Project Name: Bifacial PV Module Energy Modeling Validation Study
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Research Area: Photovoltaics
Location: Berkeley, CA
SETO Award Amount: $200,000
Awardee Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Tara Doyle

-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --

Bifacial PV modules have the potential to produce higher efficiencies because they absorb light on both the top and back sides. This project will test the operating capability of bifacial photovoltaic (PV) modules to determine whether they meet the PV industry’s stability and performance targets, and then evaluate their commercial viability.


This team will obtain bifacial PV modules from three PV manufacturers and gather preliminary optical and electrical measurements to determine the performance efficiency of each PV module. The team will use these results in computer models to further study device performance relative to PV manufacture and design configuration. The modules will be field tested for six months, and the team will collect real-time data to include in energy simulations to validate the performance data and compare against industry and competitor performance standards.


This research provides data to solar industry stakeholders that can be used to better understand failure modes in real time and enable adaptations in PV module design. These findings will build upon existing energy simulation models to determine whether bifacial PV technology leads to higher efficiencies and performance improvements at lower cost.