Some new bifacial solar panels might increase the efficiency of solar models by breaking down the barriers of solar efficiency.
Solar panel technology has improved substantially over the past decade, reducing prices as the efficiency of solar modules increases. However, some scientists and engineers are concerned that we are approaching the efficiency ceiling for solar panels. Future improvements to solar technology may be in the form of system solutions like better storage, instead of improvements to module technology. However, a new invention may revolutionize solar efficiency and enable new module technologies.
Bifacial solar modules can capture light from both sides of the module, thereby greatly increasing the unit’s electricity generation capability. Bifacial modules can both produce more energy and degrade more slowly than standard solar modules. They would also give significant savings to users of the modules. They even require less labor costs and system balance costs to produce the same amount of energy, due to the fact that they can generate power from both sides. They can produce more energy with the same footprint and minimal additional installation costs.
These bifacial models also utilize better solar cell technology, making use of monocrystalline silicon cells, instead of regular polycrystalline PV modules. The modules have much better energy conversion rates due to this fact, and current bifacial modules on the market can produce up to 30% more energy than a normal monofacial solar panel under certain circumstances. Bifacial modules work excellently for specific rooftops, utility projects and floating solar projects.
Recently, Trina Solar won its first order for bifacial models and will be carrying out a utility-scale project in Golmud, Qinghai, China. The project will have a tracker system to help maximize energy capture. This is the second-largest order of bifacial solar modules ever.
Bifacial solar modules may make solar technology an even bigger disruptor than it already is. The products are so versatile and efficient that they will allow a greater number of consumers to adopt solar technology.