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A new performance assessment methodology of bifacial photovoltaic solar panels for offshore applications

This paper proposes a novel use of bifacial photovoltaic solar panel modules for offshore power production. The proposed bifacial photovoltaic module utilizes the reflected solar irradiance from the water surface. The performance of the system is assessed through simulating a bifacial photovoltaic module mounted on a floater covered with aluminum sheets. The performance of the proposed system is simulated under various operating and design parameters including the location of the sun throughout the day, solar irradiance intensity, as well as wavy and still water conditions and orientation of the module using the COMSOL. It is found that the north/south facing bifacial module experienced a maximum of 55% increase in exposure to irradiance compared to a mono-facial module when operating on the water surface. As for the east/west facing module, it experiences a maximum of 31% exposure to irradiance relative to a mono-facial module. The wavy water simulation yielded similar results, the maximum increase in irradiance exposure is 49% and 33% for the north/south and east/west facing module. Moreover, the energy efficiency of a bifacial module is assessed relative to a mono-facial module. The minimum and maximum energy efficiency gains are calculated as 2.8% and 11.9%, respectively.

Publication date: 15/09/2020

Author: Ahmed Hasan, Ibrahim Dincer

Energy Conversion and Management


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 1914.