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Bifacial Solar Panels: Advantages and Disadvantages (500 Watt, Frameless)…

Bifacial Solar Panels: Advantages and Disadvantages (500 Watt, Frameless)…

    Bifacial Solar Panels: Advantages and Disadvantages (500 Watt, Frameless)

    Are the new bifacial solar panels about to eclipse traditional solar panels?

    bifacial, solar, panels, advantages, disadvantages, watt

    Many people argue that they might. But they also wonder, how do these differnt types of solar panels work? Do the advantages of bifacial solar panels overcome their disadvantages? And, what’s the difference in frameless and watt rating?

    Researchers are constantly improving monofacial solar panels so that they can increase the amount of energy absorbed without increasing the size of the panel. Incremental advances have been made in this department but there’s only so much energy that can be produced from the same-sized package.

    Utilizing both sides of the solar panel could be the solution.

    Understanding how solar panels work and specifically how bifacial solar panels can enhance the performance can help you decide when purchasing a solar energy system to install.

    This guide explains what you need to know.

    How Do Solar Panels Work? (Solar Panels Definition)

    Solar energy systems are generally manufactured from multiple wafer-thin layers of silicon cells connected together by electrical wiring.

    They are then encased in a metal frame to form a panel with a glass or plexiglass front face that has a specific anti-reflective coating on it.

    These individual panels are then connected together to form arrays and installed on rooftops or in sizable outdoor spaces so they can be angled toward the sun to maximize solar absorption.

    During daylight hours, the solar cells, which are also known as photovoltaic cells, absorb and convert sunlight, commonly referred to as electromagnetic radiation.

    into electrical energy by the use of an inverter.

    An inverter is required to transform the direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar cells in your panels into usable alternating current (AC) electricity suitable for household use.

    Excess electricity that is not immediately consumed is then stored in a battery storage system.

    The number of panels in the arrays will depend on the energy requirements of the premises, and sometimes the space available for installation.

    The national average of the panels required to supply sufficient electricity to cater to all a household’s needs is between 17-21 panels, but not all rooftops can accommodate that quantity due to limited space.

    The size of standard solar panel for residential properties is 5.4 feet by 3.25 feet, and weigh about 40 pounds each. When there are up to 21 of them arranged in an array a considerable amount of space would be needed.

    Under any form of space restrictions, options are limited to either installing other arrays on another part of the property or installing larger, more powerful solar panels that will still have space constraints.

    These types of solar panels are classed as being monofacial and the basics of how they function rely on the front face of the panel, 1 where solar radiation is absorbed, directly facing toward the sun for the majority of the day.

    This is often achieved through a tracking system that moves and angles the modules on a predetermined setting based on the sun’s movement across the sky.

    Bifacial solar panels can do that and more.

    What Are Bifacial Solar Panels? (Bifacial vs Monofacial Solar Panels)

    Bifacial solar panels use identical silicon-based solar cells to monofacial solar panels.

    There is no difference there.

    They are both manufactured either from monocrystalline or polycrystalline cells, with the former being more expensive but more efficient at energy capture and conversion.

    Monofacial solar panels, however, have one glaring fault that bifacial panels resolve quite cleverly, and that difference enables the bifacial solar panel’s efficiency level to be greater by 15% to 30%.

    This increase in efficiency is because the majority of solar panels in use today only collect light and transform it into electricity when they are pointing toward the sun. They are effective to a large degree but a significant percentage of invisible light rays pass through the cells without being absorbed and are wasted.

    Researchers behind the bifacial technology examined methods of harnessing those invisible rays and redirecting them back into the cells. They reasoned that if the unused underside of a solar panel could convert those uncaptured infrared rays that more electricity might be produced.

    So, rather than having an opaque back plate, bifacial panels have a reflective material on the back that not only redirects any light that passes through the sun-facing monocrystalline cells but absorbs any light refracted from the ground, converting it into energy.

    Although most of the sunlight is still absorbed by the panel’s front, some bifacial PV systems can produce up to 30% more energy since they expose both sides of the solar cells to sunlight.

    Frameless Bifacial Solar Panels

    Another primary difference between bifacial and monofacial panels is the framing.

    The traditional framing for solar arrays is composed of aluminum, a material that has been used for decades due to its durability and lightness.

    bifacial, solar, panels, advantages, disadvantages, watt

    There are many consumers that simply do not like the image presented when silver-framed panels are installed on their rooftops, deeming them unsightly.

