Spectral Effects in Albedo and Rearside Irradiance Measurment for Bifacial Performance Estimation: Preprint

Michael Gostein, Bill Marion, Bill Stueve

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Albedo data are essential for accurate prediction of bifacial PV module performance. However, spectral response mismatch between PV modules and irradiance sensors used in albedometers can limit the accuracy of performance predictions. In order to provide quantitative assessment of this effect, we investigate via simulation the differences in spectrally responsive albedo measured with thermopile pyranometers and crystallinesilicon PV reference cells in comparison to a representative crystalline-silicon bifacial PV module for nine different representative ground surface materials. Calculations are performed using simulated solar spectra together with catalogued spectral reflectivity data distributed with the SMARTS simulation software. For the specific materials considered, the results show that albedo measurement using thermopile pyranometers could over or under-estimate the ground-reflected radiation usable by a bifacial PV module by up to 10%, versus only approximately 4% total range of variation for a PV reference cell.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2020
Event47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 47) -
Duration: 15 Jun 202021 Aug 2020


Conference47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 47)

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5K00-79287 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-75927


  • Albedo
  • bifacial
  • mismatch
  • pyranometer
  • reference cell


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