What Are Bifacial Solar Panels And Should I Install Them?

Due to a constantly changing climate, shrinking glaciers, and rising energy costs, people are looking to alternative or green energy to produce the electricity they need without impacting our world negatively. 

When considering your eco-friendly options, solar panels are by far the most efficient and affordable way to produce electricity for your home. Solar panels have been around for years and have become more popular and affordable as time goes on. 

Here in North Texas and the DallasFt. Worth area more and more people are looking to become energy independent and want to have a positive impact on the environment. When you drive around and see solar panels they are pretty much all the same, either mounted on rooftops, or on the ground. Some are even mounted on carports and pergolas. 

There are many options and even more companies installing solar panels even here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, but not all are truly local. With so many different solar panel companies and installers out there, it may be overwhelming.  Which ones are trustworthy? 

solar panels in a field

Consider Solartime USA as your local source for solar panels in Dallas. Located in Richardson TX, our experts pride themselves on ensuring you get the best deal, professional installation, and any available tax credits and rebates. 

Let’s learn a bit more about solar panels, what they are made of, how they are put together, and the bifacial solar panel differs from the traditional solar panel. Why would you choose to install bifacial solar panels over traditional solar panels?

Solar panels contain photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert light energy into electricity. These PV cells are made up of two layers of silicone which are either monocrystalline (higher quality silicone) or polycrystalline, depending on the type of solar panel. The PV cells are held together by a metal connection and then framed to form a PV module (more commonly known as a solar panel). These are called monofacial solar panels – traditional solar panels. Several solar panels connect to create the solar system. 

How do solar panels work from here? When sunlight strikes, the light energy (containing photons) hits the solar panel. Electrons are activated to move around to produce direct current (DC). This direct current is sent to the inverter to convert the energy to AC which powers your household appliances. This is how all solar panels create electricity. Let’s take a look at what is different about Bifacial solar panels. 

What are Bifacial Solar Panels?

Bifacial solar panels use both sides of the panel to harvest energy from the sun, while traditional solar panels only use a single side to do so. This makes them unique and beneficial at the same time. The traditional solar panel harvests energy when sunlight strikes one side of the panel. The backside of the traditional solar panel is covered with a black/opaque sheet that allows the solar panel to only produce energy from one side of the panel. 

However, with a bifacial solar panel, the backside of the solar panel is covered with a transparent sheet or set in tempered glass. Because the entire panel is held together by tempered glass, it does not require the PV to be held in metal.  This eliminates the need for a frame and allows the harvesting of energy through reflection with PV cells located on the back of the solar panel as well. Clearly, this makes a bifacial solar panel more efficient and versatile than a traditional solar panel. 

Monofacial or Bifacial Solar Panels?

So, how does that make Bifacial solar panels better, and why aren’t they used all the time in place of the traditional solar panel? Well, Bifacial (as the name implies) can harvest light energy on both sides of the solar panel, taking advantage of the ability to harvest reflection. Now, in order to use reflected sunrays (light), the surface behind the Bifacial solar panels has to be reflective and the solar panel has to be raised. Optimal situations would be where there’s snow or sand, white tile, or light reflected from the grass as well. So the less reflective the surface is behind the solar panel, the less use of the reflected light of course. 

Should I Install Bifacial Solar Panels?

Space is a major factor when installing any solar system which is why a lot of solar systems are installed on rooftops. In this case, the use of bifacial solar panels would not make much sense since the very aspect that allows these panels to be more efficient by using reflection would be useless since the solar panels are installed too close to the roof to allow reflection behind the panel. 

Location is a very important aspect of bifacial solar panel installation. Without sufficient reflection, the efficiency of the panel is about equal to the traditional panel. Space is another major factor, the bifacial solar panels have to be installed on racks, so adequate space between the racks is crucial to allow for reflection. Furthermore, shading also diminishes the efficiency of the bifacial solar panel. 

How can these panels be installed then? One way is to install them horizontally and straight to allow them to provide partial shade for a house (like on a pergola). Another way is vertically where the sun can be absorbed multi-directionally. For instance, east/west, or on a tall structure where the reflection of the sun from other buildings and/or sky can be used. 

There is much to say for bifacial solar panels. They are even more durable than traditional solar panels, and thus usually carry a 30-year warranty. They are more efficient, although this depends on several factors (such as a lack of reflection). They contain better quality silicone (monocrystalline). There’s no need for grounding the frameless panel, and aesthetically they are more pleasing (looking slim and sleek). The factors against choosing bifacial solar panels for private installations are primarily cost and space. For these reasons, most bifacial solar panels are used commercially.

So, when considering if bifacial solar panels are a good idea for you and your home, the answer boils down to location and cost more than anything else. Would your location allow you to install bifacial solar panels, and does the location allow adequate use of reflection? Would the cost difference between bifacial and traditional solar panels make sense for you? 

Contact the Solartime Experts for Dallas Solar Questions and Installation

The best way to get help with the answers to these questions is to have a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experts. We will provide you an honest quote and will tell you if the extra cost of bifacial panels benefits you or not. You can set up a consultation easily by calling (972) 675-7725 or go to Dallas Solar to fill out the form to set up an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you go solar!