    Bifacial solar panels keep the solar cells in place with two panes of glass and a reflective back plate and are often frameless.

    This design allows them to be fully transparent and have a more exposed surface area, enabling the solar cells to capture more sunlight from both the front and the back. 2

    Still, many neighborhood HOAs are against unsightly rooftop solar arrays, actively campaigning against anyone installing them despite the benefits to the homeowner and the planet.

    Bifacial arrays are more pleasing to the eye aesthetically when rooftop mounted, yet they are more effective when placed next to highly reflecting surfaces that can bounce light back onto the underside of the panels.

    This can be installing bifacial solar panels on roof that are flat, in ground-mounted locations, on pergolas, or on lean-tos to replace the actual wooden roof slats themselves.

    As long as the ground underneath has reflective properties the bifacial panels will absorb more light and produce more electricity than monofacial arrays.

    This creates an advantage of bifacial solar panels vs monocrystalline panels that have only one absorbing face.

    If a bifacial panel can generate more energy than a typical solar panel it would mean that less of them would be required to fully power an average household, which would result in less space requirements.

    0 and 500-Watt Bifacial Solar Panels vs 500-Watt Monofacial Solar Panels

    Several manufacturers have started to offer 500-watt solar panels to residential premises in an effort to boost the output without claiming more real estate which is often a barrier to new clients with space restrictions.

    (Image: National Renewable Energy Laboratory 11 )

    Under ideal conditions, these larger panels will be able to generate more electricity on a daily basis than smaller wattage panels. On average, 2 kWh would be produced from each panel, and approximately 14-15 of them would be sufficient for an average residence rather than the 17-21 required to power a house now.

    Related Reading : How Many Solar Panels to Power a House (For Every Size, Type, Location)

    Unfortunately, the size and weight are increased, with an additional 30 pounds and a new size of 7.40 feet by 3.72 feet, but the configuration is smaller which makes the PV arrays more convenient to a wider consumer base.

    500-watt bifacial solar panels are fractionally smaller, yet slightly heavier due to the extra glass layer, but will have a greater energy output of between 15% to 30% determined by the local conditions.

    A total of 15 monofacial panels produce 2 kWh per day each, producing 30 kWh a day, 840 kWh a month, and 10,080 kWh a year.

    A standard residential property needs 10,649 kWh a year to function independently from the local grid systems. 3

    If the average increase in energy output from a bifacial solar panel is 25%, that would mean an additional 0.5kWh per day per panel. Although that may not seem significant, it has the possibility to augment the overall electricity production, reduce the number of panels installed, and save money.

    Dividing the average residential property yearly kWh consumption of 10,649 by 2.5 would reveal a result of:

    So instead of having to install 15 panels within the array, it would be possible to reduce that amount to 12 and still have the same amount of energy production.

    Where this space-saving option would come into play if other energy dependant products, such as an electric car, were to be added to the system, which would require another 5 to 12 panels.

    If the 500-watt panels are too big then the 400-watt bifacial solar panels could be used instead with equally impressive results.

    Industrial Bifacial Solar Panels

    Commercial industries are also examining the benefits that bifacial solar panels can bring to their bottom line.

    (Image: Department of Energy 12 )

    Some of these business owners may be concerned with climate change, but if they are in an industry that is energy-intensive, any option that can reduce those overheads has to be considered.

    bifacial, solar, panels, advantages, disadvantages, watt

    A brief glance at a solar panel size chart immediately shows the discrepancies in sizes between industrial solar panels and residential ones.

    Compared to industrial solar panels, household solar panels are typically smaller and provide less power, and produce 300 to 400 watts of power per panel, occasionally 500 watts.

    They are made to be set up in small-scale ground installations or on rooftops of homes to produce enough electricity to power an average family. These solar panels typically produce 300 to 400 watts of power per panel.

    Industrial solar panels are bigger and provide more power, 700 watts per panel or more, and are installed in larger commercial business premises.

    Solar farms are where the largest panels are used to maximize energy production and the land space available.

    It would be a major achievement for a business of this type to be able to replace all of its conventional panels with ones that can absorb light from both faces and increase their energy production, the extra energy that they can then sell back to the grid for increased returns on their investments.

