What are Bifacial Solar Panels and How Do They Work?

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Bifacial solar panels are a big step in the evolution of solar panels and are becoming increasingly more accessible and affordable. In recent years, monofacial solar panels have been the industry standard. But now, there’s a new kind of solar panel on the market that’s more efficient than traditional panels. It’s called a bifacial solar panel, and it’s quickly becoming the new standard in solar technology.

Find out how bifacial solar panels work and how they compare to traditional solar panels.

This article sets out everything you need to know about monofacial and bifacial solar panels and how making the switch to an EcoFlow bifacial solar panel could be a game-changer for you.

What are Bifacial Solar Panels?

Bifacial solar panels are solar panels that take advantage of the front and the rear side of the panel. While traditional solar panels only use the front side, bifacial solar panels can absorb sunlight from both sides. This makes them more efficient than conventional panels because they can collect more light energy overall. 

What are Monofacial Solar Panels?

Monofacial solar panels are the most common type of solar panel. They only use the front side of the panel to collect sunlight. This makes them less efficient than bifacial solar panels. However, they are still a good option for those looking to use solar power and save on energy bills.

How Do Bifacial and Monofacial Solar Panels Compare?

The Technology

In terms of solar technology, they are on the same playing field. Typically, solar panels are made from two types of crystalline cells; monocrystalline or polycrystalline cells. However, due to monocrystalline cells being more efficient when it comes to energy conversion, most solar panels use this type of cell. For further insight on monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels, check out this article here.

Bifacial vs. Monofacial Solar Panel Design

The core difference between the two types is their design. Monofacial solar panels have an opaque rear side. In contrast, bifacial solar panels are built with cells on the back and a transparent and highly reflective surface. This means that the monocrystalline cells are exposed to sunlight at the front and back of the panel. Thanks to innovative design, these double-sided solar panels are more efficient at capturing sunlight and converting it to useable energy.

bifacial solar panel render

Another benefit of EcoFlow’s 220W bifacial solar panel is that it doesn’t use metal gridlines and is frameless. It’s stronger structurally than comparable solar panels and is more lightweight and foldable.

Bifacial Solar Panel Price

When it comes to price, it entirely depends on your needs. For comparison, let’s take the EcoFlow 160W monofacial solar panel vs. EcoFlow 220W bifacial solar panel. There’s a +/- $200 price difference between them. While the bifacial solar panel is more expensive, it gives more bang for its buck, achieving up to 25% more energy conversion. This is great for instances where space is valuable to you.

However, it entirely depends on your energy needs. It may be the case that the 220W bifacial solar panel is a little too much for your energy needs. A key takeaway is to assess your energy requirements before deciding between a monofacial or bifacial solar panel. You can find a definitive list of things to consider before buying a solar panel here.

Bifacial Solar Panel: The Difference in Energy Generation 

So why do bifacial solar panels perform better than monofacial solar panels? The answer is the panels on the back, combined with capturing reflected light. For this reason, bifacial solar panels work best when placed next to reflective surfaces. Placing your bifacial solar panel next to a swimming pool or a glass surface on a sunny day is great for energy intake.

Even in snowy conditions, EcoFlow’s 220W bifacial solar panel can still increase energy production by up to 15% due to reflection. However, the precise amount of energy generated is dependent on conditions surrounding any type of solar panel. 

The Benefits of Using an EcoFlow Bifacial Solar Panel

  • Increased Energy Conversion Due to bifacial solar panels being able to soak in sunlight from both sides, there is a higher degree of energy generation. EcoFlow’s 220W bifacial solar panel can capture up to 25% more solar energy than traditional solar panels. 
Designed for outdoor living, EcoFlow's 220W Bifacial Solar Panel handles hot and cold like a true champ.
  • Durability Designed with thin, one-piece tempered glass, the EcoFlow 220W bifacial solar panel is five times tougher than panels in the same class. Similarly, hot or cold conditions aren’t a problem either. It can withstand temperatures up to 300°F and as low as -4°F. 
bifacial solar panel tempered glass
  • Portability We deliberately made our 220W bifacial solar panel 10% smaller than comparable panels. Why? We wanted the panels to be compact, so you can easily store this in your home or take it on the road to access energy easily and hassle-free. 
Tired of space-consuming solar panels? That's why we made the 220W Bifacial Solar Panel 10% smaller than comparable panels.
  • Weatherproof It’s truly built to withstand the elements. It has an IP68 waterproof rating. This means it’s completely dust and water-tight. You’ll be able to generate energy even in the harshest conditions. 
Built to withstand the elements. With an IP68 Waterproof rating, the EcoFlow 220W Bifacial Solar Panel is impervious to dust and water.
  • Innovative Carry Case This case is more than just a protective transport tool. It doubles as an adjustable kickstand. This means you can position your bifacial solar panel to ensure optimal sunlight exposure.  
Fed up of having to prop up or lay flat solar panels? EcoFlow's 220W Bifacial Solar Panel comes with an adjustable kickstand case for optimal light intake.

Conclusion 

When looking into solar panels, it’s clear that bifacial solar panels are the best options in terms of energy conversion. The transparent design and high degree of reflectivity of bifacial solar panels are a game-changer when it comes to increasing energy production. It has meant bifacial solar panels can pick up more light no matter where you place them.

While double-sided solar panels are still relatively new to the industry, the EcoFlow 220W bifacial solar panel is one of the best out there. Although we may be a little biased, it’s one of the first compact, portable, and durable solar panels that doesn’t compromise energy conversion.

With all said, traditional monofacial solar panels shouldn’t be dismissed entirely. Depending on your energy requirements, you might be better suited with a monofacial solar panel with all factors considered. If you want to check out some solar panels, EcoFlow’s suite of portable solar panels is an excellent place to start.Interested in diving deeper into the portable solar panel topic? Read our definitive guide here.

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