New Testing Facility Launches: Is the Future of Utility-Scale Solar Projects in Bifacial?
In 2018, bifacial solar technology has become one of the most prominent technology trends in the global PV industry. With the potential to significantly increase energy output by producing energy from both sides of the solar cell, the technology holds considerable promise. Pioneering solar tracking firm Array Technologies is taking a leadership role in the research and development of the combination of the two technologies, through its partnership with a New Mexico-based National Laboratory. The new facility will serve as the test ground for analyzing and validating field data to determine optimal system output utilizing bifacial modules with tracking technology under a range of variables and conditions.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity this partnership presents, as the national lab brings cutting-edge instrumentation capabilities accompanied by robust data. This will allow us to arrive at independent data-driven conclusions that will support the industry’s modelling of bifacial behavior and output,” said Ron Corio, founder and chief innovation officer at Array Technologies, “Current models for bifacial and tracking are in the early phases of development, and right now it is really about delivering the specifics that will allow for modelling which the financial community can embrace.”
The testing facility project will run through November 2018, and Array expects to yield data as early as the end of August. The joint project will be testing two rows of modules utilizing bifacial products from six manfuacturers: Canadian Solar, Jolywood, Hanwa Q Cells, Longi, Trina and JA Solar. Both full cell and half-cell solar modules will be tested in conjunction with solar tracking design variants at the national laboratory site.
“There are a wide range of variables for bifacial technology with solar trackers. We are looking at mounting configurations, shading from the tracker, ground albedo, and the spacing between modules and rows, as some examples,” said Jim Fusaro, chief executive officer at Array Technologies, “There is significant potential for the combination of the two technologies. Regardless of output gains, Array’s focus will be to deliver the highest value to our customers, such as the lowest LCOE and highest ROI.
Array Technologies, who has been pioneering innovations in solar tracking for 29 years installed its first bifacial system in 2009. The company had been running additional experiments and collecting data on bifacial tracker sites for a year prior to the launch of the national testing facility site.
About Array Technologies
Array Technologies, Inc. is the leading solar tracking solutions and services provider for utility-scale projects. With efficient installation and terrain flexibility coupled with high reliability, durability, and performance, Array delivers the best project returns in the industry. As the chosen tracker for more than 25 GW years of energy production, Array’s products have been optimized through unparalleled experience garnered over nearly three decades. Array Technologies is headquartered in the United States with offices in Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East, and Australia. For more information, please visit http://www.arraytechinc.com
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