Thin Film Solar Panel

Thin-Film Solar Cells (TFSC) are created when a substrate is covered with one or several thin layers of photovoltaic material. These are some of the common ones.● Amorphous silicon (a-Si)    Used in small scale applications with estimated efficiency rates 6-8% Cadmium telluride (CdTe)    Falls in the middle ground operating at around efficiency levels of 9-11% ● Copper indium gallium selenide (CIS/CIGS)     Most efficient of the lot, with estimated efficiency rates at 10-12%

Advantages of Thin Film Solar Panels 

● Thin-film materials have a property called band gap which is able to absorb the right wavelengths from the sun, thus enabling them to absorb most of the sun’s radiation.

● Most thin-film uses glass as a substrate, a material that is easier and cheaper to work with. Bulk production or mass production is possible making them very cost effective to produce compared to the crystalline-based solar cells.

● Thin-film solar cells are versatile in that they can be fitted to all types of surfaces including metal and plastic. They can also replace traditional roofing materials, and once installed, the entire roof can become an energy generator, absorbing the power from the sun. The solar cells have a homogenous look, making them blend in attractively with the home’s appearance.

● They are flexible in that thin film materials can be deposited on flexible substrate materials unlike the rigid crystal silicon solar panels opening up new possibilities in applications.

● They have shown good performance in indirect sunlight and they are shade tolerant with little loss on performance efficiency.

High temperatures have little impact on its performance nor have its output been negatively affected unlike silicon-based solar cells where the efficiency levels can be lowered by 10% or more.

● Thin-film solar cells are most suited to hot climates like Malaysia where sunlight is in abundance the whole year round. In fact some types of thin-film solar panels may even increase their output when temperatures rise.

● They are very suited to wide accessible areas where there are no space constraints.