The effect of collector shading and masking on optimized PV field designs

Avi Aronescu, Joseph Appelbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photovoltaic (PV) solar fields are deployed with multiple rows. The second and subsequent rows are subject to shading and masking by the rows in front. The direct beam incident radiation on the second row is affected by shading and the diffuse incident radiation is affected by masking, expressed by sky view factor. Hence, all rows, besides the first one, receive lower incident radiation. The design of PV fields must take into account the decrease in the incident radiation caused by these two effects. The paper investigates by simulation the annual incident diffuse, direct beam and global radiation on the first and on the second row for optimized PV fields at two sites: Tel Aviv, Israel, with low diffuse component, and Lindenberg–Germany monitoring station, with a high diffuse component. The study emphasizes the importance of the diffuse incident radiation on the energy loss of the PV field. The percentage annual global energy loss due to shading and masking on the second row amounts to 1.49% in Tel Aviv and 0.46% in Lindenberg. Isotropic and anisotropic diffuse models were considered. The calculated diffuse incident energy for the isotropic model is lower than the values for anisotropic model by about 8% in Tel Aviv and 3.75% in Lindenberg.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3471
Issue number18
StatePublished - 9 Sep 2019


  • Anisotropic diffuse radiation models
  • Isotropic
  • Masking loss
  • Optimized PV fields
  • Shading loss
  • Sky view factor


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