The Solar Power Expert Blog

Thin Film Flexible Solar Panels

by GuestPoster - December 6th, 2011.
Filed under: Guest Posts.

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Today I’d like to tell you all about a really cool solar panel technology called thin film solar.  This technology has been around for a while but it’s recently being used in some very interesting ways.

A thin film flexible PV panel can be constructed in many different ways but the basic principle is the same no matter what type you are talking about.  Basically some kind of a photoelectric material is applied in several layers onto a substrate or backing material.  The actual material that is used as a backing can vary from ridged materials to very flexible materials.

The aspect of this technology that interests me the most is that it’s actually possible to “print” solar panels out from specially designed printers.  This dramatic advancement in the manufacturing process is very promising.  Thanks to this advancement, the price to manufacture solar panels has come down in price and it will continue to come down even further as the technology continues to improve.

Currently, there are some limitations to these types of solar panels.  The most notable limitation is that these panels aren’t as efficient and traditional PV panels.  This means that if you were to compare two solar panels that were roughly the same size, the thin film panel would put out less electricity than the monocrystalline panel.

There is a company, however, by the name of Nanosolar that is very optimistic about the future of this technology. They have reported that based on their research, they believe that in the next few year, these flexible printed panels will likely be comparable to traditional solar panels in terms of the amount of power that they are able to generate.

I would like to encourage you to visit the website the next time you would like to learn about alternative energy. Hope to see you there!

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