First Solar's thin-film Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) solar panels are taking up market share quickly due to its lower cost and better high-temperature performance than mono- and poly-crystalline silicon panels. First Solar’s thin-film solar panels have been increasing in efficiency extremely fast in recent years. Furthermore, First Solar’s panels perform better in the field compared to their rated efficiency. Hence, First Solar may see a boost in market share before too long.
Below lists out the advantages of First Solar thin-film solar panels:
(1) Conventionally, silicon solar panel outputs drop about 0.4% to 0.5% for every degree Celsius increases in temperature. First Solar’s thin-film solar panels lose less efficiency in high temperatures, about 0.25% per degree Celsius, often making them a better buy in hot climates.
(2) First Solar’s solar panels are reportedly at the higher end of the reliability spectrum.
(3) First Solar uses a lot of automation to build its solar modules, bringing down cost and also ensuring quality consistency.
(4) After trading places with GE for years on CdTe efficiency records for years, First Solar finally bought GE’s CdTe intellectual property.
(5) The efficiency increase of CdTe efficiency in recent years is “unrivaled” in the solar PV industry.
(6) The efficiency record of conventional multicrystalline silicon is 20.4%, and First Solar is now closing in on that record.
(7) Adjusted for the effect of heat on the solar panels, First Solar’s thin-film solar panels are generally as efficient as silicon poly-crystalline solar panels already.
(8) First Solar’s module testing is intense.