    It’s no wonder that bifacial solar panels are becoming extremely popular for industrial-sized operations across the United States interested in saving money and mitigating climate change. 4

    Bifacial Solar Panels Advantages and Disadvantages

    There are pros and cons associated with bifacial solar panels, as with most things, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

    (Image: National Renewable Energy Laboratory 11 )

    You can check the details below:

    • Extra power comes with extra cost and bifacial solar panels generally cost at least 10% more than conventional panels
    • Installation is also more complicated, requiring special equipment due to the additional weight of the extra glass sheet per panel
    • The mounting structure is unique to the array format and cannot be interchanged between all types of other PV arrays
    • Installing them over grass or dirt would negate the advantage of the second face as no light would be reflected
    • Owing to the greater energy output fewer solar modules are required
    • Even when the intensity of the light is reduced towards the end of the day or not directly facing the panels, more light is absorbed compared to monofacial panels
    • Any diffused light reflected from nearby surfaces can be absorbed
    • The tempered glass-to-glass composition enhances the durability and longevity of the modules
    • There is a lower risk of degradation due to the improved production process and manufacturers are confident in issuing 30-year warranties
    • There is a lower risk of corrosion and microcracking.
    • Bifacial solar arrays are more pleasing to the eye whether placed on flat roofs or especially on angled lean-tos where they can become a charming feature
    • They will function more efficiently than monofacial panels when covered in snow because the second face will still be absorbing light
    • Whereas conventional panels work best at angles of 35° and 45°, bifacial panels can even be erected at 90° for maximum exposure to the sun from virtually all angles

    How To Install Bifacial Solar Panels

    Employing a company to install your newly purchased bifacial solar panels can be an expensive endeavor, especially if you have the know-how to do it yourself. It is not overly complicated and if you follow these simple steps you can be solar-powered in no time.

    Flat roofs are the best options as long as there are no overhead obstructions such as trees or nearby buildings that will cast shadows over the panels.

    Ground-mounted installations are more prone to being overshadowed but even if they are not it is important to ensure that the ground beneath them has a reflective surface; grass or dirt would nullify the advantage that bifacial solar panels have.

    Pergolas attached to the property can either be another primary or secondary installation for this renewable energy provider if they can hold enough solar panels. 5

    Many consumers concentrate solely on one location to install a PV system, but there is no reason why another site couldn’t be used as all wires would lead back to the storage system where the energy from the two sources would be accumulated.

    Irrespective of the ultimate site selected for installation, there are a few fundamental steps that need to be adhered to for the two-sided panels to work effectively.

    • Ensure that the area is flat and clear of any debris that could interfere with the operation of the PV system
    • The racking system has to be positioned at a minimum height of 3-4 feet from the ground to allow sunlight to pass beneath from various angles. Do not install the panels flat onto a sloped roof as this will negate the benefit of having two solar absorbent surfaces
    • Position the racking so it, too, doesn’t interfere with any light penetration. New racking solutions use tiny junction boxes, narrower support rails, and vertical supports at the very corners of the racking system to reduce any shadowing beneath the modules
    • Be mindful when fastening any bolts on the modules to be aware of overtightening because of the sensitive nature of the glass
    • Allow a gap between the panels so any heavy snow will fall through and not accumulate between them.
    • If the surface is non-reflective or dark-colored, consider applying a white, reflective material, such as paint or an EPDM material on the ground
    • Connect to the inverter and then the local grid using the supplied solar panel connector types

    Bifacial Solar Panels Advantages With Installations

    Apart from the option of installing solar panels in two separate locations on a single property, another possibility often disregarded is taking advantage of available water surfaces like a lake or other bodies of water.

    By the use of a floating racking system, the second face of bifacial solar panels will benefit enormously from the incredible reflective nature that can be achieved from the water’s surface.

    The body of water does not have to be large to amplify the energy generated from the PV system, but the increase in electrical output will be noticeable.

    In fact, bifacial panels can be a good solution if employed on any free-standing structures as long as the ground beneath will reflect sunlight back up to the under-face panels, 6 and awnings, pergolas of all shapes, and canopies are becoming popular choices.

    Interesting Facts About Bifacial Solar Panels

    Every new technological advancement appears to have been developed quickly, talked about one minute, and brought to market the next.

    (Image: National Renewable Energy Laboratory 11 )

    Rear-side irradiation is no different. Developers within the industry know differently, more than aware of the backstory to new technologies.

    What other interesting unknown facts are there about these two-faced panels?

