tilt angle, height above ground, and albedo) on the bifacial gain and energy yield of three 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 optimum tilt angle is dependent on parameters such as height, albedo, size of the system, and time of the year. For a single bifacial module installed in Albuquerque, NM, the optimum tilt angle is lowest (~5 degree) for summer solstice and highest (~65 degree) for winter solstice. For larger systems, optimum tilt angle can be up to 200 more than that for a single module system. We also show that modules in large scale systems, generate lower energy due to large shadowing areas cast by the modules on the ground. For albedo of 21 %, middle 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's fixed tilt bifacial PV testbed and compare it with our simulations. We find that due to higher non-uniformity, lower tilt angles demonstrate high normalized root mean square deviation (NRMSD) between measured and simulated values than high tilt angles.
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.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-73942


  • high efficiency
  • mono
  • PERC


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