First Solar - The First to Break the $1 per Watt Barrier


First Solar is one of the market leading manufacturers of thin film photovoltaic modules.

This organization which is currently the number one among the top 25 fastest growing technology companies in the US was founded by entrepreneur & inventor Harold McMaster in 1990. It was known as Solar Cells Inc. during that period. However he sold Solar Cells Inc in 1999 to True North Partners an investment wing of the Wal-Mart Owners. John Walton made his entry to the Board of the New company while Mike Ahearn of True North became CEO of the just founded First Solar.

The company is based in Tempe, Arizona and has manufacturing facilities in Perryburg – Ohio, Frankfurt – Germany and Kulim – Malaysia.

First Solar became the first module maker in the world to achieve a reduction of the manufacturing cost of the modules to less than $1 per watt. This made sure that solar energy could compete with other conventional sources which were a means of power production. Thin Film solar modules have the least carbon footprint and the fastest payback period than any of the present PV technologies.

Commercial production of Photovolatic Modules began in 2002 and by 2005 they achieved an annual production of 25 MegaWatts (MW). During 2009 an annual production of 1 Gigawatt (GW) was achieved which made them the largest producer of PV modules in the World.

Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) is a Crystalline Compound of Cadmium and Tellurium. It is the only compound which has taken the lead from crystalline silicon based photovoltaics in terms of cost effectiveness, my friend it can be labeled as “cheap” in normal terms.

The Company substituted the more commonly used crystalline silicon with Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) as a Semiconductor along with the Cadmium Sulfide (CdS) to form Solar Cells and Solar Modules. The PV Modules created in this manner were economical and effective in varying light conditions, recent advancements in Thin Film Technology have improved the module efficiency as high as 11%.


Key Features of First Solar Panels
  • High Energy Output during varying climatic conditions and excellent response during conditions of low light.

  • Proven Performance as predicted by a High Performance Ratio(PR)

  • The Module manufactured is frameless, sturdy, cost-effective and recyclable plus you even avoid the need for module grounding. This will surely save you money!

  • Highly Automated manufacturing process which involves state of the art facilities & machinery certified to ISO 9001: 2008 and ISO 14001: 2004

Certifications of First Solar Products

  • IEC 61646
  • IEC 61730
  • CE
  • Safety Class II @ 1000V
  • UL 1703 & ULC 1703 Listed
  • FSEC certified
  • Eligible CSI PV Module

Common Parameters

Take a look at solar panel info in order to get the full understanding of the common parameters of solar panels.

Nominal Power Output (+/- 5%) in Watts @ STC

  • FS-270 : 70 W
  • FS-272 : 72.5 W
  • FS-275 : 75 W
  • FS-277 : 77.5 W
  • FS-280 : 80 W

Voltage @ Pmax

  • FS-270 : 65.5 V
  • FS-272 : 66.6 V
  • FS-275 : 68.2 V
  • FS-277 : 69.9 V
  • FS-280 : 71.2 V

Current @ Pmax

  • FS-270 : 1.07 A
  • FS-272 : 1.09 A
  • FS-275 : 1.10 A
  • FS-277 : 1.11 A
  • FS-280 : 1.12 A

Open Circuit Voltage

  • FS-270 : 88 V
  • FS-272 : 88.7 V
  • FS-275 : 89.6 V
  • FS-277 : 90.5 V
  • FS-280 : 91.5 V

Short Circuit Current

  • FS-270 : 1.23 A
  • FS-272 : 1.23 A
  • FS-275 : 1.23 A
  • FS-277 : 1.22 A
  • FS-280 : 1.22 A

Maximum System Voltage : 1000 Volts

My Friend, hope you have learned a great deal about First Solar as a company & you surely find the information valuable whenever you'll buy solar panels.



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