Modelling and characterisation of industrial bifacial solar cells for high efficiency modules

Sng, Guan Kian Ernest (2023) Modelling and characterisation of industrial bifacial solar cells for high efficiency modules. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2023SngPhD.pdf] PDF
Download (45MB)


Bifacial photovoltaic modules absorb additional sunlight from the module rear, as well as the front, in comparison to the monofacial modules that only generate electricity from its front side. Therefore, bifacial modules result in higher energy conversion efficiency as it could potentially generate twice the energy per unit area when compared to the conventional monofacial modules. While the analysis of optical gains and power transfer of monofacial photovoltaic cells and module are relatively well-established, there are many nuanced effects that contribute to bifacial cells and modules performance. As such, these potentially high-performing bifacial cells do not easily translate to better module performance.

In this thesis, new results in the modelling, simulation and outdoor study of bifacial modules are presented. Firstly, a study on optical ray tracing for bifacial solar modules with reflective coating at the cell gap is presented for three different configurations. The simulation considered absorption losses with current gain from each configuration with varying cell gap designs. These bifacial modules with white reflective coating configurations were fabricated for indoor flash test under standard test conditions (STC) and outdoor monitoring energy yield to verify the simulation results. This is followed by the optimisation of the cell structure and material thickness under varying tilt conditions. Last but not the least, an investigation of ground reflected irradiance on the bifacial gain is conducted. It is demonstrated that the main contribution to bifacial module irradiance gain is from the ground reflected rays that were transmitted through the transparent cell gap of bifacial modules. Similarly, outdoor energy monitoring results are used to verify the simulation results from the fabricated modules.

From the simulations, indoor flash tests and outdoor energy yield monitoring, the proposed optimal module design for STC indoor front illumination flash test is Configuration 1 at 3.4% current gain. For front and rear illumination flash test, Configuration 2 gives the highest gain at 2.2%. For outdoor performance on a tracker, bifacial modules without reflective coating would give the best performance. For fixed installation, the highest performance is from Configuration 1 bifacial modules that are mounted at a 45◦ tilt. The above identification of the various optimal module design and their mounting condition are critical for efficient performance of bifacial modules in different applications, thereby improving bifacial module performance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Lim, Dr. Li Hong Idris
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83854
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2023 13:22
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2023 10:21
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83854
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year