Installation of bifacial modules is likely to pick up pace in India as the price difference between mono and bifacial solar panels is falling.
India’s first utility-scale solar plant with bifacial modules (400Wp swan bifacial panels by Jinko Solar) was recently commissioned by Fortum in May 2021. It has a DC capacity of 124 MW and is located in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
Bifacial panels, as the name suggests, are solar panels that are capable of generating electricity from the front as well as the rear side of the panel.
They offer the following advantages over traditional mono facial modules:-
- Bifacial panel systems can increase module efficiency by 10-12% as compared to conventional panels. Additionally, efficiency can go as high as 27% when combined with solar trackers.
- They are more durable because both sides are UV resistant, and potential induced degradation (PID) concerns are reduced when the bifacial module is frameless.
- They utilise glass which is 20-30% cheaper than the transparent sheets employed in monofacial panels.
- BOS equipment and related costs are reduced as more power can be generated from bifacial modules in a smaller array footprint.
Despite so many advantages, the adoption of bifacial modules in India has been slow since its inception. Few reasons for this are –
- higher prices,
- the requirement for the creation of special mounting systems,
- higher albedo factor (a measure of the proportion of incident light or radiation that is reflected by a surface), etc.
- also, slight variations in the colour of the ground can have a significant effect on the albedo factor.
However lately, these panels are becoming increasingly popular due to their availability at a similar price per Watt peak as its mono-facial equivalents.
This article is based on JMK Research Newsletter; edited by Clean-Future Team