Two photovoltaic cell sides are better than one, especially when trailing the sun, according to a recent Joule journal article published by an international group of scientists, including Sandian Joshua S. Stein.
The researchers’ techno-economic comparison of combinations of bifacial and tracking PV systems found that double-sided (bifacial) solar panels — and single-axis tracking technology that moves the panels so they can follow the sun — produce more energy than current photovoltaic cell technology.
According to their research, this new mix of technologies, “produces the cheapest electricity (LCOE 16% lower than conventional monofacial systems) by significantly boosting energy production (35% more than conventional systems).”
“This study was made possible by field monitoring data collected at Sandia’s Photovoltaic Systems Evaluation Laboratory” explains Dr. Stein. “Sandia has been studying bifacial photovoltaic performance since 2016. Since then, this technology has moved into the mainstream and is set to overtake conventional monofacial solar panels.”