Bifacial solar cells aren’t new, but researchers at Australian National University (ANU) located in Canberra claim to have developed “a genuine bifacial solar cell, because it has well almost symmetrical power generation capability on both surfaces of the device,” according to Dr. Kean Chern Fong, a principal investigator. According to Fong, bifacial solar cells are proving more essential in the deployment of solar farms, with a market share of more than 50% projected in the next five years.
This is a new record for precisely laser-doped solar cells as well as among the best-efficiency bifacial solar cells, according to chief investigator Dr. Marco Ernst.
The researchers utilized a technique known as “laser doping,” in which lasers are used to boost electrical conductivity locally: The research team attained front conversion effectiveness of 24.3 percent and rear conversion effectiveness of 23.4 percent, resulting in a 96.3 percent bifacial factor.
This results in an efficient power output of roughly 29%, which is significantly higher than the highest single-sided silicon solar cell. Weather and geography, of course, will dramatically impact the effectiveness of ANU’s bifacial solar cells. A desert climate with limited vegetation would be ideal, such as the 125MW solar facility in Oman, which the developer asserts is the world’s biggest single solar farm employing bifacial modules.
Companies can invest in environmental programs to offset their carbon footprints through corporate carbon offset schemes. A 1-megawatt solar farm near Jackson, Tennessee, will break ground, capable of powering 200 houses. Clearloop, the project’s owner, claims it will be the very first utility-scale solar plant in the United States to be entirely funded by commercial carbon offsets.
Clearloop collaborates with brands, businesses, and individuals to increase renewable energy access and provide long-term possibilities in economically depressed areas around the United States. One of the company’s founders is former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen (D-TN).
As of the first quarter of 2021, solar accounted for only 0.56 percent of Tennessee’s electricity. Thus even 1 MW is a reason to celebrate. Tennessee’s larger solar picture is provided by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA):
Utility-scale solar power plants with a total generating capacity of 182 megawatts were operational in the state by early 2021.
In December 2018, the state’s largest solar farm, a 53-megawatt solar plant, went online. By the end of 2021, a fresh 150-megawatt solar farm will be operational in the state. In 2020, customer-sited, small-scale (just under 1 megawatt apiece) solar PV installations, mainly on residential and business rooftops, will account for around one-fourth of Tennessee’s solar power generating.