Value of bifacial photovoltaics used with highly reflective ground materials on singleaxis trackers and fixed-tilt systems: a Danish case study

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Abstract

The energy produced by bifacial photovoltaic (PV) arrays can be augmented via albedo enhancements. However, the value of the additional energy must outweigh the costs for such modifications to be economically viable. In this work, the electrical performance and economic value of six 13 kWp crystalline-silicon (c-Si) PV arrays with distinct configurations are evaluated. The system designs include horizontal single axis trackers (HSAT) and 25° fixed-tilt structures, monofacial and bifacial PV panels, and low and high ground albedo. The value of the system designs is assessed using onsite electrical measurements and spot prices from the Nord Pool electricity market. We find that HSAT systems increase the annual value factor (VF) by 4% and decrease levelized cost of energy (LCOE) by 3.5 EUR/MWh relative to fixed-tilt systems. The use of bifacial panels can increase the VF by 1% and decrease LCOE by 4.0 EUR/MWh. However, a negligible VF increase and modest LCOE decrease was found in systems with bifacial panels and ground albedo enhancements. Although our results show that albedo enhancements result in lower LCOE than designs without, the uncertainty in upfront and ongoing costs of altering the ground in utility-scale PV parks makes the solution presently unadvisable.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIET Renewable Power Generation
Volume14
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)3946-3953
ISSN1752-1416
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Bifacial photovoltaics
  • Albedo
  • Value factor
  • Single axis tracker
  • Nord Pool spot power market

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