Scientists develop “real” bifacial solar cells with 29% output power


In today’s Electek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Australian scientists claim to have developed “real” bifacial solar cells.
  • A large-scale solar farm in Tennessee will be the first in the United States to be funded by corporate carbon offsets.
  • UnderstandingSolar is a free service that connects you with the top rated solar installers in your area for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to research the best quotes. Click here to find out more and get your quotes. – * a d.

“True” bifacial solar cells

Bifacial solar cells are not new, but scientists at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra say they have developed what lead researcher Dr. Kean Chern Fong is “a true bifacial solar cell because it has an almost symmetrical energy production. capacity on both surfaces of the device. Fong said:

Bifacial solar cells are becoming increasingly important in the deployment of solar farms and are expected to hold a market share of over 50% over the next five years.

And Chief Investigator Dr Marco Ernst said:

This is a world record for selectively laser doped solar cells and among the most efficient bifacial solar cells.

The team used a technique they call “laser doping,” which uses lasers to locally increase electrical conductivity:

This allowed the research team to achieve a forward conversion efficiency of 24.3% and a back conversion efficiency of 23.4%, which is a bifacial factor of 96.3%.

This performance represents an effective output power of approximately 29%, far exceeding the performance of the best single-sided silicon solar cell.

Of course, weather and geography will have a big impact on the efficiency of ANU’s bifacial solar cells. An ideal climate would be a desert with little vegetation, like a 125 MW solar project in Oman, the developer of which claims to be the world’s largest single-unit solar farm using bifacial modules.

Read more: JPMorgan Chase is the leader with the world’s largest bifacial solar roof – and lends to fossil fuel companies, more

Carbon offset solar farm

Company carbon offset programs allow companies to invest in environmental projects in order to balance their own carbon footprint. And Thursday, a 1 megawatt solar farm will be inaugurated in Jackson, Tennessee, which will be able to power 200 homes. Its owner, Clearloop, says it will be the first large-scale solar farm in the United States funded 100% by carbon offsets from companies.

Clearloop partners with brands, businesses and individuals to expand access to clean energy and generate long-term opportunities in economically struggling communities across the United States. Former Governor Phil Bredesen (D-TN) is one of the founders of the company.

Solar power provided a meager 0.56% of Tennessee’s electricity in the first quarter of 2021, so even 1 MW is cause for celebration. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) provides an overview of solar power in Tennessee:

As of early 2021, large-scale solar power sites with a combined generation capacity of 182 megawatts were operating in the state.

The state’s largest, a 53-megawatt solar farm, was commissioned in December 2018. A new 150-megawatt solar farm is expected to begin operating in the state at the end of 2021. In 2020, about one A quarter of Tennessee’s solar power generation came from small-scale solar PV installations (less than 1 megawatt each) at the customer’s premises, located primarily on the rooftops of homes and businesses.

Tennessee is expected to install 1,740 MW of solar power over the next five years.

Photo: Eric Byler / Australian National University

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