Key Takeaways:

  • Bifacial solar panels have glass on both sides, increasing power production from exposure on the backside.
  • Real-world tests show that bifacial panels outperform regular panels, even with the backside blocked.
  • Bifacial panels on a white roof produced 11-16% more power than standard panels.
  • Reflection from a one-foot walkway increased performance by 4.6%.
  • The theoretical maximum boost with full sun exposure on both sides of the panels is 50%.
  • Bifacial panels are larger and more expensive than standard panels.
  • Consider cost per watt and available roof space before choosing bifacial panels.
  • The backside of a bifacial panel can produce up to 66% of the power that the front side produces.
  • Physical characteristics of bifacial panels, such as their thinner thickness and shorter MC4 connection points, should be considered during installation.

Bifacial Solar Panels – A True Hero in The Solar League?

Imagine this: you’re sitting in your backyard, enjoying the warmth of the sun, and you glance at your roof adorned with sleek, futuristic panels.

These aren’t your average solar panels; they’re something more advanced, and more efficient. They’re bifacial solar panels, and they’re turning sunlight into energy from both sides, capturing the dance of rays that bounce off the earth and sky.

This isn’t just the future of solar energy—it’s happening right now, in homes across the country, and perhaps soon in yours.

The journey into solar energy has taken a bright turn with the advent of bifacial solar panels. If you’re considering harnessing the power of the sun for your home, or you’re curious about the latest trends in solar technology, you’ve come to the right place.

This guide is your flashlight in the world of bifacial solar panels, designed to illuminate what they are, how they work, and whether they’re the right choice for your solar aspirations.

Understanding Bifacial Solar Panels

Unlike traditional solar panels, which are the one-hit wonders of the solar world—capturing sunlight from a single side—bifacial panels are the duets, harmonizing sunlight from both their front and back sides.

bifacial solar panel modules

What Does Bifacial Mean?

The term ‘bifacial’ might sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but its concept is beautifully simple. “Bi” means two, and “facial” relates to faces or surfaces. Put them together, and you’ve got a solar panel that’s working double-time, with two productive surfaces.

The Anatomy of a Bifacial Solar Panel

Peek inside a bifacial panel, and you’ll find it’s not drastically different from its monofacial counterparts—it’s what’s on the outside that counts.

These panels are often encased in transparent materials, allowing light to strike the solar cells from both directions.

What truly sets bifacial panels apart is their ability to capture the encore performance of sunlight. After the main show beams down from the sky, light reflects off the ground, giving a second, subtler performance.

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Monofacial vs. Bifacial Solar Panels: A Comparative Overview

While both technologies share the common goal of converting sunlight into electricity, their design, performance, and application differ significantly.

Structural Differences

Monofacial solar panels, the traditional choice, feature solar cells on the front side only, which faces the sun. The back is usually opaque and covered with a protective backing. Bifacial panels, however, have solar cells on both sides, allowing them to capture sunlight from the front and reflected light from the back.

Energy Production Efficiency

The most notable advantage of bifacial over monofacial panels lies in their energy production efficiency.

Bifacial panels can generate more electricity than monofacial panels under the same conditions because they capture additional sunlight reflected off the ground or other surfaces.

This increased efficiency can lead to higher energy yield and potentially greater savings on electricity bills over time.

Installation Considerations

Bifacial panels often require specific mounting solutions to maximize their dual-sided energy capture.

Elevated or rack-mounted installations are common, allowing enough space beneath the panels for light to be reflected and absorbed by the rear side. In contrast, monofacial panels are more flexible with installation options, as they only need to be oriented towards the sun.

Cost Implications

Initially, bifacial solar panels may come with a higher price tag due to their advanced technology and higher efficiency.

However, the potential for increased energy production can offset this initial investment over time. Monofacial panels, being less expensive upfront, may appeal to those with a tighter budget or lower energy needs.

Aesthetics and Design

For homeowners concerned with aesthetics, bifacial panels offer a sleek, modern look, with their transparent or semi-transparent design.

