Solar PV: bifacial cell and module technology leads to higher yield

Bifacial solar panels can significantly increase the yield of solar power and expand the potential to generate solar energy even further. The yield of solar panels is expected to increase with 20 percent on average.

Instead of the black or white film that common solar panels use on the rear side, bifacial solar panels make use of a glass plate or transparent film at the back. The solar cells in these bifacial panels are made in such a way that they are almost as efficient at converting light into electricity through the rear as they are through the front. This enables the panels to also generate electricity from diffuse light and the light reflected onto the back of the panel by water or other surfaces that would normally be lost.

Bifacial solar panels also offer potential for new applications. They can be installed in either a tilted or upright position, and they can be incorporated in, for example, motorway noise barriers or placed on floating rafts. Moreover, the direction the panels face is less important, as the joint yield of the back and front of the panel barely changes as the direction varies (to follow the road, for example).

Simulations carried out by ECN show that the bifacial panels can produce an extra yield of between 15% and 35%, depending on the ground reflection.

Bifacial solar panels: here’s how it works:

What ECN can do for the PV industry

We support industry with the development and implementation of high-efficiency cell and module processes in a variety of ways. In joint development projects as well as technology transfer projects, ECN has successfully introduced new technologies in mass production at tier one producers. Cooperation subjects can be full process flows as well as process modules.

Read more about the technology that ECN can offer:


ECN is also inviting interested parties to look into opportunities to participate in our shared research programme. You can read more about ECN's work in our brochure about crystalline silicon and thin-film solar cells, which can be downloaded here.

Want more info?
Are you interested in how ECN can help you, or would you like more information on our products and services? Then please contact us. Or take a look at our Solar Energy expertise page.