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Bifacial solar panels: boost efficiency, but not on your roof

Bifacial solar panels improve efficiency, however they are not suitable for use on your roof.

On the surface, the concept of bifacial solar panels appears to be counterintuitive. Unlike conventional solar panels, which convert sunlight to electricity on only one side of the panel, bifacial panels create electricity on both sides, even if the back is facing away from the sun.

Bifacial panels require space behind them to allow reflected light to reach the panel in order to take use of their two-faced design. While it makes no sense to install bifacial panels directly against a roof, they could dramatically improve the amount of energy an array can produce in particular residential installations.

First let us understand what is efficiency of solar panels.

If you're looking for rooftop solar panels, you'll want to make sure you get the greatest equipment for your needs. While there are many high-quality panels, inverters, and batteries on the market, knowing what sets them apart will help you get a good value and the ideal system for your needs.

Efficiency is a good point of comparison. It's a measure that appears in a handful of places in a residential solar system and one that you should be aware of. The good news is that it's not very complicated, and most manufacturers readily disclose efficiency figures for their panels.

To be the best fit for your energy needs, not every system need the most efficient panels or inverter. High efficiency panels, on the other hand, can get the most solar energy out of a little space.

What does the efficiency of solar panels measure?

Efficiency in solar panels refers to how much of the sun's available energy is converted into useful energy. At the moment, the top end of solar panels offered to residential customers is roughly 22%. If it seems modest, keep in mind that the first usable solar panels cost roughly 1%.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, home solar installations in 2020 (the most current data available) employed panels with efficiency ranging from 16% to 22% [PDF]. The majority of arrays installed in 2020 employed panels with efficiency ratings of 19%, putting them in the middle of the range.

Now back to bifacial panels...

How do bifacial panels function?

To varied degrees, sunlight bounces off of everything. If you've ever walked outside after dark when there's snow on the ground, you've probably noticed how much lighter it is than when there's no snow. This effect has even been linked to climate change. According to research, ice reflects approximately 85 percent of sunlight, whereas open water reflects only 7 percent. The water beneath the Arctic ice absorbs more light as it melts (and heat).

All of this is to suggest that there is enough light bouncing about to generate energy on the panel's rear side as well. There are a few things to keep in mind when using bifacial panels.

For starters, the more reflecting the environment around the panels, the more energy they will produce. A lighter-colored environment reflects more light and improves performance. "We're seeing that as the grass grows brown, it becomes more reflective, and snow cover is excellent," one researcher stated in a National Renewable Energy Laboratory report. It also means that arid countries with a lot of reflected sand, like Australia, may embrace bifacial panels faster than their neighbours, according to the consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie.

Second, there must be enough room for reflected light to reach the panel's backside. This means that bifacial panels aren't appropriate for rooftops where they'll be virtually directly against the shingles. They work best in huge commercial installations when they are suspended in the air on poles with plenty of area for light to bounce off the rear.

Throughout the year, bifacial panels outperform standard, one-faced panels. Under optimal conditions, bifacial panels may generate 27% more energy.

Bifacial panels can be used at home.

Bifacial panels aren't significantly more expensive than other solar panel options, so they're appealing if you have a suitable location for them. Even though there is no benefit to installing bifacial panels on a roof, homeowners may choose to do so in a few cases.

If your solar panels will be installed on the ground rather than on the roof, bifacial panels may be an excellent option. This is especially true if you live in a snowy area or have access to a more reflective surface, such as sand.

Bifacial panels can also be useful when utilised to construct a covering over an outside area. A pergola or awning with an open space beneath it will be high enough off the ground to allow reflected light to reach the rear of the panel. Other techniques to deploy bifacial panels are expected to be devised by the inventive.

Despite being unsuitable for most residential applications, bifacial panels are another technique that could help you extract a little more energy from the sun. When used correctly, they can help you accomplish your energy goals for a little price.


If you want to be the part of BigWit family, you can give us a call on 7082955224 or send us a mail on BigWit Energy is one of the best solar companies in Chandigarh, Delhi, Mohali, Punjab, Panchkula and Maharashtra and we offer EMI plans of upto 3 years for our customers too pan India!

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