Bifacial Solar Cells
Updated: May 8
The standard BSF (mono facial) solar cells absorb sunlight from one side and convert it into electrical energy. But the bifacial solar cell absorbs light energy from both sides and generates electrical energy. It produces more power compared to the standard BSF cell.
The concept of bifacial solar was put forward a few decades ago. Dr. A. Cuevas reported in his article entitled “The Early History of Bifacial Solar Cells” that research on bifacial solar cells started in 1960. In fact, the prototype bifacial cell was made in 1966. Russia used bifacial PV modules in the 1970s for satellite applications.
In 1980, Cuevas comprehended that reflected or diffused radiation coming from the ground surface is called albedo, increasing the power of bifacial solar cells. However, the bifacial solar cell was in industrial production for a long due to its manufacturing cost.
The structure of bifacial solar cells is marginally different from standard BSF (mono facial) solar cells. It absorbs light from both sides of the cell and converts it into electrical energy. Reflected or diffused light from the ground or surface (albedo) on which the bifacial solar modules are mounted contributes to the high power of bifacial solar modules.
Albedo depends on the module's surface, the installation's height from the ground/roof, and the inter-row distance of the module-mounted structures. The power gain in bifacial modules varies between 5% and 30% due to albedo compared to standard mono facial modules.
For more detailed studies,
A.Cuevas, The early history of bifacial solar cells, in 20th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (EU PVSEC) Proceedings, 2005.
C.Duran, Bifacial Solar Cells: High-Efficiency Design, Characterization, Modules and Applications, Ph.D. thesis, University of Konstanz, 2012.
Rabindra Satpathy, Venkateswarlu Pamuru, Solar PV Power, Design, Manufacturing, and Applications from Sand to Systems: Academic Press, 2021.
Image Credits: www.solarpowerworldonline.com