China installs 71 MW of bifacial modules from four different suppliers in Qinghai

August 30, 2018 | Case Study

Bifacial technology holds a unique advantage over other cell module improvements: Instead of increasing the front-facing active area or conversion efficiency, it allows the back of the panel to collect light as well as the front. This is done by replacing the usually opaque plastic backing with a transparent material like glass or plastic, as well as replacing the rear aluminum metallization layer with a screen-printed silver pattern. However, this adds albedo (surface reflectivity) to the factors that must be accounted for when installing the modules, as the power increase can go from 5% for grass or soil to 30% for a perfectly reflective surface. As the cost increase is not dramatic, given that they only require minor modifications to the manufacturing process, many of the larger solar panel manufacturers already sell bifacial modules, but because they are also new, field data to compare them is sparse.

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