Bifacial modules convert light on both sides of cells
Traditional PV modules are mono-facial, meaning that their electrical power output is derived from radiation captured on the front side of the cells only. In contrast bifacial modules convert light captured on both sides of the cells. However, many buildings like manufacturing sites and public buildings are using solar energy, where the generated power is used immediately. In many of these buildings, flat roofs are state of the art.
The project BI-FACE will focus on optimized lightweight bifacial PV systems for flat roofs. The results will include three novel variations for bifacial modules and systems which are tested in three different climate zone: subtropical (Cyprus; University of Cyprus is a subcontractor of ECN), temperate (Austria) and maritime temperate (Netherlands).
The ultimate design of these systems is challenging due to the large number of parameters that influence the energy yield (like tilt and distance between modules, reflecting surfaces, shading, cell spacing, materials used and weather conditions). The team is using a holistic approach taking even the aspect of standardization into account.
The expected main results of BI-FACE are:
- Novel lightweight bifacial modules and systems for flat roofs for representative climates in Europe
- Innovative, comprehensive models for design and installation of bifacial modules and systems including construction requirements
- Novel manufacturing strategies
- New performance and characterization measurements
- Innovative mounting structures
The project unifies 6 partners from 2 countries: AIT Austrian institute of Technology (project lead), CTR Carinthian Tech Research (Austria) PVP Photovoltaik GmbH (Austria), ECN Energy Center of the Netherlands (Netherlands), Solar Electricity Development B.V. (Netherlands), Tempress Systems B.V. (Netherlands).