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Accelerating ray tracing of real bifacial systems

Accelerating ray tracing of real bifacial systems

Bifacial photovoltaic solar panels convert light into electricity from both sides and are expected to dominate the market within a decade. Bifacial solar farm developers need accurate models of energy inputs, notably of rear illumination, to estimate annual energy yield and make accurate economic projections. Ray-tracing is the most suitable technique to simulate the complex optical interactions in single axis tracking bifacial PV farms but is computationally expensive. In this work, we accelerate Monte Carlo ray tracing of large solar systems by nearly 90% and validate our results with experimental data. We analyse the impact of the surrounding ground surface area and time-dependent ground reflection via calibrated unit systems. Overall, this work provides a basis for fast and accurate predictions of the annual energy input of real bifacial tracking PV systems. In turn this can lead to better system yield projections and contribute to lower risk for solar farm developers.

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