    • The first demonstration of the effectiveness of bifacial solar cells was in space. In 1974, the Salyut 3 in the Soviet Space program conducted an experiment that proved the superior energy generation properties over monofacial panels
    • Patents were filed in 1976, and 1977 by a renowned Spanish scientist, Antonio Luque Lopez, who is recognized as the inventor of the bifacial solar cell used today
    • In 1997, SunPower produced a prototype that showed a lot of commercial promise, but it never saw the light of day, and interest died down for the next few years
    • Incremental technological advances over the next decade culminated with the company, Yingli, a Chinese PV producer, selling the much-improved bifacial solar cells in 2012
    • Another decade later and the bifacial solar cell market accounts for over a 20% share of the PV industry

    With decades in the making, the advantages of bifacial solar panels over monofacial panels are numerous.

    They can be installed in similar locations to traditional panels but with an increased solar irradiation absorption capacity. 7 This results in higher energy levels delivered to both residential and commercial premises and a reduction in utility bills.

    There can be no question that bifacial solar panels: advantages and disadvantages – 500 Watt, 400, frameless – are going to be around for a long time.

    Are Bifacial Panels Suitable for Rooftops?

    Sloping roofs are not suitable. To reap the benefits of bifacial solar panels, they need to be positioned no more than 13 feet from the ground or from a flat surface to better capture the refracted light rays.

    What Is the Cost of Leasing Solar Panels?

    After a down payment to the leasing company, the cost of leasing solar panels can be between 50 to 250 per month depending on energy requirements.

    Where Are the Best Places to Mount Bifacial Solar Panels?

    A raised platform with a minimum height of 3-4 feet that has full sun exposure is ideal, especially if the ground beneath is reflective.

    Can Bsps Be Installed on Sloped Roofs?

    As long as the panels are not installed flush with the tiles, they can still be effective on an angled rooftop.

    How Long Do Bifacial Panels Last?

    Manufacturers are giving 30-year warranties with the expected lifespan of these specific types of solar panels estimated to be around 50 years plus.

    Are There Bifacial Panels Expensive?

    Generally, BSPs are more expensive to purchase and install. However, the Biden administration has exempted this new sector from import tariffs for U.S. developers to make them competitive in the marketplace against monofacial panels.

    What Incentive Programs Are There?

    Incentive programs are available on a federal, state, and local level to reduce the purchase and installation costs to homeowners and business owners to save money and adopt solar energy.

    Are Perovskite Solar Cells Better Than Silicon?

    These hybrid organic-inorganic cells are potentially revolutionary since they have the potential to lower production costs and, 8 just as importantly, increase output. Combining them with bifacial solar panels could revolutionize the industry.

    Solar Panel Connector Types Ranked, When to Use Each (And When Not To)

    Solar Energy Facts That Could Change Civilization as We Know It (With Quotes)

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    Do Solar Panels Need Direct Sunlight? No But It Matters (Big Time)

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    How Does a Solar Farm Work? Pros and Cons Solar Farmers (Acreage PV Power)


    1 Solar Energy Technologies Office. (2023). Solar Photovoltaic Cell Basics. Office of ENERGY EFFICIENCY RENEWABLE ENERGY. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from

    2 University of California Regents. (2023). Absorption / reflection of sunlight. UNDERSTANDING GLOBAL CHANGE. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from

    3 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. (2023). Unit 1: Exploring Renewable Energy. Renewable Energy Education. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from

    4 Friedlander, B. (2023, March 9). Returning solar panel production to US eases climate change. CORNELL CHRONICLE. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from

    5 Morris, J. (2023, February 2). Renewable Energy. Climate Portal. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from

    6 CONNIFF, R. (2021, November 22). Why Putting Solar Canopies on Parking Lots Is a Smart Green Move. YaleEnvironment360. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from

    7 Coastal Systems Group. (2023). Solar Irradiation. WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from

    8 Solar Energy Technologies Office. (2023). Perovskite Solar Cells. Office of ENERGY EFFICIENCY RENEWABLE ENERGY. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from

    10 Jana309. Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0). Changed Format, Resized. Wikipedia Commons. Retrieved from

    11 National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL. Retrieved from

    12 Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information. Retrieved from

    Bifacial solar panels

    In this section of our website you can find all bifacial solar panels that we currently have in stock. These are powerful PV modules, ideal for commercial and industrial projects. Since bi-modules only recently rose in popularity and not everybody is familiar with them, let us tell you a little about them.

    What are bifacial solar panels?

