PV System, Bifacial, Energy Performance, Optical Properties, Albedo, Reflectors
Summary / Abstract:
We have investigated the efficacy of a highly reflective ground cover as a reflector in combination with bifacial PV modules, using a white polymer fabric that has originally been developed for horticultural applications. This study provides an initial assessment of the potential advantage in energy yield, before testing the material on a larger scale. To test the attainable bifacial gain, we installed three identical PV modules on a south-facing rack with different undergrounds and backgrounds: the roof environment as-is, lawn grass, and Magnifield woven textile. In a first test phase, the modules were operated as solitary units in the middle of separate rack segments. In a second phase, they were surrounded by black textile covers, to simulate a realistic shading setting as it would be in a larger installation. We found that the white textile Magnifield provides a strong boost of bifacial gain relative to grass, obtaining an additional 16% in energy yield with solitary modules and 10% in a realistic rack configuration. Use of this white reflective woven textile material can aid substantially in enhancing performance and reducing kWh costs in ground-mounted PV systems of any size.