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19 March 2014

First Solar optimizes CdTe PV modules for GE’s new 4MW ProSolar 1500V inverter/transformer system

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA and GE’s Power Conversion business are utilizing their technology and commercial partnership (announced last August) to develop a more cost-effective and productive utility-scale PV power plant design that combines First Solar’s thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic modules with GE’s new ProSolar 1500V inverter/transformer system.

First Solar has integrated new technology into its modules and optimized them for 1500VDC applications. Combined with GE’s 4MW ProSolar 1500V inverter/transformer stations, the development enables power plant engineering design that significantly increases the size of the solar array served by each inverter and reduces the number of inverter/transformer stations required for each plant to convert the power from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) and feed electricity to a commercial electrical grid, says First Solar. The resulting plant design maintains high power delivery while lowering installation and maintenance costs, it is claimed.

Future generations of First Solar modules will increase optimization, benefiting from advances gained in part from the acquisition last fall of GE thin-film PV technology, notes Mahesh Morjaria, First Solar’s VP of product management.

“With our ProSolar inverters, we were able to draw from our experience developing and manufacturing technology for traditional power plants to create a highly efficient solution with industry-leading capabilities,” claims GE Power Conversion’s CEO Joe Mastrangelo. “The inverters’ design enable our customers to apply engineering design that significantly increases efficiency of energy production,” he adds.

First Solar has already identified projects under construction for initial deployment of the new 1500V system, says Morjaria. The 4MW ProSolar 1500V station is the largest inverter in the industry capable of accommodating 1500V DC solar arrays, which is a major factor in utilizing economies of scale by significantly increasing the array size and reducing the number of inverters required by a solar power plant, reckons First Solar.

See related items:

First Solar and GE announce technology and commercial partnership to speed CdTe PV module development

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

Visit: www.gepowerconversion.com

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