JPHOTOV3242117.pdf (33.81 MB)
Download file

Estimation of the effective irradiance and bifacial gain for PV arrays using the maximum power current

Download (33.81 MB)
posted on 2023-02-15, 16:27 authored by Caio Felippe AbeCaio Felippe Abe, João Batista Dias, Gilles Notton, Ghjuvan Antone Faggianelli, Guillaume Pigelet, David Ouvrard

Manuscript Version 3 - accepted by the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics. 

The final version is available at

Abstract: Bifacial photovoltaic modules are able to convert the solar radiation reaching their front and rear-sides, which means that more electricity can be produced using the same array area as monofacial modules with similar ratings. In some locations, the cost per power unit for such a technology has already become cost-competitive with conventional monofacial modules. The so-called effective irradiance and the bifacial gain are useful metrics, respectively, to assess the solar resource and the performance of bifacial arrays. To calculate the effective irradiance, studies previously published employ rear-side irradiance measurements, whereas to compute the bifacial gain, other works make use of monofacial modules with rating similar to those of the bifacial modules under analysis. In this paper, a straightforward method is presented, allowing to calculate the effective irradiance from the maximum power current, and to calculate the bifacial gain using a power scaling relation. The proposed method was experimentally tested using an outdoor platform with a dual-axis tracking system with bifacial modules. The effective irradiance calculated using the novel method presented nRMSE of 2.88 %, relative to the results obtained using the consolidated method. The bifacial gains obtained were 6.24 % and 6.69 %, respectively, using the proposed and traditional calculation methods. The procedure presented in this study might be useful for the quantification of the effective irradiance and the bifacial gain for PV installations which do not have extensive monitoring hardware. 


Email Address of Submitting Author

ORCID of Submitting Author


Submitting Author's Institution

University of Corsica Pascal Paoli

Submitting Author's Country

  • Brazil

Usage metrics