Photovoltaic (PV) technology

PV stands for photovoltaic which is derived from two words: photo meaning light and voltaic or volt which is the unit used to measure electric potential. PV solar panels create power by converting sunlight into electricity — producing clean energy.

A PV cell or solar cell is the semiconductor device that converts sunlight into electricity. These cells are combined to form panels which, in turn, are combined to create what are called arrays — the solar generation systems which connect to the energy grid. The efficiency of each solar panel is measured by its ability to absorb light particles called photons. The more photons that are absorbed, the more efficient the panel is at converting light into electricity.

When photons strike the solar cells contained in a solar panel, they can be reflected, absorbed, or pass through the panel. When photons are absorbed, they have the energy to knock electrons loose, which flow in one direction within the panel and exit through connecting wires as solar electricity, ultimately providing power.

About First Solar PV modules

First Solar produces thin film PV modules. The term thin film refers to the amount of semiconductor material used. The semiconductor is applied in a thin film to a surface structure, such as a sheet of glass.

First Solar modules use the stable compound cadmium telluride (CdTe) as the semiconductor. This safe and advanced semiconductor technology delivers high energy yields.

CdTe is less susceptible to cell temperature variations than traditional semiconductors. (In general, solar cells become less efficient at converting solar energy into electricity as their cell temperatures increase.) CdTe also converts low and diffuse light to electricity more efficiently than conventional cells. Together, this means First Solar modules produce more electricity on hot days, under cloudy weather and across a larger percent of normal daylight.

Length 1200mm
Width 600mm
Weight 12kg
Thickness 6.8mm
Area 0.72m
Leadwire 4.0mm, 610mm
Connectors Solarline II type connector
Bypass Diode None
Cell Type CdS/CdTe semiconductor, 154 active cells
Frame Material None
Cover Type 3.2mm heat strengthened front glass laminated to 3.2mm tempered back glass
Encapsulation Laminate Material with edge seal