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April 8th, 2010
Thin-Film or Silicon Solar PV: Which Makes a Better Module?
Thin-film solar equipment is often portrayed as the "next generation" solar panel, a kind of technological breakthrough that is making the old way of generating solar electricity obsolete.
The excitement has been fanned by the rapid growth of Arizona-based First Solar Inc., the world's largest solar company as measured by watts produced. First Solar, which makes only thin-film modules, is often featured in business news coverage, reinforcing the impression that thin film is the vanguard of solar-electricity generation.
The other primary approach to generating electricity directly with solar photovoltaic equipment involves the use of crystalline silicon. Mass manufacturing of solar modules using this material as a means of converting light into electricity began about 30 years ago.
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