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bifacial solar panel

Bifacial solar panels are the solution when you save little space and want to make the most out of your PV array. They offer more energy absorption in one system than conventional photovoltaic panels, so their price will be higher. Nonetheless, these double-sided solar panels are an efficient way to benefit and get a bang for your buck.

Here we will discuss everything there is to know about double-sided solar panels, their average price, how to take advantage of their added capacity, and how they compare to conventional PV panels.

Do Bifacial Solar Panels Work Differently Than Monofacial Solar Panels?

Bifacial solar panels aren’t that much different than monofacial solar panels. They absorb solar energy the same way conventional PV panels do, using the same technology and materials. The only difference is that they can do so through both sides.

However, one side will always absorb more light due to having a higher capacity and more sunlight exposure. Knowing this, these types of photovoltaic panels are better when used with reflective surfaces, which we will discuss further on.

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How Much More Efficient Are Bifacial Solar Panels?

As we know, conventional photovoltaic panels have an average efficiency rating of 24%. Bifacial solar panels are an excellent way to obtain more solar energy with the same amount of sunlight exposure time. A bifacial PV panel can capture up to 25-30% more solar energy. The primary side of the double-sided PV panel will have a higher capacity than the rear side.

What Is the Average Cost for a Bifacial Solar Panel?

When we talk about portable bifacial solar panels, they’re more expensive than portable conventional photovoltaic panels. Why? You might ask. Well, it is because of their portability and increased efficiency in one system.

Portable bifacial PV panels can range from $100 to $600, depending on the capacity and the brand. Nonetheless, bifacial portable PV panels are not easy to come by. There are only a selected amount of brands that offer them. Let’s take, for example, these two portable double-sided solar panels. 

  EcoFlow 220W Bifacial Portable Solar Panel Winnewsun Bifacial Flexible 100W Solar Panel
Cost $649 $150
Efficiency 23% 22%
Primary Side Capacity 375W maximum power 100W maximum power
Rear Side Capacity

Comparing these two portable, double-sided solar panels, we can see that even though Winnesun bifacial 100W solar panel  offers a cheaper option, you get much less capacity. EcoFlow does lie on the higher price range, but it’s due to its high capacity on both sides. EcoFlow’s overall capacity is almost four times that of Winnewsun.

On the other hand, rigid or mountable bifacial solar panels are much more common. A 450W bifacial PV panel can cost between $300 to $400, while a mountable monofaced solar panel with the same capacity costs around $150 to $200. Here are two double-sided mountable PV panels, let’s see how they compare.

  Canadian Solar 450W  Bifacial Mono XL Solar Panel

Aptos Bifacial Solar 440W Solar Panel

 

Cost $360 $385
Efficiency 20.10% 20.21%
Primary Side Capacity 450W maximum power 440W maximum power
Rear Side Capacity

Both PV panels allow energy absorption through both sides. Their capacity and efficiency are quite similar, and their price is in the same range. Rigid double-sided solar panels aren’t as expensive as portable ones and are available in higher capacities. Nevertheless, portable double-sided solar panels are much more convenient when you want an energy source on the go, and here is where their price is worth it.

double sided solar panels

Are Bifacial Solar Panels More Expensive to Install Than Conventional Solar Panels?

Mountable double-sided solar panels need to be installed by professionals and require more material and equipment to be mounted. If you want to install them on a roof, they must be positioned at a distance from the surface. On the other hand, if you want to install them on the ground, they require tilting systems or fixed stands. These additional costs add up, eventually becoming quite an expensive investment.

The cost to install bifacial PV panels will vary depending on the number of photovoltaic panels you need, the company installing them, where you want to install them, and the cost of additional stands, mounts, and equipment.The average price for installing a bifacial solar array will be in the thousands range, and expect to pay around $5,000 minimum and surpass $10,000. Conventional photovoltaic panels are much simpler and cheaper to install on roofs or ground because they require less sophisticated mounting systems and only sometimes require specialists to install them effectively.

How Do You Get the Most Out of Bifacial Solar Panels?

Since the rear side of the PV panel isn’t facing direct sunlight, it is recommended to place it on a reflective surface. Nonetheless, if it’s not done, it doesn’t mean you won’t be producing energy; it just means that side of the PV panel won’t reach its full potential.

By reflective surfaces, we don’t mean a mirror, although that would be optimal. What we mean is surfaces that are capable of reflecting sunlight. What could these be? Well, it could be anything light-colored, such as sand or pavement. The darker the surface, the less sunlight will be reflected.Another option is to use reflectors. Reflectors, like metals, can be easily made from aluminum foil, which acts like a mirror. You can place them underneath or at the angle that best allows light to reflect on the photovoltaic panel’s rear side. This way, the PV panel facing the surface or the ground will absorb as much sunlight as possible.

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So, Are Bifacial Solar Panels Worth the Price?

Bifacial PV panels are an optimal way to get more out of your investment. They allow more energy absorption, especially if you get creative and implement reflectors to maximize their performance. If you want to make your investment worth a while, then bifacial solar panels are worth every penny. Whether installed at home or as a companion on the road, a bifacial PV panel is an optimal space-saving and energy-efficient solution to ease your wallet and ease your way into energy independence.

Mireya Cervantes

Mireya Cervantes

Writer

Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, I am also passionate about renewable energy applications and innovations. Full-time writer for Solar Home Stead, where I review and share my opinion on energy products and trends.

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