Tracking Bifacial Solar Modules Can Produce 35% More Energy: Report

The study showed that bifacial modules with single-axis tracking mechanisms reduced the Levelized Costs of Electricity by 16%


Researchers at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) have claimed that bifacial solar modules that track the sun produced 35% more energy than regular modules and could help achieve some of the lowest Levelized Costs of Electricity (LCOE) in the world.

Solar trackers typically position the solar modules to align with the sun as it moves through the day so that more sunlight/energy is absorbed,which can be converted into power. There are two kinds of trackers single-axis trackers that track the sun over the day around one axis and dual-axis trackers, which can rotate around two axes simultaneously.

The researchers tried different combinations of trackers and solar modules to determine which one was the most cost and energy-efficient. They found that a combination of bifacial solar panels with a single-axis tracker would reduce the LCOE the most – by around 16%.

This LCOE was among the lowest in the world, with projected costs lower than 93.1% of the total land area in the world. Similar installations, but with monofacial modules, were only able to achieve the lowest LCOE in only 3.1% of the world’s land area.

The researchers said they arrived at these results after estimating the irradiance, reaching both the front and rear surfaces of the modules to estimate their energy production. Then, the overall system cost during their 25-year lifetime was factored in to obtain the LCOE.

However, despite being able to achieve the highest energy generation figures, these tracking solar modules are still too expensive and are hence, not cost-effective, according to the paper published in the Joule Journal.

Recently, scientists at St. Petersburg University in Russia tested a new technology for the fabrication of high-efficiency solar cells based on A3B5 semiconductors integrated on a silicon substrate.

Previously, a team of researchers at the Germany-based organization, Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP, discovered that photovoltaic elements on building facades could be useful to supplement the power supply.

Image credit: Nextracker