Innovative floating bifacial photovoltaic solutions for inland water areas

Hesan Ziar, Bjorn Prudon, Fen Yu Lin, Tim Stark, Sven Teurlincx, Elias Garcia Goma, Ignacio Narvaez Alavez, Rudi Santbergen, Olindo Isabella, More Authors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Photovoltaic (PV) technology has the potential to be integrated on many surfaces in various environments, even on water. Modeling, design, and realization of a floating PV system have more challenges than conventional rooftop or freestanding PV system. In this work, we introduce two innovative concepts for floating bifacial PV systems, describing their modeling, design, and performance monitoring. The developed concepts are retractable and enable maximum energy production through tracking the Sun. Various floating PV systems (monofacial, bifacial with and without reflectors) with different tilts and tracking capabilities are installed on a Dutch pond and are being monitored. Results of the thermal study showed that partially soaking the frame of PV modules into water does not bring a considerable additional yield (+0.17%) and revealed that floating PV modules experience higher temperature special variance compared with land-based systems. Observations showed that the birds' presence has a severe effect on floating PV performance in the short term. Electrical yield investigation concluded that due to low albedo of inland water areas (~6.5%), bifacial PV systems must have reflectors. One-year monitoring showed that a bifacial PV system with reflector and horizontal tracking delivers ~17.3% more specific yield (up to 29% in a clear-sky month) compared with a monofacial PV system installed on land. Ecological monitoring showed no discernable impacts on the water quality in weekly samplings but did show significant impacts on the aquatic plant biomass and periods of low oxygen concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-743
Number of pages19
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: research and applications
Volume29 (2021)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • bifacial PV
  • ecology
  • floating PV (FPV)
  • island
  • modeling
  • monitoring
  • onshore
  • partial water soaking
  • photovoltaic (PV) module
  • PV system
  • realization
  • retractable
  • tracker


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