The latest high-tech devices in the renewable energy sector are double-sided or bifacial solar panels. In the journal called Joule, researchers say that the two sides trap sunlight, and the axis separating them enhances the tilting of the panels so that they can fetch most of the sun rays. The researchers identify that with this equipment, it is possible to collect 30% more solar energy than the stationary single panel solar systems.
Carlos Rodríguez-Gallegos, one of the researchers at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore, notes that the new panels are effective in solar energy collection even with changing weather patterns. He says that the bifacial solar panel will dominate the solar energy sector in the coming years.
The researchers further reiterate that it is possible to enhance energy output from the device by increasing the cell efficiency of the solar panels. They add that these panels can fit in the same place as the current conventional solar devices. The new panel face and tilting effect of the solar panel permits the significant collection of solar energy the entire day. The new challenge is that there’s yet to be a full traverse and implementation of this technology.
To understand the cost-effectiveness of using these new bifacial solar panel technologies, Carlos and his associates have put this equipment to test at Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) of NASA to estimate the average radiation that reaches the earth surface daily. Further inquiries are underway to understand the impact of the sun’s position on the quantity of radiation the panels can receive. Their research also accounts for a shift in weather patterns.
The research shows that the bifacial panels are economical, and an even better version is the bifacial panel with dual-axis trackers though expensive. The latter is commendatory near the poles. However, such photovoltaic systems require more scrutiny before their production and use. Rodríguez-Gallegos reports that there is proof of bifacial panels’ reliability with their subsequent application in field operations.
In conclusion, Rodríguez-Gallegos and his colleagues’ next move is to study the solar cells that are cheaper than the current silicon-based ones. They also hope to aim for efficiency in attracting more users. Gallegos says that with more research, the cost of manufacturing materials will drop to meet competition. They aim to spearhead the research and lead the various stakeholders in this technology. They are, therefore, open to critic and advice from scientists.