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22 July 2016

Bifacial PV Modules Bring Better Return On Investment

Opsun firmly believes that bifacial PV modules are the future of the solar industry. For a low premium, a solar developer can obtain bifacial PVs and an adapted bifacial PV racking, such as Opsun SunRail Bifacial, and can often reach the best return on investment possible in the industry.

Premium on bifacial PV modules is significantly less than their added value, making them a great investment.

In fact, a team from Germany's ISC Konstanz conducted a comparative study between a monofacial and a bifacial PV array using Italian technology “BiSoN” and discovered that using PV modules with both sides being photo-reactive and using a transparent backsheet can produce as much as 120 % more energy than standard PV modules in certain conditions. Read more here : https://www.pv-tech.org/news/bifacial-pv-test-site-shows-impressive-yield-gains

Though 120% gain is quite large and may be limited to certain environmental conditions, Opsun systematically finds ways to reach at least 25% Bifacial Energy Gain (BEG) by using and optimized bifacial PV racking and project design.

Advantages of bifacial PVs are countless: they work better than normal PVs, even in highly diffuse light environments. They work great with snow as a reflector, of with a white TPO roof, or white rocks roof, which are both standard in the roofing industry. They systematically generate more energy than their single-sided counterpart.

Most of all, doping PV cells on both sides is not very expensive, and as time passes, more and more manufacturer will develop new, low costs processes to do so.

The future of PV thus lies with bifacial PVs, and such installations require unique racking design, which is Opsun's expertise.

Here are a few elements:

- Tilt has to be high (20-30°);
- Panels must be elevated from the roof (10 inches, 25 cm, ideally);
- No wind deflector can be used (open back) to allow reflections to hit the backside;
- Large distance between the rows is ideal;
- Anchored systems are preferred (ballasts can block reflections;
- Rails should be placed at the extremities of the bifacial PV modules.

Opsun offers a unique expertise to design with such bifacial PV modules, simulate the energy generation and optimize the solar design to find the best return on investment for our clients.