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Bifacial Solar Panels: Are They Worth It?
Bifacial Solar Panels

The objective of building a solar energy system is to maximise electricity output. Solar panel technology has made great hype in recent years. Bifacial solar panels are a particularly intriguing technological development in the solar industry. Bifacial modules have existed since the 1960s, but the advent of PERC (passivated emitter rear cell) technology in the solar PV sector has rendered them disruptive to the market. Let’s first describe bifacial solar panels before going through their advantages. So read on to find out more!

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Important Points To Remember

  • Bifacial solar panels are covered with the solar cells from both the front and the rear.
  • There are two procedures for installing the bifacial modules which includes solar mounting and racking systems.
  • Solar Panels with A bifacial surface are used for commercial and utility-scale applications.
  • There are many benefits for installing the bifacial solar modules for small- and large-scale projects.

What Is A Bifacial Solar Module?

Solar electricity is generated from both sides of the panel in bifacial modules. Bifacial modules reveal both the front and rear of the solar cells, whereas standard opaque-back sheeted panels are mono-facial. When bifacial modules are mounted on a highly reflective surface (such as a white TPO roof or the ground with light-coloured stones), some bifacial module manufacturers say that the extra power generated from the back can result in a 30 percent boost in production.

Bifacial modules are available in a variety of styles. Some of them are framed, while others are not. Some have dual-glass back sheets, while others have clear back sheets. Most of the time, monocrystalline cells are used, however polycrystalline versions are also available. Frameless, dual-glass modules that expose the backside of cells but are not bifacial. Contacts and busbars are present on both the front and back surfaces of true bifacial modules’ cells.

What Is The Procedure Of Installing Bifacial Solar Modules?

The type of bifacial module determines how it is mounted. Because typical solar mounting and racking systems are already geared to framed models, a framed bifacial module may be easier to install than a frameless type. Most bifacial module makers include clamps for mounting their brand, removing any installation concerns.

The module clamps for frameless bifacial modules often have rubber guards to protect the glass, and extra care must be used to avoid overtightening bolts and harming the glass. The more power a bifacial module produces from its bifacial features, the higher it is slanted. Any reflected light is blocked from reaching the backside of the cells by bifacial modules installed evenly on a rooftop. Because there is more flexibility for tilt and bouncing reflected light to the rear of the modules, bifacial modules operate better on flat business rooftops and ground-mounted arrays.

The performance of the bifacial modules might be influenced by the mounting arrangement. Back rows of bifacial cells will be shaded by racking systems with support rails that are normally covered by the back sheet of a mono-facial module. To avoid shading, bifacial panel junction boxes have shrunk or been split into many units positioned along the panel’s edge. Backside shadowing is no longer an issue with mounting and racking systems designed specifically for bifacial installations.

Solar Panels With A Bifacial Surface For Commercial And Utility-Scale Applications

Commercial and utility-scale solar projects, particularly those with solar trackers, are good applications for bifacial solar panels. Due to their capacity to absorb energy from both sides, bifacial panels have the potential to increase energy output for large-scale solar projects. Sunlight that strikes the ground underneath a solar panel is reflected up and can be absorbed by back-facing solar cells when the panel is positioned above the ground, which is the case in most commercial systems. In addition, the amount of light reflected back up to the bifacial panels will vary based on the surface below.

Are Bifacial Solar Panels Suitable For Residential Home?

Bifacial solar panels are not recommended for residential rooftop solar systems in general. They are suitable for larger solar projects that allow reflected light to easily reach the rear of the panel.

These panels are ideally suited for commercial or utility-scale solar installations, but they can also be employed in some household applications. Bifacial panels can be used on free-standing structures like pergolas to provide some shade while also generating electricity. Bifacial panels can also be utilised in any other situation where the solar panels are not directly facing the sun. Awnings and canopies made of bifacial solar panels, for example, allow reflected light to reach the panels’ backside.

They may be perfect for you if you’re considering a ground-mounted solar system rather than a rooftop installation. A residential ground-mounted system is raised up above the ground, similar to commercial and utility applications, to allow light to reach the backside of bifacial panels

The Advantages Of Bifacial Solar Panels

Bifacial solar panels are popular and in demand by the customers due to the numerous benefits they offer. Some of them are mentioned below.

Increase in Productivity

More electricity is produced as compared to other panels since the bifacial module has the power to absorb more energy. Some manufacturers claim that bifacial solar panels can produce up to 30% more energy than conventional mono-facial solar panels. Due to the greater efficiency, homeowners can use fewer panels to meet their energy needs, saving both money and space.

Enhance Aesthetics.

For bifacial modules, frameless solutions are also available. Single-sided solar panels are frequently thought to be less aesthetically pleasing than whole glass frames. So the bifacial solar panels provide a clean and decent look for your homes.

Functions Effectively in Ambient Lighting

Due to their higher surface area, bifacial panels have an advantage in diffuse lighting. Mono-facial panels will therefore be more expensive up front but cost less over time.

More Durable

Since bifacial panels include tempered glass on both sides, they are often more durable than framed panels. Tempered glass is resistant to the effects of weathering and UV radiation and can withstand harsh conditions including high temperatures, high humidity, and strong winds. Bifacial solar panels are expected to have a longer useful life because of their improved durability.

PID Reduced

One benefit of a frameless bifacial panel is that solar cells suffer from reduced potential-induced degradation (PID). The solar panels are corroded at this point where electricity is flowing in the incorrect way. The absence of a metal frame means that bifacial panels do not require grounding because there are no external metal contacts.

Are Bifacial Solar Panels Worth It?

The preceding paragraphs show that there are numerous benefits of bifacial solar panels. It is evident that they are highly efficient and give maximum output. They are aesthetically pleasing and offer a long-term warranty of 30 years. The bifacial solar panels offer immense opportunity for the owners which makes them worthy.

However, Bifacial solar panels are not much suited for smaller-scale residential rooftop installations, even if they may be worthwhile for large-scale commercial and utility solar producers. The additional equipment required to install bifacial panels means that for the average family, the upfront cost would probably outweigh the long-term benefits.

So before installing the bifacial solar panels it is important to consult the best solar installers who can provide detailed knowledge of its usefulness. Selecting the location, panel height and other variables need to be carefully analysed before deciding to go for bifacial modules. Hence, it is imperative to carefully research and analyse the advantages that the bifacial modules will pave for you in the long run.