Electrical and Computer Engineering Publications

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Renewable Energy

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To enable lower-cost building materials, a free-swinging bifacial vertical solar photovoltaic (PV) rack has been proposed, which complies with Canadian building codes and is the lowest capital-cost agrivoltaics rack. The wind force applied to the free-swinging PV, however, causes it to have varying tilt angles depending on the wind speed and direction. No energy performance model accurately describes such a system. To provide a simulation model for the free-swinging PV, where wind speed and direction govern the array tilt angle, this study builds upon the open-source System Advisor Model (SAM) using Python. After the SAM python model is validated, a geometrical analysis is performed to determine the view factors of the swinging bifacial PV, which are then used to calculate the solar irradiation incident on the front and back faces of the bifacial PV modules. The findings reveal that free-swinging PV generates 12% more energy than vertical fixed-tilt PV systems. Free-swinging PV offers the lowest capital cost and the racking levelized cost is over 30% lower than the LCOE of other agrivoltaics racks including the LCOE of commercial fixed-tilt metal racking, optimized fixed-tilt wood racking PV, and seasonally adjusted wood racking PV.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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