A Tale of Two Faces: Bifacial Solar Panels Are Here!
In the rapidly evolving solar industry and tech landscape, bifacial solar panels are emerging as the latest and greatest available solar technology. SEG is at the forefront of this evolution, already installing them in our ground mounts and commercial installations.
However, we DO NOT recommend them for your roof at home?
Find why out below.
Did you know that bifacial solar panels account for 30-50% of ALL solar installations in the U.S. Mainly because most all utility scale solar farms are using them now.
Bifacial solar panels work by capturing sunlight on both their front and rear surfaces.
Under the right conditions bifacial solar panels can collect more sun and generate up to 10-30% more energy than traditional single sided panels depending on:
- Height of the the bifacial solar panel – – 3 feet or higher from the surface is important
- Color of the surfaces below the panel effect light reflection (albedo)
- Movement and orientation of the solar panels.
Benefits of Bifacial Solar Panels:
Their dual-sided nature enables:
- The collection of more sun from reflected or diffused light than a same sized panel
- Higher efficiency
- Sun to be collected from behind the panel when snow or dirt is covering them!
- Orientations where sun can be collected at all times of the day
This sounds great right?
So why don’t we recommend them for the your home roof?
- Home solar panels installs are typically close to the roof surface, which would not allow much reflected light on the back to the bifacial solar panel.
- Most roofs are darker in color and would not reflect as much sun.
- They are heavy (double sided glass) and need special attachments making them slightly more difficult to install on pitched roofs.
- Bifacial solar panels are more expensive which would not be offset due to the points above.
Bottom-line: We use and recommend bifacial solar panels for ground mounts, and commercial light colored roofs, but do not recommend bifacial solar panels for residential solar roof installations.
Interested in exploring bifacial solar panels for your ground mounted solar at home or commercial solar project, give us a call (530) 273-4422.
*A little extra for our solar geeks our there…
The anatomy of a monofacial solar panel (a) vs a bifacial solar panel (b)
Video: Deep dive with a real installation in multiple cases.
(At the end there is an advertisement for Energy Pal which we would not recommend because let’s face it, they are a solar consultant not a full service solar install company like us. They will take their cut and end up hiring us to do the work or, hiring us to fix the work of the out of town installer. Trust us, we have been installing solar locally in Nevada, Placer, Butte and surrounding counties for over 20 years!)