Bifacial Solar Panels - The Definitive Buyers Guide
Bifacial solar panels have caught the attention of the solar industry, and for good reason.
These nifty devices are solar panels that can collect sunlight from not only the front face, but the back as well. This means that you can enjoy 20-30% more solar energy from bifacial solar panels than conventional single-face panels making them a no-brainer for anyone who’s looking for a solar panel solution for their home.
Continue reading to learn more about these useful devices.
What Are Bifacial Solar Panels?
Bifacial solar panels, as the name implies, are different from conventional or flexible solar panels since they can capture sunlight from either side (front and back). This setup is significantly more efficient compared to standard solar panels.
They have transparent glass on both sides of the solar cells instead of the normal backsheet, which means they catch more sunlight and are more efficient.
When working with solar panels, you want to make sure they can produce as much electricity as possible. Bifacial solar panels are suitable for this job, however, they do best when they’re mounted near reflective surfaces.
Swimming pools and glass are some of the best options. They can be used on pathways, decks, sandy, and snowy areas.
Bifacial solar panels are commercial solar panels and can also help to improve the appearance of your property by providing a shady overhang. It is, however, feasible for large-scale solar panels.
As they become more economical and efficient, bifacial solar panel kits are becoming extremely popular. To reap the benefits, more homeowners and businesses are opting for bifacial panels over conventional commercial solar panels. But do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
- Generates 30% more solar power.
- More efficient.
- Captures sunlight from both sides.
- Is aesthetically pleasing.
- Increased longevity and durability.
- Less space per watt, i.e. more energy for the same space.
- Can be installed in any direction.
- Lower costs over time.
Many bifacial solar panel developers claim that their bifacial panels produce 20% to 30% more power than their traditional cousins.
They also perform more effectively when light is scattered because bifacial panels have a larger surface area that allows them to capture more light.
As a result, the long-term expenses are lower than with single-faced panels since the increased efficiency requires less space per watt. This means you can install fewer panels and get more energy than you would otherwise get if you used single-faced solar panels.
Because they don’t have metal frames, solar cells are less prone to suffer from potential induced degradation (PID). This is when electrical currents deviate from their intended course and corrode the solar panel.
Bifacial solar panels do not need to be grounded as there are no metal contacts on the outside, making them a safer alternative if you have young children or animals who may be exposed to them.
Tempered glass is weather resistant which means it can tolerate high temperatures and severe winds.
There’s also no plastic lamination, which means the panel is resistant to UV deterioration. This is particularly useful since solar panels spend most of their lifetime in direct sunlight.
Bifacial solar panels have longer lifespans due to their resilience and resistance to weather and various sorts of deterioration, and thus have longer warranties. While a single-face solar panel typically has a 25-year warranty, bifacial solar panels usually have a 30-year warranty.
- They are heavy.
- They are expensive.
- Works best on reflective surfaces.
Bifacial solar panels tend to be more expensive than conventional panels.
There’s also the cost of installation that needs to be considered. With bifacial solar panels, you might need to paint the area around the cells which inevitably raises the cost of installation for example.
Despite this, bifacial modules are cost-effective since they produce more energy. Bifacial modules continue to generate electricity even when it is raining, cloudy, or snowing.
Bifacial panels must be handled with care because they are heavy. The extra weight also weakens the structure of your roof, so you need to make sure you have a strong roof.
Not only that, but mobility is also restricted as there is no space to move. This makes maintenance more difficult. You should speak to a professional solar expert to check the structural condition of your roof before installation.
How Bifacial Solar Panels Work
If you know how solar panels work, you'll know that silicon cells absorb photons from sunshine and turn them into energy. These cells are bound together in a frame by a protective glass coating placed between an opaque backsheet and frame.
When it comes to bifacial solar panels, however, the non-transparent sheet is replaced with glass to allow light to enter from the back and capture light that was not obscured by the solar cells from the front.
Photons from reflected and diffused light can now make electricity. To maximize the amount of energy produced by the panels, shadowing created by the barriers must be reduced. Horizontal and vertical support bars are used to support the solar panels in a standard ground mount installation.
Why Use Bifacial Solar Panels?
The need for bifacial solar panels is rapidly increasing. They are available to both residential and commercial property owners. Therefore, it is important to conduct a quick assessment of your home or business to ensure that the solar panels suit your needs.
The place you choose for installation determines the effectiveness of bifacial solar panels. The most popular locations have been commercial areas with high electricity demand. A home application is possible, but it is dependent on your surroundings, space, money, and energy objectives.
Determine whether you need your solar panels to be mounted on the ground or your roof as the devices' warranty may be reduced due to more possible interference from humans and animals than on the roof leading to faster wear and tear.
If you need it on your roof, the color you choose is also an important factor. For optimal light absorption, it should be white or silver.
The bifacial design takes up less space than single-face solar panels as the most important aspect is that the panels have a light or colored surface, which results in a better performance compared to other colors.
Homeowners can also enjoy the power of the sun in their homes as long as careful planning before installation takes place. As previously stated, it is important to choose a proper position; otherwise, it will not provide you with as much energy needed to keep your devices operating for an extended amount of time.
Single-face vs Bifacial Solar Panels
We'll look at what the two types of solar panels are, the benefits, disadvantages of installing bifacial solar panels, as well as how they compare to conventional solar panels.
One area of confusion with solar panels is the difference between polycrystalline and monocrystalline cells. While these might seem similar to single and dual-faced panels at a glance, they’re ultimately unrelated.
One of the most significant advantages of bifacial solar panels is that they produce more solar energy with each panel. So, if you want to maximize the amount of electricity you can create per square foot of space, bifacial panels are the way to go.
Unfortunately, there are a few disadvantages to bifacial solar panels that may limit the amount of electricity they generate. For one, they cannot be placed as a standard roof-mounted system that is flush against your roof.
To reach the reflected light, there must be some gap between the backside of the panels and the surface below.
Furthermore, the row spacing between the panels must be precisely adjusted to guarantee that the shadows formed by the panels do not prevent light from reaching underneath the panels. The surface on which they are put on should have a high reflectivity to allow more light to reach the panels.
While single-face panels cannot generate as much electricity as bifacial solar panels, they do offer significant advantages. They can be mounted as traditional roof mounts or on low reflective surfaces.
Monofacial panels will most likely be less expensive and more widely available, as finding a solar company that installs bifacial panels can be difficult in some places. Having said that, both bifacial and single-face solar panels can be excellent investments.
Most panel manufacturers provide warranties ranging from 25 to 30 years, and the panels may continue to generate electricity long after the warranties have expired. They will supply you with a long-term method of producing cost-free and emission-free electricity.
Solar panels are quickly becoming the way the world is moving away from using fossil fuels like coal, and this has big implications as the sun will never run out in our life spans which means it is the logical next step when fossil fuels do run out.
Bifacial solar panels take this innovation one step further by increasing the efficiency of solar panels and making it a lot easier to use the sun’s energy to power our everyday lives for less space.
They are expensive and heavy but innovations in this field are being researched and in the future may be lighter and cheaper solar panels will be available. In the meantime, investing in bifacial solar panels will save you some money on your electricity bill.
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