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Estimation of the effective irradiance and bifacial gain for PV arrays without the use of rear-side irradiance meters
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  • Caio Felippe Abe ,
  • João Batista Dias ,
  • Gilles Notton ,
  • Ghjuvan Antone Faggianelli ,
  • Guillaume Pigelet ,
  • David Ouvrard
Caio Felippe Abe
University of Corsica Pascal Paoli, University of Corsica Pascal Paoli, University of Corsica Pascal Paoli

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João Batista Dias
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Gilles Notton
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Ghjuvan Antone Faggianelli
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Guillaume Pigelet
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David Ouvrard
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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 for such a technology has become cost-competitive with onventional 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. In turn, 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 the calculation of the effective irradiance without the requirement of measuring the rear-side irradiance; and to calculate the bifacial gain without the need of a monofacial module. The proposed method was experimentally tested using an outdoor platform with a dual-axis tracking system with bifacial modules. The international standard IEC-60891 was taken as a reference for monofacial power calculations, showing coherent results when compared to the calculated front-side bifacial module performance. The method should be useful for the quantification of the effective irradiance and the bifacial gain for PV installations which do not make use of extensive monitoring hardware.
May 2023Published in IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics volume 13 issue 3 on pages 432-441. 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2023.3242117