The double-sided solar panel offer many advantages over traditional solar panels, as electricity can be generated from both sides of the double-sided module, thus increasing the total power generation of the system (up to 50% in some cases).
Some experts predict that the two-sided market will grow tenfold in the next four years. Today's article will explore how double-sided PV works, the benefits of the technology, some limitations, and when you should (and shouldn't) consider using them for your solar system.
1. What is double-sided solar panel
Simply put, double-sided solar PV is a solar module that absorbs light from both sides of the panel. Traditional "single-sided" panels have a sturdy opaque cover on one side, while double-sided modules expose the front and back of the solar cell. Under the right circumstances, double-sided solar panel can generate far more electricity than conventional solar panels.
This is because in addition to direct sunlight on the module surface, they also benefit from reflected light, diffused light and albedo irradiance. How double-side dis able to absorb more light than standard solar panels.
Sunlight absorbed by the front of the panel (same as the working principle of off grid solar batteries).
● Diffuse reflection
When the front of the panel is pointed directly at the sun, sunlight scattered by clouds and other materials can now be absorbed by the back of the panel.
Highly reflective surfaces such as sand, concrete, and even other solar panels provide an additional way to reflect light onto the panels. That's why the industry is so excited, as double-sided solar modules open up a new world of system design possibilities, much of which improves the overall economics of solar energy.
2. The main advantages of double-sided solar panel
● The same size (or less) footprint increases the total power generation.
double-sided solar panel can provide better performance at a similar project scale (where appropriate). When more power can be generated in a smaller array footprint, the balance of system cost is reduced. Like most solar power systems, it can store power in batteries, like and store it for continued use.
If you have limited space, you can now generate more energy than you would with a traditional panel. This primarily applies to systems that can take advantage of sunlight hitting the back of the panel, especially in system designs where the panel is elevated rather than flush-mounted.
● Increase production at the same or similar installation cost.
Double-sided solar panel are often similar in size and shape to traditional panels, which means that double-sided panels will not cost more to install. By increasing power generation at the same cost, you can reduce the overall installation cost of your project.
● Best suited for locations with high albedo.
Sites with reflective surfaces benefit greatly from double-sided modules. The double-sided module absorbs sunlight reflected from the ground and surrounding objects below the array. The more a building surface reflects, the more energy it can produce. Locations with the highest albedo will include sand, bright (or white) roofs, gravel, etc., but even grassy and less reflective surfaces will have a positive impact on energy production.
● Synergy between backside exposure and improved ventilation.
There are some additional benefits to system design when designing a system that has enough space to allow the back of the panel to emit light. One of the more important benefits compared to a tightly built system is improved ventilation and operating temperature of the modules.
● Improve durability and aesthetics
Double-sided solar panel are more durable because both sides are UV resistant, and when the double-sided module is frameless, it reduces the potential degradation problem. They are also seen by some as a more "visually appealing" option and have the potential to be used for projects where more aesthetics play a role.
3. When should you not use double-sided solar panel
Now that we've explored some of the benefits of double-sided solar panel, it's important to understand why they don't make sense for all projects. Since they cost more than traditional single-sided solar panels, you need to make sure that your system can take advantage of the advantages of a double-sided panel setup.
For example, one of the cheapest and easiest ways to build a solar system today is to take advantage of an existing south-facing roof and install as many embedded panels as possible. A system like this minimizes shelf and installation costs and helps you start generating electricity without too much conditions and also can start distributed pv system.
In this case, the double-sided module may not be worth it. Since the modules are tightly mounted on the roof, there is not enough space for light to pass through the back of the panel. Even with a brightly colored roof, there's still no room for reflection if you mount a series of solar panels tightly together.
Before embarking on a project, you need to determine what type of setup and system design is appropriate for your unique property, location, and the individual needs of you or your business. In many cases, this may include double-sided solar panel, but there are certainly cases where the additional cost does not make sense.
4. Are double-sided panels the future of solar energy
Obviously, just like every solar project, the design of the system will depend on many different factors. Single-sided solar panels still have a place and won't go anywhere for a long time. That being said, many believe that we are in a new era of photovoltaics, where efficient components reign supreme, and double-sided technology is a key example of achieving high energy yields using higher quality materials.
Double-sided modules inherit all the advantages of monocrystalline PERC modules: high power density, better low-light performance and lower temperature coefficients. In addition, the double-sided PERC module also collects energy from the back, showing higher energy yield. In addition, there are many solar PV technologies that yield even more than double-sided panels.
But their cost is still too high for them to make sense for many projects. The most obvious example is a solar installation with a dual-axis tracker. The dual-axis tracker enables the installed solar panels to move up and down, left and right to track the sun's trajectory throughout the day.
However, despite achieving the highest power generation in the tracker, the cost is still too high to justify increased production. While there are many innovations needed in the solar sector, double-sided solar panel seem to be the next step because they have the potential for greater energy efficiency relative to the marginal affordability of traditional panels.
5. Are double-sided solar panel suitable
There is only one way to answer this question – you need to calculate the cost of double-sided solar panel instead of alternative options, and determine whether the predicted increase in energy production is enough to warrant higher costs. double-sided photovoltaics are currently a hot trend in solar energy.
While double-sided panels are still more expensive than traditional single-sided panels, they significantly increase energy production under the right circumstances. This means faster returns for solar projects and lower energy costs. It can be applied to home energy storage.
In fact, a recent study showed that double-sided units (i.e., double-sided solar arrays mounted on single-axis trackers) can increase energy production by 35% and achieve the lowest levelized cost of electricity for most people. These numbers are likely to improve as production costs continue to trend down and new efficiencies in the technology are discovered.