Film industry Awards

Solar + Power Awards

Thin Film Module Technology

Since the company’s inception in 1999 First Solar has demonstrated thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) innovation.

Developed in the United States, First Solar now has the only thin-film module technology that is proven more efficient and less costly than conventional crystalline silicon (C-Si Photovoltaic)PV modules.

First Solar has dedicated research and development toward exponential innovation with multiple records for research cell efficiency increasing from 16.5% to today’s record 20.4% and improving module efficiencies year over year. First Solar currently holds the world record in CdTe research module 17% and research cell efficiency 20.4% using organic and acquired technology. First Solar has demonstrated repeated successful innovation cycles converting these historical technology developments by effectively scaling the advancements into more than 8GW of high volume production.

First Solar’s thin-film technology addresses the global issue of identifying an efficient cost effect and sustainable alternative energy source that competes with traditional energy sources today.

First Solar has lowered the cost of solar electricity by developing utility-scale PV solutions utilizing thin-film technology competitive with conventional energy sources. First Solar has achieved economies of scale through its innovative fully integrated manufacturing process which produces a thin-film PV module from a sheet of glass in less than 2.5 hours while using less energy water and semiconductor material than conventional crystalline PV’s production process. The semiconductor material used has the highest theoretical efficiency of any known PV material. Combined with the lowest inherent manufacturing costs CdTe presents the greatest opportunity for solar electricity to change the way the world is powered.

Superior spectral response in humid climates - Superior temperature coefficient in hot climates - Industry-leading long-term reliability and durability - Smallest carbon footprint - Lowest life-cycle water use - Fastest energy payback time

First Solar has executed an IP-based innovation strategy using both internal and acquired device technology and has combined it with unique manufacturing technology to achieve over a decade of documented improvements culminating in 17% record PV research module efficiency. First Solar has built on the success of core technology and invests heavily in accelerating research and development.

PERC Production Solutions

To meet global market’s soaring demand for high-efficiency solar cells and lower manufacturing costs, Manz AG offers industry-leading solutions for crystalline solar-cell (cSi) production which yields high conversion efficiencies of up to 20.5%. The new-generation production technology deploys Manz's VCS 1200 vertical vacuum coating system to deposit dielectric passivation layers on the rear of cells, together with the firm's LAS 2400 laser ablation technology, enabling cell manufacturers to achieve large-scale production of high-efficiency cSi solar cells at lowest Cost of Ownership. The fully automated and maintenance-friendly tools boast a smaller footprint and improved efficiency over competitors' systems. They can be used for both mono- and multi-crystalline solar cells.

Manz offers customers the necessary equipment and processing technology to convert standard cell production lines to manufacture the higher-efficiency PERC cells. Manz's VCS 1200 system uses a completely new technology for vertical processing, with a throughput of 1, 200 wafers/hour. Thanks to its powerful plasma source and a new carrier system, the coating process leaves no pin marks or flakes on the wafers – a problem of many competitors' systems. In addition, VCS 1200 enables single-side deposition of PECVD-layers without wrap-around of deposition on the other side. Manz's high performance PECVD process technology achieves optimum reproducibility and the industry's highest degree of cell efficiency and uniformity.

Alongside the VCS 1200 system, Manz's LAS 2400 laser ablation system provides a simple, precise and high-throughput solution for local contact opening of rear side passivation layers. Being a one-stop process, laser ablation offers the lowest cost of ownership for this step in cell production and offers safe wafer handling with the industry's lowest breakage rates.

VCS 1200 system

LAS 2400 laser ablation system

skylog® Data Logger System

skylog® is a powerful data acquisition system for large-scale photovoltaic power plants using high-performance industrial grade components. skylog® has been designed with robustness and versatility in mind. Furthermore skylog® is a highly modular system allowing a wide choice of applications.

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