First Solar, Inc. has announced that it has commenced the production run of first-of-its-kind bifacial solar panels utilizing an advanced thin film semiconductor. A fully functional version of the Series 6 Plus Bifacial photovoltaic (PV) module will debut at Intersolar Europe in Munich, Germany, at First Solar’s booth (#520) in Hall A1 from June 14 to 17, 2023.
With ongoing field and laboratory testing, this module builds upon the success of First Solar’s Series 6 monofacial module platform. It has an ingenious transparent back contact, developed by First Solar’s research and development teams. This innovation not only allows enhanced energy gain through bifacial capability but also permits infrared wavelengths of light to pass through, reducing heat absorption and expectedly resulting in higher specific energy yield and lower operational temperature for the bifacial module.
The Series 6 Plus monofacial module from First Solar sets a new industry benchmark with exceptional performance features. It boasts an impressive 0.3 percent warranted degradation rate, superior temperature coefficient, spectral response, and shading behavior. To further enhance energy production, the module is equipped with an anti-reflective coating. Notably, unlike crystalline silicon (c-Si) panels, First Solar’s Series 6 Plus module avoids losses caused by Light Induced Degradation (LID) and Light and elevated Temperature The module also ensures 100 percent traceable quality assurance and surpasses the standards set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in challenging conditions such as high temperature, high humidity, as well as extreme desert and coastal environments.
First Solar announced in October 2022 that it was going to construct a cutting-edge R&D innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio. With an estimated investment of around $370 million, this facility is the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and will play a pivotal role in advancing the development and production of advanced thin-film PV technology. Set to be operational by 2024, the state-of-the-art R&D center will be situated near First Solar’s existing Perrysburg manufacturing facility, covering an expansive area of approximately 1.3 million square feet. It will house a sophisticated pilot manufacturing line, enabling the production of full-sized prototypes of thin film and tandem PV modules.
“This module combines the quality, sustainability, reliability, and long-term performance of our Series 6 Plusplatform 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.”