Bifacial solar panels have garnered significant attention in the solar industry due to their unique advantages.
Unlike traditional panels, bifacial solar panels have the capability to absorb sunlight from both the top and bottom parts of the panel. This is made possible as the backsheet, located at the bottom, needs to be exposed.
However, bifacial solar panels are not the right choice in all circumstances. This blog post will explain bifacial solar panels in more detail.
Bifacial Solar Panels: What Are They?
Bifacial solar panels are a type of solar panel that can capture light from both the front and back sides of the panel.
Unlike traditional panels, which only absorb light from the front, bifacial panels can use light that is reflected or passes through the panel. This makes them more efficient and capable of generating more energy.
Bifacial solar panels can even capture UV rays that are missed by traditional panels. This increased efficiency is due to their ability to absorb light from various surfaces, including the ground or even snow.
In comparison to the monofacial solar panels found in most PV solar systems, bifacial panels offer greater efficiency and energy generation.
Companies That Produce Bifacial Solar Panels
Leading manufacturers of bifacial solar panels are limited since this technology is relatively new. LG, previously prominent in this field, recently announced their departure from the solar panel business.
However, Q CELLS, Canadian Solar, and Jinko Solar have stepped up as top players in the production of bifacial panels.
Q CELLS, recognized for their exceptional solar panels according to SolarReviews, specializes in utility-scale installations of bifacial panels. The QPeak XL Duo, boasting an impressive efficiency rating of 21.4%, offers a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year performance guarantee.
Canadian Solar has harnessed advanced bifacial cell technology to develop the cutting-edge BiKu bifacial panels. These panels are specifically engineered for utility-scale installations and showcase durable racking frames crafted from anodized aluminum alloy and 2mm of heat strengthened glass. Canadian Solar claims that BiKu bifacial panels can generate up to 30% additional power from the rear side.
Jinko Solar’s Tiger model LM is a bifacial solar panel. According to SolarReviews, the Tiger model LM offers a 13-year product warranty, a 30-year linear power warranty, and a degradation rate of only 0.45%.
While Q CELLS, Canadian Solar, and Jinko Solar are widely recognized, there are other notable manufacturers of bifacial modules. These include Trina Solar, LONGi Solar, Yingli Solar, and JA Solar.
Bifacial Panels and Residential Solar
In most cases, bifacial solar panels are not a wise choice for residential use.
One of the main reasons is that when installed on rooftops, bifacial solar panels do not perform well. The frames used to mount rooftop solar panels leave only a small gap between the panel and the roof surface, which means that very little reflected sunlight reaches the back of the panel. This limits the production of bifacial solar energy.
To function properly and capture reflected light effectively, bifacial solar panels require ample space. This makes them less suitable for residential properties where space is often limited.
Moreover, the current cost of bifacial solar panels is considerably higher. In a residential setting, they are unlikely to generate enough additional solar power to justify their higher price.
As a result, traditional monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels still remain the most cost-effective option for residential solar installations.
Nevertheless, there are specific residential applications where bifacial solar systems can be beneficial. For example, bifacial thin-film solar cells are suitable for structures like carports, awnings, or pergolas, as they provide partial shade while generating energy from both sides.
Additionally, bifacial systems may work in areas where there are no obstacles to the reflection of light. Canopies and awnings made from bifacial PV panels allow the reflected light to reach the back of the panels and produce additional energy for homes.
The market for bifacial solar panels is projected to grow, although not all future panels will feature the double-sided design.
Bifacial solar panels are being acclaimed as the next breakthrough in solar energy technology. With their ability to generate more energy, these panels are expected to gain popularity in the utility solar market in the United States.
However, their impact on residential solar energy is anticipated to be limited. Installing a bifacial solar system on a residential rooftop is not effective in capturing the sunlight reflected from various angles.
Considering their higher cost and frameless design, bifacial solar panels are not suitable for most residential setups.
Image Source: Hattie Ye, https://shorturl.at/bEV19