Bifacial Solar Panels: The best choice for ground mounting Photovoltaic Installations

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Bifacial Solar Panels: The best choice for ground mounting Photovoltaic Installations

Bifacial Solar Panels: Maximising Photovoltaic Energy with Ground-Mounted Installations

In the ever-evolving landscape of renewable energy, solar power is a stalwart contributor to our global pursuit of sustainability. Among the myriad innovations in this field, one technology shines exceptionally bright: bifacial solar panels. These ingenious structures have captivated the solar industry, promising to amplify energy generation through their unique design. This article delves into bifacial solar panels, illuminating their advantages, intricacies, and role as the ideal choice for ground-mounted photovoltaic installations.

The Radiant Dual-Play

As the solar energy sector continues its upward trajectory, technological advancements have enabled us
to harness the immense potential of clean power. Bifacial solar panels have risen as an exceptional
alternative, offering the potential to boost photovoltaic energy production by an impressive 30% through
their remarkable ability to capture sunlight from both sides of the panel.

Traditionally, monofacial solar panels have been the norm, absorbing sunlight exclusively through their
front-facing photovoltaic cells. In stark contrast, bifacial panels have redefined the game. These panels
possess the exceptional capacity to capture sunlight not only from their front surface but also from their
rear surface, leveraging albedo and ingenious engineering to achieve unparalleled energy gains.

Factors Influencing Bifacial Efficacy

Albedo: The Dance of Reflection

Albedo, the ratio of reflected light to incident radiation, shapes the energy-harvesting prowess of bifacial
panels. This value, subject to fluctuations across seasons and surface materials (such as sand, rock, and
grass), wields considerable influence. For instance, during winter with snow-covered ground, albedo may
surge to 90%, while a dry grassy terrain in summer may result in an albedo of 33%. Notably, the average
annual albedo in regions like Spain hovers around 20%, influencing energy yield.

Row Spacing: The Symphony of Radiation

Row spacing, often referred to as ground coverage ratio (GCR), orchestrates the irradiance reaching the
panels’ rear surfaces. It’s a dance of reflections—wider spacing allows more reflected radiation to grace
the backside, thus enhancing energy production. Yet, as rows multiply in tracked or fixed arrays, the
cumulative radiation diminishes due to attenuation across successive rows.

Height of Installation: Elevating Yields

Elevation isn’t just a metaphor for success; it also holds for bifacial panels. The height of the installation,
including the supporting structure and tracking systems, directly correlates with increased incident
radiation and enhanced panel production. While this elevation promises improved energy generation, it
also necessitates careful consideration of structural loads and capital expenditures to ensure overall

Advantages Amplified: Why Bifacial Panels Shine

The allure of bifacial solar panels extends beyond their remarkable efficiency. Some of their notable advantages include:

Aesthetic Allure

Bifacial panels offer aesthetic appeal, especially with all-black frames or frameless designs, seamlessly
integrating into various settings such as pergolas and carports. Additionally, the absence of an aluminium
frame can lead to cost savings.

Durability Defined

Tempered glass in bifacial panels enhances durability, rendering them resistant to UV rays, high
temperatures, strong winds, and hail. Their robust construction ensures prolonged operation in challenging

Heat Harmony

Glass-to-glass construction enhances thermal conductivity, mitigating the hot spot effect plaguing
traditional panels. The result? Enhanced heat transfer and improved cell performance.

Frameless Freedom

Frameless panels, shedding the need for grounding, curtail the requirement for extensive earth wiring and
copper rods, simplifying installation.

Champions of Diffuse Light

Bifacial panels excel even in diffuse lighting conditions, further broadening their capacity to generate power.

Mitigating Degradation

Potential induced degradation (PID), caused by negative pole grounding, poses a challenge to panel
performance. Thanks to their lack of metal frames that create ground potential, bifacial panels combat PID
more effectively, ensuring prolonged efficiency.

The Promise of Prolonged Power

With warranties spanning up to 30 years for performance and 15 years for parts, bifacial panels inspire
confidence in their endurance.

Mighty Energy Amplification

Bifacial panels can yield an energy surplus ranging from 10% to 30%, contingent on installation conditions
and available physical space.

Balancing the Scales: Addressing Disadvantages

Though impressive, bifacial panels do come with a couple of limitations:

Roof Type Suitability

Bifacial panels may not be compatible with tiled roofs or installations with low inclinations (around 10
degrees), as these conditions hinder optimal exposure to diffused light.

Weight Consideration

These panels are slightly heftier than their monofacial counterparts. The bifacial 425W variant tips the
scales at 24.5 kg, modestly exceeding the monofacial 425W’s weight of 20 kg.

Envisioning the Future

Bifacial solar panels epitomise a leap forward in the panorama of solar energy, disrupting conventional
paradigms with their two-sided energy capture. Although their upfront cost edges beyond monofacial
alternatives, the promise of remarkable energy augmentation coupled with expedited ROI is undeniable.
The allure of efficient energy production and reduced dependence on expansive panel arrays positions
bifacial panels as the frontrunner in ground-mounted photovoltaic installations. As we stand on the cusp of
a renewable energy revolution, these panels beckon us to embrace innovation and propel our world toward
a greener future.

Designer and developer of solar photovoltaic systems from 1kW to Megawatt range. Steve worked for Alstom and General Electric for 11 years. He develops solar inverter and complete systems with energy storage that are affordable, easy to install, and have a quick return on investment.

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