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Energetic Comparison of Vertical Bifacial to Tilted Monofacial Solar

In this article, a vertical bifacial + reflector configuration is presented as a candidate for solar canals and other applications that allow dual use of the land. Modeling with weather data from Merced, CA shows output to be competitive with fixed 20° tilt systems, with south-facing vertical orientation showing 117% and 87% of annual output of south-facing 20° systems with and without a reflector, respectively. Repetition with weather data from Houston, Denver, and Miami produces similar results, with values ranging from 112%–121% and 82%–94%, which serve as conservative estimates due to lack of modeled soiling on tilted systems in the latter comparison. South-facing vertical orientations have better performance in nonsummer months relative to other systems, resulting in a flatter seasonal curve, with useful implications for load balancing and energy storage. East- and west-facing vertical orientations outperform their fixed tilt defaults, even without a reflector, and tolerate higher dc/ac inverter ratios than similar south-facing vertical orientations before appreciable clipping effects are seen.