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Bifaciality: One small step for technology, one giant leap for kWh cost reduction

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By Radovan Kopecek, Head of the Advanced Solar Cells Department, ISC Konstanz; Yannick Veschetti, CEA-INES; Eric Gerritsen, Project Leader in PV Modules, CEA-INES; Andreas Schneider, ISC Konstanz,; Corrado Comparotto, Advanced Solar Cell Concepts Department, ISC Konstanz; Valentin D. Mihailetchi, Senior Scientist Advanced Solar Cell Concepts Department, ISC Konstanz; Jan Lossen, Project Manager, Industrial Solar Cells Department, ISC Konstanz; Joris Libal, Research Engineer, ISC Konstanz

The aim of this paper is to dispel the common belief that bifaciality is nonsense as it is not a mature technology, it is expensive and, because in large systems there is limited albedo from the rear side, it only serves the niche market. A complete picture of bifacial cell technologies and module concepts is presented, as well as levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) results for present and future bifacial systems.

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Looking back, 2014 was a year of convalescence for a PV industry still battered and bruised from a period of ferocious competition. End-market demand continued apace, with analysts towards the end of 2014 predicting the year would see between around 45 and 50GW of deployment. That has begun to feed through to the supplier end of the market, with all the main manufacturers announcing capacity expansions in 2015 and further ahead.

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