Double-sided PV

Floating double-sided pv

The solar cells at the second side are are almost as efficient as the cells in the front end. As a result, the panels can also utilize the light that is reflected by the surface of the water or the ground, which normally is lost.

By applying double-sided panels – working on water – the yield of solar power can be increased by 20% on average and expand the potential to generate solar energy even more.

So why not use both sides?

Double-sided solar panel

This week, Energy Research Centre (ECN) is demonstrating ‘floating double-sided solar panels on the ‘River IJ’ in Amsterdam. By also using the back of the solar panels, the reflected light from the surface of the water, can be catched to generate electric power.

ECN about the new PV

It is a smart and obvious solution. The panels use light that is already there and with almost the same investment, the yield of solar energy is significantly higher. On an annual basis the yield can extend to tens of percents extra electricity,” according to Professor Wim Sinke.

Instead of a black or a white film, sided solar panels have a glass or a transparant film in the back.transparent film.

The solar cells at the second side are are almost as efficient as the cells in the front end. As a result, the panels can also utilize the light that is reflected by the surface of the water or the ground, which normally is lost.

In addition double-sided solar panels offer new applications:

  1. Except obliquely, they can stand upright and be used in high way noise barriers
    In addition, there is a great freedom in the placement direction. Proceeds from front and back together will change very little as the direction varies. For example, in order to follow the road.
  2. Another application is to place the two-sided working plates on the water surface.
    The water makes the panels more profitable by the reflection of sunlight and cooling factor of the water.
    In addition, the panels can rotate with the sun and supply a surplus of 18 percent.

In the Netherlands 18 percent are lakes and rivers. If the country uses 1 to 2 percent of the water surface for generating electricity by floating solar fields, this provides energy to 2 to 4 million households.

Double-sided PV

Construction of Europe s largest floating solar panel array on London’s Queen Elizabeth II reservoir. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

Floating panels against drought?

As we confront the mounting impacts of global warming, maintaining a viable balance between water supply and demand in warmer climates will be especially challenging. In the sunny Southwest of the US, reducing water losses to evaporation should be part of a wide-ranging water conservation strategy. Floating solar farms have a role to play, curbing water waste as they produce carbon-neutral power.

Double-sided technology

The technology is aimed at optimal use of solar panels on water. Placing water offers some unique opportunities for improving the yield of standard panels.

  • Can rotate raft with the sun (+ 18% efficiency)
  • Passive cooling by surface water (+ 10% efficiency)
  • Reflection of the sunlight on the water surface (+ 10% efficiency)
  • Higher number of sunshine hours over wetlands

By delivering the production systems will generate more kilowatt-hours per day. Moreover, the power delivered in the morning and evening is also higher. That’s why solar power on water surfaces reduces the imbalance in the grids. Through design the systems are also:

  • Mobile at low cost
  • Little or no maintenance because of the clever use of materials
  • Its lightweight, inexpensive, but stiff and storm-proof




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