Bifacial technology used by Agri-PV projects

KWS is a sparing partner for all stackholders. Since its creation in 2007, the company has supported the development of new technologies and validated innovations which can improve the management of PV projects. In 2014,  kiloWattsol was commissioned by a client as Solar expert to accompany them through the bankability process of their positive agri-PV concept.

Occasionally the system diverts from the optimum sun-tracking algorithm to leave all incoming sunlight to the underlying crops. 

These control algorithms need numerical plant growth models and climatic data to define the tracker control strategy. kiloWattsol has simulated on its platform the precise piloting services and their influence on the conventional kinematics of these trackers with a very wide range of movement (+90°/-90°). This allows the plants full access to light.

Illustration of an agriPV project using bifacial technlogy @kilowattsol

 The price of bifacial glass-glass modules has remained very high for a long time in comparison with glass-polymer mono-facial modules. For this reason, the use of bifacial by the PV industry has been slow down. Given the investment needed and the development stage of this technology, the gain in energy production was considered insufficient.

As the cost of manufacturing solar panels has now fallen and the bifacial technology has moved into the diversification stage, interest in the technology has been revived and significant energy production gains have been established.

These modules are mainly used in ground-mounted photovoltaic plants. They are widely deployed in the solar energy market, but their cost has remained high in recent months.

In agricultural applications, their ability to address both energy production and crop priority constraints represents a real asset. A win-win investment. These photovoltaic modules controlled by a control system represent a real tool for combating the effects of global warming on crops.

Though it remained scare for a long time on the photovoltaic market, bifacial technology is now developing rapidly throughout the world and, according to our discussions with the major Chinese manufacturers, is on the way to becoming the norm, even if it means not using the rear side. kiloWattsol has used its modelling tools to evaluate the gain of the rear side. 

This is particularly important when applied to pioneering solutions such as this company dynamic solar farm projects.