SolarWorld, a U.S.-based crystalline silicon solar manufacturer, has begun producing bifacial Bisun modules at its U.S. manufacturing hub to compare their performance with standard modules using advanced p-type mono-PERC cell architecture.
In order to carry out this comparison testing, SolarWorld will install these modules on a 205 kW system at the University of Richmond – specifically, atop the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness.
According to the company, this system will be the first commercial installation in the Americas to employ SolarWorld’s latest technology.
The Bisun technology generates electricity both from direct exposure to solar radiation on the front side as well as reflected sunlight on the backside, and SolarWorld asserts that these modules can generate up to 25% more energy compared with standard mono-facial modules of the same nominal wattages.
SolarWorld notes that actual power generation from bifacial modules depends on both the distance they are installed from a surface beneath them as well as the composition and, therefore, reflectivity of such surface. Consequently, both types of modules will be installed on top of both a gravel roof and a roof of vinyl-like, white material thermoplastic olefin to produce further performance data comparisons.
SolarWorld will co-own the array with Secure Futures, the Staunton, Va.-based company developing the project. With installation expected to conclude this spring, the University of Richmond is set to purchase the generated power from the array.
“Thanks to the university, we will provide a system that produces clean power while also demonstrating the in-field capabilities of technological innovation,” says Mukesh Dulani, SolarWorld’s U.S. president. “Aside from making the university greener, this installation will provide a strong set of performance data in a real-world application.”