Thin Film Solar Panels

Recently a new product was introduced into the market that could provide some much needed answers for solar power users. Amorphous silicon PV or thin film technology could make rigid solar panels obsolete if some better research is done.

Thin film solar panels are produced by applying silicon material on glass or stainless steel, or more commonly between two pieces of flexible laminate material.

Solid or rigid thin film panels are in use but flexible laminated thin film panels are more popular. The flexible panels can be applied to any surface and sometimes used as roofing material.

Most customers like the almost seamless blending of solar panels right into their roof top. Saving you the cost of regular shingles or steel roofing, thin film solar panels are a good choice.

These panels are not nearly as efficient at converting light to electricity when compared to mono or polycrystalline

Power Plant solar panels- not nearly by half. You would need twice the space to accommodate their installation.

From a manufacturing standpoint they do absorb light more efficiently though, allowing for a thinner design and less material being used in their manufacture.

The real benefit, because less material is needed, is in the simplified manufacturing process resulting in lowered costs to build. The lower price pushed thin film panels to the lead in price per watt of output.

The panels may have to be slightly larger, but it costs less for the homeowner for every watt of power production. They are flexible, light and rarely break during shipping. Add in the great price and this makes thin film panels a great choice where space is not a consideration.

They jury is still out on the lifespan of these panels though. Some say they will last just as long as monocrystalline panels, others point to their decreased efficiencies only a couple of years after purchase.

As mentioned earlier, with increased research this could be the answer. We have a couple smaller panels and they seem to work fine, but we like our monocrystalline solar panels and are going to stick with them. Your choice.

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