DSM and SolarKapital achieve 4% energy gain from First Solar CdTe panels using retrofit AR coating

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DSM Advanced Solar and Independent Power Producer (IPP) SolarKapital have achieved a 4% energy gain at a 500kWp PV power plant in Türkenfeld, Bavaria, Germany by deploying DSM’s retrofit Anti-Reflective (AR) coating technology on First Solar’s CdTe panels. 

SolarKapital currently owns and operates twelve PV plants across Germany and has other PV power plants located in France and Greece. 

Dr. Andreas Leimbach, SolarKapital managing director said, “A major goal of this project was to evaluate the wider implications of implementing a retrofit. How quickly and professionally could the DSM team apply the coating? Also, how could they support us in better evaluating and understanding the monitoring data? In both cases they were able to deliver. Furthermore, another important aspect to consider were the environmental implications of the coating supplies and processes. DSM also covered this topic to the satisfaction of its client.”

SolarKapital said that the evaluation period for DSM’s AR coating started from the end of September 2019 to the end of January 2020.

Typically, DSM expects its AR coating technology to deliver energy gains of between 2-3% across European PV plants in previous industrial-scale coating projects. However, the uncoated CdTe thin film panels from First Solar were said to have reacted very well to the process and had achieved gains of 3.5% at the Türkenfeld plant, up to the end of April 2020, which is expected to be the average future gains from the evaluation tests. 

Jörn Brembach, commercial manager at DSM Advanced Solar added, “Despite the disruption brought to our industry by COVID-19 this year, we’re delighted to be working with various major German energy companies on the application of our retrofit anti-reflective coating to solar plants. In total, we will coat some 40MWp – [in the] next coming two months covering a variety of different panel types, including CIGS, CdTe and polycrystalline technologies.”

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