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First Solar Thin Film Utility Power Plant Leader to focus on 10-30 kw Commercial segment with FS-3 First Solar Panel

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First Solar Thin Film Leader and the largest solar company by value has decided to shift focus towards the commercial segment between 10-30 KW in size..The company was promoted by Wal-Mart promoters and has seen remarkable growth in the last few.This US based company uses Cadmium Tellurium (Cd-Te) Technology and  is the lowest cost panel producer in the world today if you don’t include any penalty for low efficiency.Note First Solar derives most of its revenues from large utility solar power plants where the lower costs of its Cadmium Tellerium Solar Panels compensates for the Lower Efficiency of its Solar Panels.It does not get too many sales to the commercial and residential market  where its lower efficiency panels lose out as they require much larger space to generate the same amount of power. First Solar Panels don’t sell well in applications where space is a constraint.Note Sunpower which is the highest efficiency commercial c-Si solar module producer wins out in applications with space constraint.

Note the competition for First Solar is rising with a number of Thin Film Companies entering the fray with big investment and growth plans.The Media recently made a big deal about GE’s plans to open a factory making solar panels using the same technology as First Solar.That news was blown out of proportion as there are much more serious existing players in the Thin Film  Market Like TSMC,Sharp,Miasole,Q-Cells and others.

First Solar FS-3 Modules Facts

Note First Solar Panels are rated at 75-85 watts which are the highest power modules that First Solar sells.This is however much lower than the stand 200 watt modules sold by c-Si companies.

Length 1200mm
Width 600mm
Weight 12kg
Thickness 6.8mm
Area 0.72 m2
Cell Type CdS/CdTe semiconductor,
154 active cells
Frame Material None

Nominal Values FS-375 FS-377 FS-380 FS-382 FS-385
Nominal Power(+/-5%) PMPP(W) 75.0 77.5 80.0 82.5 85.0

Source First Solar

First Solar PV Modules Now Available for 10-30 kW Commercial Solar Power Systems

First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced the availability of its industry-leading, thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules for use in 10-30 kilowatt (kW) PV systems, effective immediately.

Since its market debut in 2002, First Solar and its business partners have focused on commercial PV systems larger than 30 kW (DC). With the introduction of the latest, high-efficiency, First Solar Series 3 modules, as well as increasing demand for commercial systems below 30kW, First Solar is responding to customer demand by serving this growing market segment.

“Commercial rooftops in the 10-30kW range represent a multi-gigawatt market globally,” said TK Kallenbach, President of First Solar’s Components Business Group. “This expansion gives our customers additional flexibility to serve smaller and medium-sized commercial and industrial rooftops. It is a natural extension of our thin film module capability and allows our customers to continue to learn and apply innovative technology and installation techniques to a growing market.”

About one-third are installed in commercial rooftop systems. Typical 10-30kW PV systems installed consist of 125-375 First Solar PV modules, require 90-270 square meters of roof space and displace 4-12 metric tons CO2 per year.


Abhishek Shah

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