Bifacial modules capture sunlight on both their front and rear sides, therefore improving the efficiency of the solar assets. These modules use a transparent material, typically glass in the back, to allow PV cells to use sunlight reflected from the ground (albedo), and to improve the absorption of photons.

The majority of bifacial PV manufacturers currently offer a framed module format, although unframed laminates are also available.  Prices are falling rapidly and the cost premium compared to conventional monocrystalline modules have decreased, making them an attractive option for the development of new solar power plants.

Bifacial modules are mainly used in commercial or utility-scale applications where panels are elevated and angled away from a mounting surface, allowing light to reflect onto the back of the panel. The effect is improved by using tracker systems.

Bifacial modules are currently qualified under IEC 61215:2016, which does not consider the rear side generation. A test procedure for bifacial is currently being developed in IEC 60904-1-2. This standard proposes the procedure for the measurement of I-V characteristics of bifacial modules in natural or simulated sunlight.

David Roisse – Asset Manager