Imec has recently released bifacial n-PERT solar cells using an industrially-compatible process with a record-setting front-side conversion efficiency of 22.8 percent. Used bifacially under standard front illuminations conditions in conjunction with an additional 0.15 sun rear illumination, these cells can produce the equivalent energy of 26.2 percent monofacial cells. With a projected potential low cost-of-ownership at module level (< 0.30 $/Wp), the newly developed bifacial cell technology allows a further reduction of the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of large photovoltaic (PV) installations. Featuring a transparent backside and comparable front and back contact schemes, bifacial solar cells capture light on both sides of the cell.
As a result, they also profit from indirect light, light reflected by the ground and buildings, diffuse light on overcast days, and even direct light at sunrise or sunset, incident on their rear surface. Tests indicate that, over the course of their lifetime, such cells may generate 10-40 percent more electricity than traditional monofacial cells, depending on their bifaciality, the PV installation properties and the reflection or albedo of the location.