    A bifacial solar panel is a PV module with two active sides. Instead of a white or black back sheet on the rear side, it has another layer of glass that protects solar cells. It often doesn’t have a frame.

    How do bifacial solar panels work?

    The front side of a bifacial panel works just like any normal panel would do. However, the rear side harvests the light that is reflected from the surface and diffused light. Usually, it gives you up to 30% of the front side’s production. For example, a 400 Watt bifacial solar panel gets a 130 Watt bonus if the conditions are good. Since the backside of the bifacial panel is made to work with diffused light, it performs well in low light conditions, such as cloudy weather, fall and winter days.

    How to install bifacial solar panels?

    In theory, bifacial modules can be installed just the same way as the standard panels are. However, bifacial panels are more often used in ground-based installation or systems on flat roofs, because you need a good tilt to take advantage of a rear side. Your installer has to take albedo into consideration which is the reflectivity of a surface where panels are installed. Asphalt or black surface, for example, gives the lowest bifacial gain, and sometimes installers put a white membrane underneath the modules to increase albedo.

    Here is a diagram of bifacial solar panels functioning. You can see that solar panels are often raised from the ground to prevent overheating. Careful planning is key: you want to minimize the shading of not only the panels, but the surface as well.

    What are the benefits of bifacial solar panels?

    There are several. For starters, bifacial solar panels efficiency is higher than standard. Mono-side panels have a 17-21% energy conversion rate on average. When the rear side of a bi-module works at full capacity, its efficiency can reach 25-27%. Thus you need much less space to build a powerful solar system.

    Output warranties usually last a bit longer for bifacial panels. Standard solar panels usually have a 25-year warranty for performance. Bifacial panels come with a 30-year warranty.

    Besides, bifacial panels can be installed in a number of different ways — for example, vertical installation is a viable option. Different configurations allow your installation to provide more power in different times of the day.

    Finally, some prefer the design of bifacial panels to standard one. Bifacial panels sometimes are frameless and they are often transparent which makes them blend well with your roof.

    Who produces bifacial solar panels?

    and more companies start making bi-modules; first and foremost, brands that aim to produce panels for commercial and industrial installations take interest in them. JA Solar, Jinko, Trina, Canadian Solar can be listed among most popular bifacial solar panels manufacturers. Solar experts see great potential in bifacial modules and expect them to become more and more popular, which means we can expect more and more brands to start making them.

    Cost of bifacial solar panels

    Bi-modules are more expensive than standard solar panels of the same power. However, you have to take into consideration the bifacial gain that the rear side provides. When it’s properly used, a bifacial panel proves to be cost-effective — for example, a 480W bifacial panel with 30% production bonus from the rear side is going to produce more energy than two 300W panels. In these circumstances a bifacial solar panel price is going to be less than the price of two panels and it will also occupy less space.

    The cheapest panels come from China. For example, Trina Solar bifacial panels are a solid choice: the company is known to be modern and innovative. Today this company competes in Top-5 world’s solar brands and offers a diverse product line with relatively low prices. Another good choice would be LONGi Solar bifacial panels. The modules from this Chinese brand tend to be even cheaper, though slightly less popular and efficient.

    American companies also make bifacial modules for residential and commercial solar projects. Their tend to be a little higher, but the quality may be slightly better. American companies also often provide better warranties for their products. For example, you can go for Canadian Solar bifacial panels that are known to excel in low-light conditions. Canadian Solar is a semi-Chinese brand with manufacturing sites in Asia which explains its moderate prices. We can also recommend taking a look at Silfab bifacial solar panels: this Canadian brand provides the most efficient panels in NA and gives solid warranties for its products.

    Why buy from us

    We offer a variety of different bifacial solar panels for sale from brands from all over the world. Here are the things that make A1SolarStore stand out in line:

    • Our fulfillment centers are located on the East and West coasts of the United States. You can use the map of our centers to check the availability of products.
    • We process all orders in 24 hours and ship them in 48 hours. Inverters and charge controllers are shipped free of charge.
    • Orders are delivered by freight transport in 4-7 business days. You can also grab your order yourself from the fulfillment center.
    • We sell the best bifacial solar panels only from verified manufacturers — no counterfeit products.
    • We offer affordable pricing on all solar energy equipment

    If you are interested, browse through various models in our store. You can use our solar calculator to get an idea of how many panels you’ll need and how much the system is going to cost. Our managers are always happy to answer any questions concerning bifacial solar panels quotes, prices, warranties and shipment.

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