The emergence of bifacial modules has stemmed from large-scale solar developers competing on price, which continues to decline across the globe. While bifacial offers higher power production, traditional front-side-only modules continue to see significant gains as well.
Bifacial passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) solar modules have inherited all of the benefits of one-sided mono PERC technology, paired with their unique higher power output and better reliability. The rise of mono PERC cells across the industry is a major factor in the falling costs for bifacial modules, which are primarily made with mono PERC cells. PERC technology increases cell conversion efficiency by adding a dielectric passivation layer at the rear side of the cell that reduces surface recombination.
Manufacturers can increase efficiency cost-effectively beyond standard multi c-Si levels, building higher-wattage modules and generating more power per square foot in a solar installation. Mono PERC cell capacity will account for half of the total global cell capacity in early 2020s, according to WoodMac.
While bifacial systems may incur a slight cost premium compared to their monofacial counterparts, the significantly higher energy yield expected from bifacial technology can more than offset this impact, providing a much more attractive levelized cost of energy compared to a monofacial system. NEXUS also expects bifacial production costs to fall by another 23 percent in five years.