Researchers at the University of Ottawa in Canada have investigated the effects of using an artificial ground reflector in large scale bifacial PV plants and have found it can increase a facility’s power generation by up to 4.5%


reflectors should be placed directly under the solar panels, not between rows, to maximize this benefit

conducted its analysis on a 75 kW bifacial system based on horizontal single-axis tracking (HSAT)

testing was performed over 4 months

utilized an artificial high-albedo, UV-resistant reflector material made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE)

assessed five different reflector configurations: with 100% ground coverage; 50% and 25% ground coverage, both centered on the torque tube; and 50% and 25% ground coverage, both centered in the middle of the open ground between rows

modeling presented a root mean square error (RMSE) of 5.4% on an hourly basis and showed an increase in total annual irradiance of 8.6% and an annual energy yield of up to 4.5% when 70% reflective material is added to a single-axis-tracked system

optimal reflector placement was found to be the one centered directly under the torque tube for all reflector sizes

reflector technology can achieve breakeven installed costs of $2.50–4.60 per m2

“Higher breakeven material costs are possible in systems with higher initial LCOE. For example, we found breakeven installed costs of $3.40–6.00/m2 for Seattle, Washington, with 60% reflective material”


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