Increase Solar Electricity Production with Bifacial Panels
Bifacial Solar Defined
Bifacial solar cells are designed to allow light to enter from both sides. They typically employ a front surface design similar to that used in industry‑standard screen printed solar cells, with the major point of difference being the structure of the rear surface contact. Rather than cover the entire back surface with a reflective aluminium contact, a ‘finger’ grid is used in its place in order to allow sunlight through the rear.
Typically, the silicon material used for bifacial solar cells must be of superior quality such that photogenerated electric charges near the rear surface can contribute to power production as they travel towards the ‘emitter’ on the front surface. This design also necessitates the use of transparent encapsulating materials on both sides of modules.
The History of Bifacial Solar
Historically, bifacial solar cells were targeted towards applications or in areas where much of the available solar energy is diffuse sunlight which has bounced off the ground and surrounding objects i.e. extreme latitudes and snow‑prone regions. However, the combination of plateauing peak efficiencies from standard screen printed solar cells and significant reductions in the cost of solar glass in recent years – making the use of double‑sided glass encapsulation viable – has pushed bifacial solar modules back into the spotlight.