Solar panels work when they are pointed at the sun. Everyone knows this. But, in some areas of the earth, a double-sided solar panel is just the thing you need to maximize the sun’s energy. Canada-based Silfab Solar recognized the potential for a two-faced solar panel that can capture sun reflected back up from a snowy surface. The company has announced they intend to begin offering a new bifacial solar module by the end of this year.
Most solar panels are flat and only have photovoltaic cells on one side. There’s a lot of common sense in that design, especially when solar panels are mounted to a rooftop. Being pointed towards the sun allows the photovoltaic cells to capture as much energy as possible, converting it into electricity we can use. For areas where the ground doubles as a reflective surface – as with dense snow or even desert sand – there is a lot of sunlight reflected back up from the earth that would be lost on a single-faced solar panel. Silfab designed a bifacial solar module specifically for these situations, which could enable folks to soak up nearly twice as much energy with the same number of solar panels. The company calls it BiSoN, and describes it as a “bifacial monocrystalline cell with very high efficiency.”
Related: bSolar’s double-sided photovoltaic cells produce up to 50% more energy
In a recent interview with PV Magazine, the head of business development, sales, and marketing at Silfab, Geoffrey Atkins, explained that the company is growing their workforce exponentially in preparation for the new product launch. The small company recently hired on 30 workers, mostly for the factory floor, and expects to add another 50 positions in 2016, both in the factory and for administrative roles. The new positions, located at the company’s plant outside of Toronto, will be largely in support of the new bifacial panels.
Via Clean Technica
Images via Silfab, lead image via Shutterstock