AES Semigas


15 June 2023

First Solar announces limited production run of first bifacial thin-film PV module

Cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module maker First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA has announced a limited production run of what it says is the first bifacial solar panel utilizing a thin-film semiconductor. A fully functional pre-commercial Series 6 Plus Bifacial PV module is making its industry debut at Intersolar Europe in Munich, Germany, where it is on display at First Solar’s booth #520 in Hall A1 (14–17 June).

The module, which is undergoing field and laboratory testing, builds on the track record of First Solar’s Series 6 monofacial module platform. It features a transparent back contact, pioneered by First Solar’s R&D teams, which — in addition to enabling bifacial energy gain — allows infrared wavelengths of light to pass through rather than be absorbed as heat, and is expected to lower the operational temperature of the bifacial module and result in a higher specific energy yield.

“This module combines the quality, sustainability, reliability and long-term performance of our Series 6 Plus platform with our first increment of bifaciality,” says chief product officer Pat Buehler. “Once commercialized, we expect Series 6 Plus Bifacial to represent the first real alternative to crystalline silicon-based bifacial technology, effectively combining bifaciality with the industry’s best warranted degradation rate, CdTe thin film’s ability to deliver more energy per nameplate watt, best-in-class reliability and durability, and innovative module design.”

Series 6 Plus monofacial module features what is claimed to be an industry-best 0.3% warranted degradation rate, superior temperature coefficient, spectral response and shading behavior, and an anti-reflective coating to enhance energy production. Moreover, unlike crystalline silicon (c-Si) panels, First Solar’s Series 6 Plus module does not experience losses from light-induced degradation (LID) and light and elevated-temperature-induced degradation (LeTID). The module is manufactured under one roof with 100% traceable quality assurance, exceeding International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards in high temperature, high humidity and extreme desert and coastal applications.

In October 2022, First Solar announced that it would construct a new R&D innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio. Representing an investment of about $370m, the facility is believed to be the first of its scale in the Western Hemisphere and is expected to accelerate the development and production of thin-film PV. Scheduled to be completed in 2024, the new R&D center will be located near First Solar’s existing Perrysburg manufacturing facility, covering an area of about 1.3 million square feet. It will feature a high-tech pilot manufacturing line, allowing for the production of full-sized prototypes of thin-film and tandem PV modules.

See related items:

First Solar investing $270m in R&D innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio

Tags: First Solar CdTe



Book This Space