In the solar power industry, technology is constantly evolving. It seems like every year, some newfangled solar power-related product hits the market promising to change the way we harvest energy from the sun.
Unfortunately, a lot of these ‘innovations’ wind up being gimmicks. However, there are game-changing solar power products that do have very real value, and one of them is the bifacial solar power module now gaining popularity across the globe.
So, what exactly is a bifacial solar module? In this post, the solar power pros at Urban Solar are explaining why this new format of solar PV is so exciting.
Surface Area Capitalization
Until recently, virtually all photovoltaic solar panels have been constructed with a single, sun-facing surface. The backside of the traditional PV panel is normally facing the mounting structure onto which it is installed (for example, your roof).
Bifacial Solar Modules, on the other hand, are constructed in a way that allows for the use of both sides of the panel to generate an electrical current, hence the term bifacial.
This has powerful implications for Balance of System (BOS) costs, too. After all, when more power can be generated from a smaller array of panels, total system efficiency is improved and the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) is reduced.
By capitalizing on the surface area of both sides of the solar panel, bifacial solar modules truly are the solar panels of the future.
Most bifacial solar modules come in two formats: framed and unframed.
A framed bifacial solar module can typically be installed using off-the-shelf mounting systems from numerous manufacturers. However, frameless bifacial solar modules require specialized rubber guards to protect the glass, something that is often provided by the manufacturer.
To really get the most out of a bifacial solar module installation, adequate tilt is going to need to be applied to the array positioning. This makes bifacial panels ideal for ground-based or commercial rooftop installations (not so much for residential applications, as roof pitch can be prohibitive to module tilt).
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Urban Solar specializes in designing, installing, and repairing solar power systems for a broad range of applications.
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