thin-film solar farm
germany has just opened the world’s first thin-film solar farm. what sets thin-film apart from traditional photovoltaics cells is in how they create the cell. traditional pv cells require ultra-high quality crystalline silicon wafers to be grown which is both highly labor intensive and time consuming. thing-film pv cells, originally developed by first solar, do not require this ultra-high quality silicon. additionally, as the name suggests, they are extremely flexible and plyable (see below). in fact, recent advancements in pv technologies have allowed some thin-film pv cells to actually be printed on otherwise non-pv surfaces. this technology can allow for traditional roofing materials, windows, or standard walls to become photovoltaic cells without requiring special materials, obstucting views, or alter aesthetics.
nonetheless, the new plant in germany has 90,000 solar modules and will generate 5.7 million kilowatt hours every year on only 16.5 acres of land (718,740 square feet); this is enough power for 1,900 homes. juwi solar, the company who has produced this solar farm, already has a 40 megawatt facility under construction that will house 550,000 modules and be operational in 2009.
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