January 2019

In the solar industry, we often hear customers asking, “Mono or poly — which technology will optimize return for my solar project?” Mono and poly are both fine technologies, each with their own advantages, and choosing the best one for your project may increase the value of your project by a few percentage points. But the real game-changing innovation in utility-scale PV is bifacial! Bifacial (literally: two faces) modules, which generate energy from both the front and back side of the module, can deliver up to 44% more lifetime value. That’s a far cry from a few percentage points. And Canadian Solar, with over 350 MW of bifacial modules shipped and more en route, is the leader in bifacial module deliveries worldwide.

bifacial solar panelWith Canadian Solar's BiKu bifacial modules, the sunlight on the ground is reflected to the glass-covered back side of the module, producing extra solar energy in a solar system, significantly reducing the solar system's levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), hence higher return on investment. Depending on the albedo (reflectivity) of the ground and other site conditions, daily energy yield for projects with bifacial modules can be 5-20% higher than with conventional polymer backsheet modules. This improved yield can dramatically enhance the economics of solar system deployments.

bikuCanadian Solar is a leader in bifacial polycrystalline PERC (passivated emitter and rear contact) solar technology. By innovatively integrating bifacial and Ku (dual-cell) technologies, the BiKu module can reach front side power up to 370W using poly PERC and 380W using mono PERC, in a 144 cell format. Canadian Solar's bifacial modules come with a 30mm frame for easy handling, saving significant installation costs.

Canadian Solar BiKu bifacial modules are warranted for 30 years, 5 years longer than the industry standard, and have a lower degradation rate, which results in 20% additional yield over the lifetime of the solar module. When added to the additional daily bifacial yield of 5-20%, Canadian Solar BiKu bifacial modules can deliver up to 44% additional lifetime value compared to conventional modules.

We foresaw early on that bifacial technology had the potential to be a game changer in the economics of large-scale solar and set out to energy-yield-numbersbe a leader in the development and deployment of bifacial solar modules. Canadian Solar has delivered and deployed over 350 MW of bifacial solar modules for customers and our own solar projects around the world. We believe that we are the leader in bifacial module deployment worldwide.

Bifacial technology is still in its early stages of field deployments. We have seven different bifacial test sites (3 at our sites, 4 third-party sites) around the world, collecting data to validate the performance gain of bifacial modules compared to standard modules, under a variety of site conditions and mounting environments. Early results are very promising. We look forward to sharing more details with you all very soon!

 

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