About CdTe Solar Panels
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) is a crystalline compound formed from cadmium and tellurium, and without its study and use in photovoltaics, the solar industry might not be as widespread as it is today.
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar panels, popularly manufactured by industry leaders such as First Solar and Abound Solar, generally provide a great lifespan and energy collection for utility-scale solar installations.
CdTe solar panels are used in some of the largest solar farms in the world, such as the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, Topaz Solar Farms, and Agua Caliente Solar Project. These three solar installations alone power hundreds of thousands of homes, and more utility-scale projects such as these are possible due to the use of cadmium telluride solar panels.
Based on data from First Solar, a cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar panel performs better in hot and humid conditions (better spectral responses and temperature coefficients) than crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells. “CadTel” panels are also considerably thinner than c-Si modules.
CdTe Solar Panel Concerns
With a cadmium telluride panel, it would not be a surprise to say that both cadmium and tellurium are some of the largest concentrations of metals used in the materials. These metals can present environmental and health concerns, such they be improperly handled and leech into the ground. Cadmium, if entered into groundwater or a nearby body of water, can be highly toxic to aquatic life.
The proper handling of CdTe panels during a solar site’s construction, maintenance, and decommissioning, is critical to the safety of individuals and the environment.
When properly handled and processed for disposal, such as by a zero-landfill disposal service, environmental compliance can be ensured – safeguarding the environment and all parties involved in the solar project.
While CdTe panels, or “CadTel” solar panels, as they are sometimes referred to in the industry, offer significant benefits, especially at the scale that they are currently used, there can be drawbacks. As long as the solar industry, from developers, O&M professionals, and even insurance companies, stays up to date with the advancements in materials, and environmental concerns, panels and installations can continue to improve with less worry that toxins can enter the environment.