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Yield assessment of innovative floating bifacial photovoltaic solutions for in-land water areas

Hesan Ziar, Tim Stark, Bjorn Prudon, Vicky Lin, Bart Roeffen, Dennis Heijkoop, Elias Garcia Goma, Julen Garro Extebarria, Furkan Fatih Sönmez, Ignacio Narvaez Alavez, Daniel van Tilborg, Peter van der Linde, Hein van Laar, Andres Calcabrini, Rudi Santbergen & Olindo Isabella

Photovoltaic (PV) technology has the potential to be integrated on many surfaces in various environments, even on water. Modelling, design and realization of a floating PV system has more challenges that conventional rooftop or free-standing PV system. In this work, we introduce two innovative concepts for floating bifacial PV systems, describing their modelling, design, and performance monitoring. The developed concepts are retractable and enable maximum energy production through tracking the Sun. Various floating PV systems (mono-facial, bifacial with and without reflectors) with different tilts and tracking capabilities are installed on a Dutch lake and are being monitored. Results of thermal study showed that partially soaking the frame of PV modules into water does not bring a considerable additional yield. Electrical yield investigation concluded that due to low albedo of in-land water areas (5%), bifacial PV systems must have reflectors. Modelling result showed that such system can have 18% more annual energy yield compared to a mono-facial PV system installed on land. This research is being done under the INNOZOWA project ( which has demonstrated novel floating PV concepts for in-land water areas. After gathering one year of monitored data (to be finished in September 2020), the designed pilots will be further exploited for upscaling. 

KEYWORDS: Photovoltaic (PV) system, Bifacial floating PV, reflector, Sun tracker, In-land waterway


Hesan Ziar, currently works as an assistant professor in the Photovoltaic Materials and Devices (PVMD) Group, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands. He has collaborated with several companies and research institutes within consortiums and research projects including photovoltaic system installation optimization (PVISION) and innovative PV systems on water (INNOZOWA). In PVMD group, he has contributed to several research topics including soiling on PV modules, PV potential map for Dutch highways, Indoor PV-based lamp, probability-based shading tolerability for PV module, and geometric spectral albedo. His research interest includes photovoltaic systems, their modeling and applications and associated power electronics. His vision is that every surface can potentially contribute to sustainable energy transition.

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