View Factors to Grounds of Photovoltaic Collectors

J. Appelbaum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ground reflected radiation is one component of the global radiation on photovoltaic collectors in a solar field. This component depends on the view factor of the collector to ground, hence depends on the relative position of the collectors to each other. General analytical expressions and numerical values for the view factor to the ground were developed between flat-plate collectors positioned in a general configuration. Based on the general expression, the view factors to ground for particular collector configurations were derived. For deployment of photovoltaic collectors in multiple rows with common inclination angles, the view factor to ground is rather small, and hence, the reflected radiation from the ground on the collectors may be neglected compared to the direct beam and the diffuse components. However, in some cases the reflected radiation from the ground may constitute an appreciable amount as in snowy area. Bifacial photovoltaic (PV) panels can absorb solar radiation by both the front and the rear sides and are usually deployed vertically. In this case the reflected radiation from the ground on the panels may be appreciable depending on the ground albedo. The mathematical expressions of the different view factors may be used by the solar field designer to estimate the amount of reflected radiation from the ground reaching the collectors for different configurations of solar PV plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064501
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • PV collectors
  • reflected radiation
  • view factors to ground


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