Bi-facial solar panels

Submitted: Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:37
ThreadID: 30386 Views:1864 Replies:10 FollowUps:7
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These seem to offer much better value than the conventional panel. ie: a 50/30 @ $425 giving a 80w output, which would cost over $600 in a conventional panel. Where's the catch?

Collyn? Anybody?
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Reply By: glenno(qld) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:15

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:15
The catch is they are two faced .
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Follow Up By: glenno(qld) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:25

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:25
I gather that you would have to have some sort of reflective medium , placed away from the back of the panel to reflect sunshine onto the back . 120 front/60 back etc.
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Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:15

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:15
Could you elaborate a bit more?

What is it you are talking about? Supplier, brand, weblink or something would be helpfull. Sounds interesting as I'm in the market for some panels but haven't started looking yet.

Dave
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Reply By: Steve - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:38

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:38
OK, they have to be positioned at least 500mm above a reflective surface. IE: white painted or other light reflective surface. A piece of laminated mdf etc. So, if you have a caravan, for instance, I gather that putting it 500mm above it's white (reflective) roof will do the job. It seems for a 50/30 panel, you are paying 50w price for an 80w panel. Perhaps somebody will come along and say the practicalities are a bit much? Perhaps.
AnswerID: 152770

Reply By: malglo - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 17:41

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 17:41
Hi

have a look here

http://www.solenergy.com.au/SolarModules.htm

Regards Mal
AnswerID: 152790

Reply By: Member - Ray - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 18:46

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 18:46
I,m also in the market for solar for camping. That site looked interesting but as I am a electical dunce I,ll need info from the experts. (insert Collyns name here)
AnswerID: 152799

Follow Up By: Steve - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 20:50

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 20:50
Hope this little plug isn't out of turn here, but Collyn Rivers has a series of books for different applications. All in layman's terms you can browse through it all at your leisure. You'll learn a lot. Even I did;>)

Website: www.caravanandmotorhomebooks.com

he does make contributions to this site quite frequently and offers valuable info.
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Reply By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 20:11

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 20:11
Been told they are a Russian product, a left over from space program - designed 2 faced for use in space.

Was told (by their competitor of course) to steer clear as "they are crap" not very effective, why, I don't know. Made them sound liike a gimmick.

Speak to Val at fridge n solar for advice.

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Reply By: Mainey (WA) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 23:59

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 23:59
Steve,
I have asked the same question, post #30150, "Bifacial (double sided) SOLAR Panels"

I’ve recently been in contact their Australian agent and after talking with him have decided to stay away from them, only as the panel is specifically designed to be used with-in the limited parameters specified by the manufacturers, which definitely does prohibit them being used on a vehicle roof, as I require.
As to the quality aspect I don’t have an opinion.

I’ve come upon a panel called “Sunpower” which is an American designed and specified product they have made in China, which has my attention presently, as they will have a new 110 watt panel on the market shortly, and I’ve my name down for one at the moment.
The presently available 90 Watt panel specs are mighty impressive as they have an exceptional low light performance, which will maximise the daily power available and they have a far lower temperature coefficient, giving a very superior performance at the usual high panel temperatures encountered when the panel is sitting in the sun 24/7 in the far north.
They have a cell efficiency of ~21% which is at least 25% better than most solar panels I’ve seen, as most are rated at between 12% and 15%.

The 90 watt panel uses a 4mm thick ‘glass’ surface layer, whereby most use only 3mm and is only 1,038mm x 525mm, 7.4 Kg and putting out 5.1 amps, which equates to ~$8.90 per watt, where the budget priced Suntech panel puts out only 4.65 amps is physically larger and heavier at 1,195mm x 541mm, 8 Kg and is only 80 watts, and about ~$8.70 per watt, and without any of the high temperature and low light benefits available to it, so to me is no real comparison, I prefer to spend the extra 20 cents per watt for the additional benefits available from the Sunpower panel, as their "technical specifications" surpass even the Sharp or Kyocera panels.
AnswerID: 152849

Follow Up By: Member - John Q (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 15:55

Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 15:55
Hi Mainey,

Who is the Aussie agent for the SunPower panels?
Thanks,

John
just crusin & smelling the flowers

1. At Halls Creek (Is he really lost?)
2. East of Cameron Cnr


Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

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Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Thursday, Feb 09, 2006 at 00:53

Thursday, Feb 09, 2006 at 00:53
John contact the WA agent and ask for information about a Queensland agent
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Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Thursday, Feb 09, 2006 at 00:55

Thursday, Feb 09, 2006 at 00:55
Sorry link did not appear :-( www.solarsales.com.au
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Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 16:47

Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 16:47
I am wary of the claims made for these Russian-designed modules: even after several years there's next to nothing available technically. I have attempted to get details but with no avail.

Qld marine electrical engineer Jeff Johns ran a few tests for an interested boat builder and found they did produce more output than conventional modules but I think the report is not publicly available.

An Oz magazine compared them against (I think Kyocera) and found next to no difference, but the methodology was so sus I discounted the result (which showed next to no difference).

What is clear is that these modules need to be located a fair height above a reflective surface and this probably rules them out for mobile use anyway.
Collyn Rivers

AnswerID: 153163

Follow Up By: scottp - Monday, Feb 06, 2006 at 19:06

Monday, Feb 06, 2006 at 19:06
Collyn,

I read somewhere on the web that the sunlight that passed through the panel was reflected back via a mirror or simmilar and that it was this that gave power to the back of the panel.

BS? or not?

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Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Monday, Feb 06, 2006 at 21:01

Monday, Feb 06, 2006 at 21:01
Scottp

The modules must be mounted about 500 mm above something reflective - a mirror would be ideal. The modules is semi-transparent. Sunlight passes through it generating elecrical energy as it does so - and then some of it is reflected back by again where it creates more energy.

That's the story anyway. It probably works - but the big question is 'how well'.
Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 153447

Reply By: Steve - Wednesday, Feb 08, 2006 at 18:57

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2006 at 18:57
Spoke to my local bloke at Solar Online (Newcastle) today and he said they did a few tests one and found a 120/80w panel produced 140w. They sell them but he wasn't impressed. Now, there are people here more qualified than I am to comment but it doesn't seem too bad to me if we assume that 200w in a conventional panel would maybe give us a usable 150w???? If that is correct then we are only 10w short at a price that's a fair bit cheaper. It didn't occur to me at the time of talking to him because I took the equiv 200w on a conventional panel as exactly that. But it isn't is it?

He did mention the (im)practicalities of mounting (I don't have problems with that) but ominously added "they are Russian". Any comments???
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Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Thursday, Feb 09, 2006 at 01:02

Thursday, Feb 09, 2006 at 01:02
Steve, take the 'good' advice of your local bloke!
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