Conventional PV cells are made to convert light hitting the front side of the cell to electricity. With a few extra processing steps bifacial PV cells can be made so that light hitting from both sides contributes to the current produced by the cell. When placed into modules designed with transparent backsheets or glass-glass construction, bifacial PV modules are born. This idea is not new, but this technology has, thus far, remained in the fringe of the PV market. We believe that bifacial PV may begin to enter the mainstream of the PV industry in the next few years.
Ask yourself, if the first PV cell that was invented was bifacial, how would PV modules and systems be different from today’s PV technologies? We believe that bifacial PV could represent a revolutionary opportunity for increasing the efficiency and lowering the cost of solar energy systems. Field data, characterization methods and standards, and predictive models are needed.
Sandia National Laboratories, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the University of Iowa are working together to better understand the performance characteristics of bifacial PV modules and systems. This work is divided into the following categories:
- Outdoor bifacial PV performance data
- Bifacial characterization and rating standards
- Performance modeling of bifacial PV systems
- Joshua S. Stein Sandia National Laboratories (Principal Investigator; Field data and modeling)
- Cliff Hansen
- Dan Riley
- Chris Deline National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Co-PI; Characterization and modeling)
- William Marion
- Sarah MacAlpine
- Fatima Toor University of Iowa (Co-PI; Ray Tracing)
- Amir Asgharzadeh Shishavan
Publications and Presentations
- Shishavan, A. A., et al., 2017. “Analysis of the Impact of Installation Parameters and System Size on Bifacial Gain and Energy Yield of PV Systems“. 44th IEEE PVSC. Washington, DC.
- Stein, J. S., et al., 2017. “Outdoor Field Performance from Bifacial Photovoltaic Modules and Systems“. 44th IEEE PVSC. Washington, DC. SAND2017-6464C.
- Hansen, C. W., et al., 2017,. “A Detailed Model of Rear-Side Irradiance for Bifacial PV Modules“. 44th IEEE PVSC. Washington DC. SAND2017-6554 C.
- Marion, B., et al., 2017. “A Practical Irradiance Model for Bifacial PV Modules“. 44th IEEE PVSC. Washington DC.
- Riley, D., et al., 2017. “A Performance Model for Bifacial PV Modules“. 44th IEEE PVSC. Washington, DC.
- Hansen and Riley, 2017, “Performance Model for Bifacial PV Modules”, Presentation at the 8th PVPMC Workshop, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.
- Asgharzadeh Shishavan et al., 2017, “Ray Tracing Models for Bifacial PV Performance“, Presentation at the 8th PVPMC Workshop, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.
- MacAlpine et al., 2017,”Progress Toward Efficient Bifacial Rear Irradiance Models”, Presentation at the 8th PVPMC Workshop, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.
- Stein et al., 2017, “Field Performance of Bifacial PV Modules and Systems”, Presentation at the 8th PVPMC Workshop, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.
- Stein, J.S., Burnham, L., and, Lave, M. (2017). One Year Performance Results for the Prism Solar Installation at the New Mexico Regional Test Center: Field Data from February 15, 2016 – February 14, 2017. Albuquerque, NM, Sandia National Laboratories. SAND2017-5872.
- Deline, C., S. MacAlpine, B. Marion, F. Toor, A. Asgharzadeh and J. S. Stein (2016). “Assessment of Bifacial Photovoltaic Module Power Rating Methodologies – Inside and Out.” Journal of Photovoltaics,V. 7(2), p. 575-580.
- Deline, C., S. MacAlpine, B. Marion, F. Toor, A. Asgharzadeh and J. S. Stein (2016). Evaluation and Field Assessment of Bifacial Photovoltaic Module Power Rating Methodologies. 43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference. Portland, OR.
Bifacial Workshops (click on links to access information and presentations)
|2016||4th Bifacial (BiFi) Workshop presentations||Miyazaki, Japan||Workshop webpage|
|2015||3rd Bifacial (BiFi) Workshop presentations||Antofagasta, Chile||Workshop webpage|
|2014||2nd Bifacial (BiFi) Workshop presentations||Chambery, France||Workshop webpage|
|2012||1st Bifacial (BiFi) Workshop presentations||Konstanz, Germany||Workshop webpage|