In the solar market, another significant product development is rising. Bifacial solar panels that can absorb sunlight from both the front and rear end are an intriguing new solar alternative for some types of solar systems.
The traditional solar panels also known as mono facial panels can absorb light from only one surface, thus wasting the light energy that does not get absorbed. On the other hand, bifacial solar panels are different from conventional panels as they come with solar cells equipped on both sides. This mechanism helps the solar panel absorb the solar energy from both sides which enhances energy consumption.
What are bifacial solar panels?
Traditional solar panels have several disadvantages that bifacial solar modules do not. A bifacial panel can generate power from both sides, boosting overall electricity production. They are frequently more resilient since both sides are UV resistant, and when the bifacial solar panel is structurally sound, the risk of potentially induced deterioration (PID) gets diminished. When more electricity is available, the cost of the balance of the system (BOS) gets reduced as well.
When bifacial panels are placed on a brightly transparent material (such as a white TPO ceiling or the ground with light-colored boulders), additional electricity is produced from the backside. This additionally generated electricity can further result in a 30 percent increase in productivity and more efficient and clean air.
Bifacial modules are obtainable in a variety of styles. Quite a few of them are mounted, while others are not. Some even have dual-glass back sheets, while others have transparent back sheets. The majority of the time, crystalline silicon cells are used, however, polycrystalline models are also available. Alas, one thing remains consistent, and that is the power generated from both sides.
There are also many different types of panels like frameless or dual glass modules that expose the rear area of the cells. However, these cells are still not considered bifacial. The actual bifacial panels consist of bus bars located on both the front and rear sides of the cells.
A bifacial solar panel system’s uppermost solar cells face the sunshine, gathering incoming sun rays completely and filtering just particular wavelengths. The top solar cells work in the same way as those in a traditional solar panel array. The solar cells at the bottom absorb the light and reflect it from the earth’s surface. To boost the energy-absorbing ability of the PV cells, it is recommended to use silicon in the form of monocrystalline cells.
The mono-facial solar panels are placed in the form of parallel racks on the rooftop. However, the bifacial panels will produce more energy if they get installed at different or tilted angles from the ground.
Several commercial applications, such as pergolas and some ground-mounted systems, can benefit from bi-facial solar panels. However, bifacial panels are not appropriate for the majority of property owners considering a rooftop deployment.
These bifacial panels are best employed in industrial or communication infrastructures where panels are tilted and angled away from a mounting surface, allowing light to reflect towards the panel. Nowadays, bifacial solar panels are on par with traditional solar panels as they provide greater efficiency and also use up less space than conventional solar panels.
Also, when used residentially, bifacial solar panels are very productive. Especially, the transparent surfaces provide extremely clean and efficient energy when compared with conventional panels.
Can you use bifacial solar panels for residential installations?
Bifacial solar panel installation is not recommended for domestic rooftop solar systems in general. They make more sense for massive solar projects that allow reflected light to conceivably support the rear side of the solar panels.
The main reason for this use in huge projects is its projected premium on the bifacial solar panel installation as compared to conventional monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels. Bifacial panels are designed specifically for industrial or utility-scale solar projects, but they can also be deployed in certain residential applications.
Bifacial panels can also be used on free-standing objects like pergolas to provide partial cover while also producing energy. Bifacial panels can also be utilized in some other scenarios where the solar panels are not squarely facing the sun.
Industrial and utility-scale solar projects, particularly those with solar trackers, are ideal solutions for bifacial solar panels. According to a study conducted by a solar panel manufacturer, bifacial panels produced 11 percent more energy than conventional solar panels in an inclined, ground-mounted solar panel installation. Moreover, the systems which use bifacial solar panels generate 27 percent extra power compared to a similar traditional solar panel.
Due to their capacity to absorb photons from both sides, bifacial panels have always had the potential to increase energy output for massive solar projects. Energy from the sun that strikes the ground beneath a solar panel is reflected up and can also be collected by back-facing solar cells whenever the panel is positioned above the ground, which seems to be the case in most commercial systems.
Also, depending on the surface located below, more or less light will get retraced back to the bifacial panels. Hence, the greater the transparency of surfaces like sand will result in an increased amount of reflected sunlight as compared to less transparent surfaces like dirt or asphalt.
Bifacial panels may very well be perfect for you if you’re contemplating a ground-mounted solar system instead of just a rooftop placement. A residential ground-mounted installation is hoisted up well above ground, identical to industrial and utility installations, to allow light to penetrate the rear of bifacial panels.
Professional and industrial solar manufacturers may benefit from bifacial solar panels, however, they rarely make much sense for residential rooftop projects. The simplest approach to get a fair market value on a solar panel installation, regardless of the project size, geography, or other circumstances, is to compare multiple estimates.
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