First Solar has developed a bifacial solar panel using its CdTe thin-film technology. A fully functional pre-commercial Series 6 Plus Bifacial module will make its industry debut at Intersolar Europe this week. Bifacial solar panels have thus far only been developed with crystalline silicon solar designs.
The module, which is undergoing field and laboratory testing, features transparent back contact technology, 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,” said Pat Buehler, chief product officer, First Solar. “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.”
Last year, First Solar announced it would construct a new R&D innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio. The facility, representing an investment of approximately $370 million, is expected to accelerate the development and production of advanced 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 approximately 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.
News item from First Solar