First Solar Panels Likely To Surpass p-type Crystalline Panels In Performance By 2017

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According to Solar Media’s Solar Intelligence, the performance of First Solar’s thin film solar panels is expected to exceed that of the p-type crystalline solar panels by the end of 2017.

First Solar is among the leading manufacturers of Cadmium Telluride thin film solar panels in the world. Solar Intelligence expects that by the end of 2017 the thin film solar panels produced by First Solar will be able to generate more power than p-type multi crystalline panels of the same size.

P-type multi-crystalline panels manufactured across the world and the CdTe thin film panels manufactured by First Solar are of different sizes, and thus, of different wattage. While a 60-cell p-type multi-crystalline panel is rated at 260-265 Watts (DC-peak) at 25ºC, the latest First Solar Series 4 panels are rated at a nominal power of 117.5 Watts (DC-peak) at the same temperature.

When compared at the same size, Solar Intelligence expects the nominal rated power of First Solar panels will increase to 280-290 Watts by the end of 2017. This will be higher than the expected nominal rated power of general p-type multi-crystalline panels at 270-280 Watts, at 25ºC.

If First Solar is able to achieve this milestone it will be in a remarkable position to compete with the crystalline solar panel manufacturers in China that currently dominate the global solar power market. Another recent report by Solar Intelligence predicts that the global share of the top 6 crystalline solar panels manufacturers – Canadian Solar, Hanwha Q CELLS, JA Solar, JinkoSolar, Trina Solar and Yingli Green – will surpass 50% in 2016.

First Solar already claims that the its thin film solar panels ‘produce up to 8% more annual energy than competing power plants with the same nameplate capacity’ as they perform better than multi-crystalline solar panels at temperatures higher than 25ºC.

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