The solar power industry is constantly looking at ways to improve the efficiency of a solar panel. Bifacial solar panels are one way that the industry has evolved to improve the efficiency of a solar panel.
When most people think about solar panels, they imagine slabs of metal with solar panels that are made up of either mono or polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells attached to a roof. The solar panels are typically angled with the rooftop and it is recommended that the solar panel installation is done facing south. The whole purpose of solar panels is to absorb the energy radiating from the sun on the side of the solar panels with the photovoltaic cells.
But when the solar companies began to think about all of the sunlight that was bouncing off the ground, they started to come up with ways that they could absorb the light reflecting off the solar panels.
Bifacial solar panels were the solution that they came up with. These solar panels absorb the light that is bouncing off the ground and convert it into solar energy. Bifacial are essentially double-sided solar panels. On these solar panels, the top side works how normal solar panels do, absorbing the sun’s energy. The bifacial solar panels also will not only absorb the direct sunlight, but the bottom side of the solar panels captures the light that is reflecting up from the ground. This will result in higher efficiency of a solar panel because the solar-powered systems are going to be able to convert more solar energy into usable energy.
How Do Bifacial Solar Panels Differ From Regular Solar Panels?
Bifacial solar panels and regular solar panels differ in a few different ways. One advantage of bifacial solar panels is that they are ideal for mass solar panel installations. The cost of bifacial solar panels are normally higher than more traditional solar-powered systems and will require extra space.
The bifacial solar panels are normally thinner than the traditional solar panels due to the framing. They will also need to have a few materials as possible, covering the back end of the solar panels. The junction boxes are modified into smaller units to prevent the shading on the back of the solar panels.
The bifacial solar panels also have a studded aluminum rear contact, which is what creates the channels for the light to pass through the front of the solar panels then straight to the back of the solar panels.
The Advantages of Investing in Bifacial Solar Panels
The most obvious advantage of a bifacial solar panel installation is the excess solar energy that is generated, while still reducing your carbon footprint and keeping the same aesthetics as regular solar-powered systems. The added solar energy production claims run a wide spectrum, from 8% more solar energy up to 30% more solar power.
The efficiency of a solar panel on a bifacial solar-powered system is considered to be more efficient than the more traditional solar panels, because they produce more solar energy with around the same number of parts, and have around the same footprint as the traditional solar panels.
Which Kind of Rooftop is the Best for Bifacial Solar Panels?
When deciding which solar panels are going to be best for you, you’re often going to need to take into consideration your roof’s shape and size. While you may be sold in the bifacial solar panels, you should look at your roof and make sure that it’s a good fit. Is your roof flat? Are you able to build a ground-mount solar-powered system? If so, do you have access to white ground and a way to elevate the solar panels? If you meet the qualifications, this solar panel installation is the perfect fit for your property. While you can still use the solar panels if you don’t, these specifications are used for the ideal performance of the solar panels.
The Downside to Bifacial Solar Panels
Bifacial solar panel installation isn’t going to be the best option for residential solar panel installation. Because the solar panels need to be angled away from the mounting surface so that the light is underneath and won’t be killed by the small space between the solar panels and the roof. The solar-powered system will also perform better when they are partnered with a solar energy axis tracker. Solar energy axis trackers turn the solar panels as the sun moves across the sky.
The bifacial solar panels don’t have that much penetration in the U.S. solar market quite yet. Therefore there aren’t as many solar companies that are installing bifacial solar panels, offering warranties or support for bifacial solar-powered systems. But, since the solar panels are exempt from the tariffs placed on other solar panels, that is all expected to change.
When it comes to bifacial solar panel installation, these sorts of solar panels are much better suited if they are ground mount solar panels rather than on your roof, because solar panels need to be angled away from the ground so that more light can reach the back of the solar panels.
The Future of Bifacial Solar Panels
Much like traditional solar-powered systems have seen a price decrease, they are also going to see a drop in the cost the most popular they become. A little known fact, due to the increase in the efficiency of a solar panel, their price isn’t going to be that much different than a traditional solar panel. The cost of bifacial solar panels will have an average increase of only $0.02 to $0.03 per watt.
Solar companies are also looking to figure out ways to make them more appropriate for residential solar panel installation, such as thinner photovoltaic cells and smaller frame and racking. More and more solar companies are entering the bifacial solar panel market for residential solar-powered systems.
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