Bifacial technology takes off in Latin America

FuturENERGY September-October 2020

Now, more than ever, technology is the major differentiating factor for building PV projects with the lowest Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) possible. Among many other solutions, in 2017, JinkoSolar introduced to the market modules that produce power from both the front and back sides, now popularly known as bifacial modules. The market has been quick to recognise this solution as one of the best ways to bring down the LCOE in the immediate term, thanks to its increased yield of up to 15-20%.

When combined with new, ultra-high power modules of up to 585 W, bifacial technology is demonstrating in 2020 and beyond, that the reduction in the LCOE of PV projects is unparalleled among clean energies. JinkoSolar expects new energy storage technologies to spur the sector into a new era of even faster development.

In 2019, JinkoSolar delivered one of the very first orders for a bifacial system in Central America, for a private PPA installation in the industrial sector and the results have been extremely promising. Suntrack Energy acquired 1.3 MWp of Eagle bifacial modules, each with an output of 385 W, with a 2V, seasonal racking structure standing on a grass surface with an albedo of around 25-30%. The system has been operating since June 2020 and for the first three months, the bifacial gain has averaged an additional 10% when compared to a monofacial installation on the same site. The bifacial gain range varies between 8% and 12% on different days. The project is interesting because it has become a PV technology laboratory, given that it has polycrystalline and monocrystalline monofacial modules operating alongside bifacial modules under the same conditions.