A person inspecting solar panels mounted on a flat roof.

They can blend into or enhance architectural elements more seamlessly than monofacial panels. Monofacial panels, with their solid back, might be less visually intrusive from the ground but lack the unique appearance of bifacial designs.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

Both panel types contribute to reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering carbon footprints. However, the added efficiency of bifacial panels means they can potentially offer greater environmental benefits over their lifespan, producing more clean energy per square foot of solar installed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bifacial Solar Panels


  • Bifacial solar panels capture sunlight from both sides, leading to higher energy production compared to traditional monofacial panels. This efficiency can translate into more significant electricity bill savings over time.
  • With the ability to generate more power, bifacial panels can offer greater long-term savings on energy costs.
  • Designed with durability in mind, bifacial panels often feature robust construction that can withstand environmental stress, contributing to a longer operational life.
  • The dual-sided design allows for a variety of installation options, including ground-mounted systems and solar pergolas, providing aesthetic and functional benefits.

Solar Energy Efficiency: Dominant Bifacial Solar Panel Technologies


  • The advanced technology of bifacial panels comes at a premium, making the initial investment higher than monofacial panels.
  • Proper installation to maximize energy capture from both sides may require specialized mounting equipment and considerations, potentially increasing the overall cost.
  • The additional energy production of bifacial panels largely depends on the reflectivity of the surrounding environment. In some settings, the performance gain may not justify the higher cost.

Bifacial Solar Panels Efficiency

Bifacial solar panels are more efficient than traditional monofacial panels because they can absorb light on both sides. This increased surface area allows them to capture more sunlight, and if they are set up vertically, they can capture energy at two of the sun’s peak times: sunrise and sunset.

However, it’s important to note that even though both surfaces of bifacial panels can absorb sunlight and heat for energy production, the front side absorbs more sunlight than the backside. With bifacial solar panels, you can increase your energy generation by as much as 30%.

That being said, the efficiency of bifacial solar panels can be influenced by several factors, including the angle of installation, the reflectivity of the ground or other material beneath the panels, and the amount of sunlight available. Therefore, while bifacial panels are generally more efficient, the exact efficiency can vary based on these factors.

How to Mount Bifacial Solar Panels

Mounting bifacial solar panels the right way is crucial to get the most energy from them. Here’s a simple guide to setting them up properly:

  • Height Matters: Bifacial panels need some space between them and the ground or roof. This space lets light hit the back of the panels after bouncing off the ground. So, they’re often set up higher than regular panels.
  • Angle is Key: Like placing a plant in the right spot for sunlight, setting your panels at the best angle helps them catch more sun. The perfect angle depends on where you live. A good rule is to tilt them at an angle that matches your area’s latitude.
  • Direction Counts: Pointing your panels south is usually the best choice if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. This way, they get sunlight all day.
  • Think About Reflection: For bifacial panels, what’s underneath them is important too. Light-colored surfaces like concrete or white gravel can bounce more sunlight back to the panels, making them even more efficient.
  • Don’t Forget About Shadows: Make sure nothing like trees or buildings will cast shadows on your panels, especially during the middle of the day. Shadows can really cut down how much power your panels make.

Top Market Bifacial Solar Panels

Here are some of the top manufacturers of bifacial solar panels:

