Bifacial PV Albedo Research

Rina Consulting Ltd

National Physical Laboratory
Round 3

Bifacial solar panels (BFPV) are designed to allow light to enter and power to be generated from both sides.

Moreover, they are often more durable because both sides will be made UV resistant, and potential-induced degradation concerns are lowered when using a frameless structure.

Unfortunately, there are also issues that are limiting the wide adoption of the new, more efficient technology.

While for measuring the performance of traditional PV modules there are already international standards, no standard exists for BFPV.

Furthermore, there is presently much uncertainty in the calculation of energy output of BFPV.

As a consequence, the risks for investors increase and limit the proliferation of BFPV.

PV has always been a priority in UK but unfortunately, the incentives cuts have slowed down new investments.

There is a need for more efficient technologies to make the PV market more self-sustainable and preserve the thousands of related job places.

The mini-project builds on the cooperation between RINA and the National Physics Laboratory (NPL), with the aim of developing an innovative method to perform yield studies, with reduced uncertainty on the output of solar PV systems, over their lifetime.

The mini-project focuses on a key problem in assessing the energy output of BFPV plant: the accurate evaluation of the effect of albedo.

Thanks to more reliable albedo measurements, the technical and financial risks of investors are reduced, consequently boosting the investments in BFPV.

The key objectives of the project are:
1.Evaluation of the effect of spectral albedo on BFPV yield modelling accuracy.
2.Determination of reliable spectral albedo data sources for use in BFPV system yield modelling
3. Determination of the requirements of spectral albedo data for BFPV system modelling.
4. Determination of the financial impact of replacing the effective albedo data with spectral albedo data in BFPV system modelling.

Benefits from the project will affect the whole value chain of energy, from generation to consumption.

More reliable yield prediction will encourage investments, generating not only more power but also new jobs in direct and satellite activities.

The higher efficiency guaranteed by the BFPV technology will favour a decrease of electricity price for consumers.

Finally, the increased share of PV energy in UK scenario will have a positive effect on the environmental impact, reducing the CO2 emissions.

Analysis for Innovators