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Lessons Learned from Simulating the Energy Yield of an Agrivoltaic Project with Vertical Bifacial Photovoltaic Modules in France
J. Robledo Bueno, J. Leloux, B. Sarr, C.A. Gueymard, A. Driesse, P.-F. Drouin, S. Ortega, D. AndrĂ©
Bifacial, Simulation, GPU, PV, Agrivoltaics, BEG
PV Applications, Integration and Storage
Subtopic: PV in Infrastructure, on Water and on Vehicles; PV and Agriculture
Event: 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 6CV.4.41
1588 - 1595
ISBN: 3-936338-78-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20212021-6CV.4.41
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper, poster


Agrivoltaics is a novel application of solar (PV) photovoltaic power generation where the PV modules are installed in the same field as where crops are also cultivated. This is advantageous because this combines land use while keeping attractive productions for both agricultural crops and power generation. Several configurations currently exist for these agrivoltaic installations, including rooftop PV generators, ground-mounted agrivoltaic plants, and PV installations on greenhouses. One particularly innovative kind of agrivoltaic application uses rows of vertical bifacial PV modules. In recent years, bifacial technology has experienced a swift increase in its share of the PV market, which opens the door to performance improvements and even new kinds of solutions. However, in the current state-of-the-art PV simulation tools, the added complexity introduced by bifacial technology is still not fully covered. This is even more true for agrivoltaic PV plants with vertical bifacial modules. Here, we present a summary of our most relevant findings while assessing the energy yield of an agrivoltaics plant planned with vertical bifacial PV modules in the south of France. The evaluation of the bifacial energy gain (BEG) has been carried out with a novel simulation tool based on the use of the latest 3D evaluation libraries incorporated into the Graphic Processor Units (GPU) of modern computers. These were developed for the video game industry, and they offer many interesting advantages for such bifacial PV applications. We also discuss the main challenges that still lie ahead in the path to a better design optimization and assessment of the energy yield of such vertical PV installations.