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Double the Sides Double the Power?

Jessica PirroMay 22, 20193230

 

The Advantages of Investing in a Bifacial Solar Panel

 

When installing solar panels, it’s important to consider their location when placing them on a roof. This is because they need to be placed in the best location and angle to get the most out of the sun’s rays. But what if there was a solar panel targeted towards helping achieve more from the sun’s rays? This panel exists, and it’s called a bifacial solar panel. These panels are able to absorb the sun’s rays from multiple different directions, where many traditional solar panels aren’t able to receive them.

 

What is a Bifacial Solar Panel?

 

A problem traditional solar panels have is that they’re only able to capture the light from the sun on their top side, and the other side simply reflects all the light right off of it. Bifacial solar panels, on the other hand, do not have this problem, because they have their solar cells installed on both sides. This means they can absorb double the light from more positions in the sky. This also provides another added advantage: light still does bounce off these panels and return to the ground, but then it comes back up again and gets absorbed, as well. This is different than a traditional panel, where light would simply bounce right off the panels and never get absorbed into the panel.You may be asking yourself: what makes these panels different? The main difference is that the cells are double-sided. Being double-sided means the sunlight is able to be absorbed from both the front and back side of the panel. These panels also usually contain monocrystalline cells, which are wafers of cells that are cut individually and then affixed to the panel.

 

Why Do They Cost More?

 

Many people may not be interested in purchasing bifacial panels because of their larger price tag. As discussed above, one of the reasons for the larger tag is the monocrystalline panels. Another reason is because of the production of the panel, which requires extra steps on the rear side. However, the bigger price tag exists for a reason, and that is the efficiency and durability of these types of panels.

 

What Makes These Panels More Efficient?

 

Because of the additional steps on the back of the panel, the added benefit is the ability to absorb sunlight from indirect rays that cannot be absorbed on a traditional solar panel. In comparison to the regular solar panels, these panels also only need a small area to increase these higher efficiency rates.

 

Are They Prone to Damage?

 

These panels also have the benefit of durability. Because of their glass casing, they are unlikely to suffer any environmental damages and can last up to 25 years.

 

The design of a bifacial panel

 

The reason these types of panels would be really inefficient for homes (aside from how much more expensive they are) is because of their designs. They require limited framing that can accommodate the backs of the panels, as well. They need to avoid all shade and take up a huge amount of space. This is why they’re much better for things like commercial buildings.

 

However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to install bifacial panels in a home, given some specific circumstances. For example, if you have a free-standing structure like a pergola, they can be placed on top of it, as long as there is nothing around it.

 

They also might be an option if you’re thinking about getting a ground-mounted solar panel. While it might not make sense financially for you, it is technically possible. You just need to consider the fact that you’ll be paying a lot more for no real extra benefits. After all, ground-mounted panels are extremely efficient, don’t suffer from getting covered in shade, and therefore, are able to generate the optimal amount of energy to your home without any issues. You’d be able to get fewer panels, but because you’d be paying more, it wouldn’t really matter, and you’d be much better off just saving your money and getting traditional solar panels on your ground-mounted system.

 

Which Kind of Roof is Best for These Panels?

 

When deciding which panel is best for you, you often have to take into consideration your roof’s shape and size. While you may be sold on the panel itself, you should take a look at your roof and make sure it’s the best fit. Is your roof flat? Are you able to build a ground-mounted system? If you are able to build a ground system, do you have access to white ground and a way to elevate the panel? If you have either of these specifications, this panel is the perfect fit for your home. While you can still use the panel if you don’t, they are ideal because they can create an additional 25% in yields compared to homes that don’t have these specifications.

 

Do They Need to Be Placed as Specifically as Traditional Panels?

 

One of the benefits of these panels is that they don’t really have to be placed in a specific direction. Their design is intended to absorb the sun’s rays from any direction, making them easier to install no matter what shape your roof is.

 

You Can Even Install Them Vertically!

 

One really neat advantage to these panels is their ability to be mounted vertically. Because they don’t need to be placed flat on the ground, you will save even more costs on installation. In addition, installing them this way will help you avoid things like large piles of snow decreasing their efficiency.

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