What Are Bifacial Solar Panels? A Complete Guide

Solar Panels

One of the best things about solar panels is that they work all day. As long as there’s sunlight, they’ll keep producing energy.

Well, what if we told you that some panels are even more efficient? They’re called bifacial solar panels, and they can capture sunlight on either side. This allows them to deliver up to 40% more energy.

Not sure whether bifacial panels are worth the investment? This bifacial solar panel guide will clear up any doubts you may have!

What Are Bifacial Solar Panels?

As the name implies, a bifacial solar panel is a double-sided panel. It uses both the top and bottom sides to capture solar energy.

Bifacial panels tend to be far slimmer than their monofacial counterparts. They’re often frameless, with protective glass covering the top of each panel. The flipside can either be glass or a transparent back sheet.

These panels have been around since the ’60s. For a long time, they were too expensive for use in utility-scale projects. In recent years, though, manufacturing these panels has become much cheaper.

How Bifacial Modules Work

Like most solar panels, the top solar cells of a bifacial panel face the sun. That way, they can absorb the sun’s rays directly.

As for the bottom cells, they absorb any reflected light. This makes bifacial modules more effective if you angle them to the ground or a white roof. They also produce more energy when it’s cloudy and the light is already diffused.

Ideally, you want half of your panels facing west and the other half facing east. That way, you’re covered for the entire day. You can also have your bifacial solar panel installer place them vertically, which gives you two energy peaks per day.

Types of Bifacial Solar Panels

As they’re made completely of glass, bifacial panels don’t come in many types. Right now, most bifacials are monocrystalline (mono-Si) panels. That said, there are a couple of polycrystalline (poly-Si) options on the market.

Some companies have made flexible bifacial panels, but they tend to be quite small. They’re often made of monocrystalline cells encased in plastic or transparent cloth.

Why Use Bifacial Solar Panels

Bifacial solar panels have plenty of advantages over traditional panels. For starters, they’re excellent if you’re a bit short on space. A bifacial panel will provide 20%-30% more energy than a monofacial panel of the same size.

Durability is another big point in favor of bifacial modules. Since they’re often raised from the surface, there’s less chance of overheating. Plus, both sides of bifacial solar panels are UV-resistant.

As mentioned, bifacial solar panels are slim and transparent. This makes them a great fit with architectural elements like pergolas or canopies. They also come in many configurations, allowing for use in both residential and commercial sites.

More on Bifacial Solar Panels

In many ways, bifacial solar panels are the future of solar. The only real downside they have is that they’re still a bit costly. That said, there are plenty of bifacial solar panels for sale—if you know where to look.

Want to know more about bifacial solar panels near me? Keep reading our solar-related content!

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