  1. EcoFlow 220W Bifacial Solar Panel: This panel has a foldable, space-saving design and can add 5-25% extra power. However, the backside is mostly useless in actual use and the panel is quite heavy.
  2. Renogy 220W Bifacial Solar Panel: This panel is efficient and versatile, suitable for various applications from rooftops to side awnings to a portable ground panel. It can generate power from both sides, capturing as much sun as possible.
  3. Talesun 400W Bifacial Solar Panel: Talesun is a well-known Tier-1 brand in the solar market. However, there are not many customer reviews available for their 400W bifacial solar panel.
  4. LG Bifacial Solar Panels: LG’s bifacial solar panels are among the best solar panels for marine and RV applications, offering up to 30% higher energy output than traditional solar panels thanks to their bifacial design.
  5. Renogy 220W Bifacial Solar Panel: Similar to the other Renogy panel, this one also offers increased efficiency and versatility. It’s suitable for a variety of applications and can generate power from both sides.
  6. Bifacial Solar Pergola: Bifacial solar pergolas are a unique and practical solution for generating solar energy. They are transparent and relatively slim, making them beautifully integrated into various aesthetic and architectural elements such as canopies, pergolas, and sun-breakers.
  7. BlueSun 460W Bifacial Solar Panel: This panel uses half-cut technology for optimal energy yield and efficiency. It has enhanced reliability and better micro-crack resistance.
  8. Hyundai Energy Solutions: Hyundai is a large and trustworthy manufacturer of panels and other equipment worldwide. They have an extensive offering of bifacial panels, including the GI Series.
  9. Jinko Solar: Jinko Solar is known for its low-cost offering of solar panels.
  10. Q CELLS: Q CELLS is also a top brand for bifacial production.
  11. Canadian Solar: Canadian Solar is another top brand for bifacial production.

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*Please note that the best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. It’s always a good idea to compare different options and consult with a solar professional before making a decision.

Bifacial Solar Pergolas and Beyond: The Future of Solar

Bifacial solar panels aren’t just for roofs anymore. They’re starting to pop up in all kinds of places, including solar pergolas.

A solar pergola can turn your backyard or garden into a cool, shady spot that also generates electricity. It’s like having your cake and eating it too.

What’s a Solar Pergola?

Think of a pergola in your garden but with solar panels on top. Bifacial panels are perfect for this because they can catch sunlight from above and light reflected off the ground below.

This setup not only powers your home but also creates a unique space outdoors that’s powered by the sun.

Bifacial Solar Panels

Why Bifacial Solar Pergolas?

  • Double Duty: They provide shade while generating power.
  • Looks Good: Bifacial panels can be pretty sleek, making your pergola look modern and high-tech.
  • Smart Use of Space: If your roof isn’t ideal for solar panels, a pergola can be a great alternative.

What’s Next for Bifacial Panels?

The use of bifacial panels is just starting to grow. Besides pergolas, people are getting creative, using them in carports, greenhouses, and even as part of outdoor art installations. The idea is to use spaces that weren’t considered for solar before, making solar power even more accessible and versatile.

As we get more innovative with where and how we can use these panels, we’ll find new ways to harness the sun’s power, making solar energy a part of everyday life in ways we haven’t even imagined yet.

Final Take

Bifacial panels offer an exciting blend of efficiency, aesthetics, and versatility that traditional monofacial panels can’t match.

Whether you’re considering them for your home’s roof, a solar pergola, or even a carport, bifacial panels provide a way to maximize your solar investment.

Recap of Key Points:

  • Bifacial solar panels capture sunlight from both sides, leading to higher energy production.
  • Their unique design opens up new possibilities for installation beyond the roof, including aesthetically pleasing solar pergolas.
  • As we continue to innovate, the applications for bifacial technology will expand, integrating solar power into more aspects of our daily lives.

For homeowners contemplating the switch to solar, bifacial panels represent not just an opportunity to reduce electricity bills, but also to contribute to a sustainable future in a more significant way.

The initial investment might be higher than traditional solar options, but the potential for increased energy production—and the savings that come with it—make bifacial panels an option worth considering.

Nate is a solar expert with years of hands-on experience. He knows solar tech and sustainable energy inside out. His advice has helped many homeowners and businesses go green. Nate is passionate about eco-friendly living. That's why he's a big voice in the solar community.

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About the Author: Nate Rodda

Nate is a solar expert with years of hands-on experience. He knows solar tech and sustainable energy inside out. His advice has helped many homeowners and businesses go green. Nate is passionate about eco-friendly living. That's why he's a big voice in the solar community.

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