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All the buzz about thin film solar panels

It’s the word on the street, Thin Film Solar Panels, what are they? And why are so many people talking about thin film technology? Similar to how computers and cell phones became slimmer and more efficient as the technology evolved, the same thing is happening in the solar power industry. Solar Panels are becoming thinner but no necessarily more efficient, thin film solar cells are bringing the cost down for industrial electricity producers and large commercial entities although not for the residential or small business owner.

Thin Film Solar Panels are typically less efficient or just as efficient as traditional silicon based solar panels, although they thin film panels are made up of other elements that can turn the sun’s rays into electricity besides silicon. As you may know one of the primary reasons solar panels have a high price tag is because there is a shortage of silicon since there is such a high demand for the substance. Although more silicon refineries are coming online, next year, this has not stopped the thin film solar manufacturers to continue to innovate in their space to use other elements which have the potential to be very efficient in the near future.

Thin Film solar cells are more flexible and are not made out of glass therefore are virtually unbreakable…which make the technology very resilient. Thin film solar panels have a lot of potential in terms of bringing down the cost per watt for solar power systems, therefore much investment and talent is focusing on this sector of solar power because they see it as the future.

Right now the market has limited thin film products that people are using to power small appliances or use thin film solar panels for small solar power system installations. People who have a lot of surface areas such as utility companies and big corporations can also take advantage of thin film technology. I agree with many industry people that thin film is the future of solar panels although I feel it is at least 5 years away until we see thin film solar panels that make financial sense out on the market for the general public to consume.

Author: Deep Patel

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