The best combination of technology for photovoltaic energy? Double-sided solar panels and solar tracking system. This is the recipe of a group of scientists in Singapore, to achieve the best performance in most terrestrial photovoltaic systems.

Carlos Rodríguez-Gallegos and his colleagues at the Solar Energy Research Institute signed the new study published these days in Joule. The research examines the production and profitability of typical photovoltaic farms. In detail, the work opposed unilateral and following fixed installations (one or two axes) to double-sided installations.

Double-sided solar panels have quickly established themselves as one of the most promising trends in the clean energy sector. The ability to generate electricity with the two surfaces of the modules offers a plus for production. But the fundamental question remains: is the solution really cheaper than conventional technology? For scientists in Singapore, the answer is yes, but the system requires precise configuration.

Energy production from photovoltaic modules can be increased not only through more efficient solar cells, but also through innovative system concepts. In this study, we explore two of these concepts in combination: tracking modules and double-sided modules.

To identify the global economic benefits associated with using this combination, the team analyzed the total radiation reaching the ground each day (data from NASA and CERES). They therefore adapted this information to take into account the influence of the position of the module relative to the sun. The work focused on large photovoltaic systems made up of thousands of modules.

The group thus discovered that double-sided solar panels equipped with a single-axis tracking system not only offer higher performance than other options, but also lower the cost of energy (LCOE).

In detail, this combination produces almost 35% more electricity on average, which reduces the LCOE by 16% on average. And they continue to be in 93.1% of the world.

The results are stable, even taking into account changes in weather conditions and the costs of modules and other components. This means that investing in solar and double-sided tracking systems should be a safe bet in the near future.

Carlos Rodríguez-Gallegos.

The model suggests that double-sided solar panels combined with single-axis tracking technology are more cost-effective almost anywhere on the planet, although dual-axis trackers are a more suitable solution for near-pole latitudes. But despite the obvious benefits of this technology, Rodríguez-Gallegos doesn’t expect it to immediately become the new industry standard.

The photovoltaic market is traditionally conservative“Said the scientist. “The tests show that the double-sided technology and the tracking technology are reliable and we are seeing more and more of them in the field. However, transitions take time: it will be necessary to demonstrate whether these advantages can really be of interest to installers.. “

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