the way we live

thin-film solar farm

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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.

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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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8 April 2007 - Posted by | green, society

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