This is the second post of Macroelectronics.org's series on thin-film solar cells. We'll talk about the production, cost, and efficiency of thin-film solar cells.
Several companies, such as Nanosolar,
have now come out with rollable thin-film solar cells, which are one hundred times thinner than traditional solar cells, and can also be made one hundred times faster than traditional manufacture procedure. In making rollable thin-film solar cells, a type of ink that is able to conduct electricity is printed on a thin, conductive substrate. This new technology is superior to the traditional solar cells not only because it is far cheaper to produce given the low cost of the ink and the substrate, but also because it produces more energy and power than traditional solar cells.
Companies such as Nanosolar
have been on the cutting edge of this technology. Nanosolar's technology is based upon their "7 Areas of Innovation" including:
- Nanoparticle Ink
- Semiconductor Base for Printing
- Conductive Substrate
- Roll-to-Roll Processing
- Low-Cost Top Electrode
- Sorted Cell Assembly
- High Current Panel
More detail information can be found here on their "7 Areas of Innovation." Convenience and efficiency may be a great advantage to Nanosolar's thin-film technology, what also adds to the benefits of their product is the durability: the solar cells are able to withstand temperatures from -40 to +85 degrees Celcius, allowing them to be used virtually anywhere sunshine is plentiful.
Check out the following KQED video on Nanosolar:
(via Wikipedia & Nanosolar; Photo and video Courtesy: Nanosolar, KQED)
Labels: Nano, Solar, Thin-Film