Skip to main content
Effects of Spectral Albedo on Solar Photovoltaic Devices
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
  • M. P. Brennan, Michigan Technological University
  • A. L. Abrahamse, Universidad Privada Boliviana
  • Rob W. Andrews, Queen's University - Kingston, Ontario
  • Joshua M. Pearce, Michigan Technological University
Document Type
Publication Date

Although the spectral effects of direct and diffuse radiation on solar photovoltaic (PV) performance are relatively well understood, recent investigations have shown that there can be a spectral bias introduced due to albedo from common ground surfaces that can impact the optimal selection of PV materials for a known location. This paper extends analysis to the effects of spectral bias due to the specular reflectivity of 22 commonly occurring surface materials (both man-made and natural) and analyzes the albedo effects on the performance of seven PV materials covering three common PV system topologies: industrial (solar farms), commercial flat rooftops and residential pitched roof applications. An effective albedo is found for each surface material and PV material combination, which can be used in lieu of broadband albedo values in PV simulations. These results enable PV material selection for specific environments enabling geographic optimization for the micro-environment, while at the same time assisting optimal surface selection in the vicinity of existing or planned PV arrays. This analysis is of particular significance for the modeling of performance of bi-facial PV modules and vertical BIPV.

Publisher's Statement

© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Deposited here in compliance with publisher policies. Publisher's version of record:

Citation Information
M.P. Brennan, A.L. Abramase, R.W. Andrews, J. M. Pearce, Effects of spectral albedo on solar photovoltaic devices, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 124, pp. 111-116,(2014).