As the solar energy prices are going down and the market also grows more competitive, the solar manufacturers are constantly searching for ways to differentiate their products. Obviously, Consumers are also willing to spend on the solar products only if it delivers the profitable output and thus, it makes an impact on industry to produce their products with maximum efficiencies. In a photovoltaic system, the solar panels are the energy producers and its performance is most desirable one for consumers.
As we know, Solar panels can produce energy only from its front side but bifacial solar cells collect sunlight not only on the front but also on the rear side as they capture light reflected from the surface beneath the module and from the surrounding reflectors. Under standard test condition (STC), bifacial modules can generate 30% more power by using its rear surface. The amount of additional energy that we harvest from bifacial modules depends on two main factors: the light reflectance of the surface beneath the module (albedo factor of the ground) and the installation height of the module.
ALBEDO FACTOR: The factor that defines the reflectance capacity of a surface (i.e.) Ratio of reflected radiation from the surface to incident radiation upon it. Albedo factor is the dimensionless quantity and usually expressed as a percentage.Therefore, the albedo itself depends on the properties of the surface under the module such as color, thickness, surface finish.
We can find numerous options for installation because of its ability to catch all reflected light the surroundings. When the bifacial panels are mounted vertically, it can produce the same amount of energy of conventional panels installed an optimum tilt.Grass, Desert sand, water, and snow are natural surface reflectors, Out of it, Snow is considered to be a superior one for Bifacial modules. Even Scallop Shells were used because they are inexpensive and abundant in nature.
This type of technology has been gaining attraction in the industry by generating more power compared to the conventional panels. Yingli Green Energy’s (Yingli Solar’s) PANDA Bifacial module has received Chinese Technology Innovation Award on 2016 Innovation Conference of Top Runner Program of China, which was held early January 2017 and also LG Electronics recently released its first bifacial solar module into the UK market. So, the market value for bifacial solar modules has been scaling up every day.
Although with its numerous benefits, disadvantage remains that glass is expensive and heavy. It may lead to increase in cost involved when installing heavy solar panels, leading to increased logistics and labour costs. This will make the consumers in a dilemma whether to take bifacial panels for their energy needs.