Solar Film Debuts: Cheapest Solar Panel In The World?

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Nanosolar has just announced that, after five years of development, it will be shipping its innovative “solar film” product. Basically, Nanosolar is able to print solar panels on machines that resemble printing presses. The company, whose backers include Google’s co-founders, say it is producing the world’s lowest-cost solar panel, costing as little as 99 cents per watt.

What will Nanosolar be doing with the first three commercial panels?

  • Panel #1 will remain at Nanosolar for exhibit.
  • Panel #2 can be purchased by you in an auction on eBay starting today.
  • Panel #3 has been donated to the Tech Museum in San Jose.

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Nanosolar is a heavily financed Silicon Valley start-up. The company has raised $150 million and built a 200,000-square-foot factory.

To make solar film, Nanosolar prints CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenium) onto a thin polymer. There is no costly silicon involved in the process. Nanosolar is only a few years old, but it has laid plans to take on multinational corporations, such as BP and Sharp, in the solar industry.

Via: NanoSolar Blog

Comments

    • Cthulku says

      Yeah, that was my first thought. One of the most abundant elements on the planet is clearly much more expensive than one of the rarest.

      [/sarcasm]

      This is a neat technology, but the problem with many thin-film photovoltaic devices is that they use indium. No matter how little you use, there is so little indium on earth that it simply isn’t economically feasible for large-scale mass production. At best, it’s a stop-gap until better indium-free photovoltaic devices are developed.

  1. EfficiencySeeker says

    I wonder how efficiently it can turn sunlight into electricity compared to silicon solar cells. I could not find any info on this product.

  2. says

    EMPS Electronic Magnetic Power Solutions has the most efficent converter/inverter design in the world. It is also very inexpensive to produce. A 5kw electronic Converter/inverter
    with a 98% utility intertie efficency weighs only 20 pounds in case. Please go to 6phase.com for more exciting information.

  3. John says

    First hit on google for “nanosolar efficiency” is they should by about 19% efficient. That’s irrelevant (mostly) anyway, because what you care about is cost/watt which the article gives as ~$1 which is at least 10x better than current commercial and comparable or better than industrial power plants ($1/watt installed capacity is the rule of thumb there). As long as they’re better than 10% and you have a roof you’re set.

    “Costly silicon” refers not to the cost of sand, but the energy cost of refinement to six nines (99.9999 %) purity. A more relevant cost issue is installation for these things. To put up a post construction array on a roof is about half the cost for current cells, and for these in the article, the installation would more or less dominate the cost, unless their lighter flexible construction permits a cheaper installation cost.

  4. Ben says

    In reference to “costly silicon:”

    You might note that since these cells are “film” based semiconductors, you’re going to use less material to make a cell than you would to make a silicon solar cell. I believe most silicon based solar cells are made using more conventional semiconductor manufacturing methods (i.e. take a big chunk of silicon and then dope it). Making solar cells using these conventional techniques requires quite a bit of material.

  5. says

    we are manufacturers of very efficient radiant
    heating equipment with a 30 year history.
    I know the future is solar and wind and I would
    like to be in a position to distribute your breakthrough product in Canada.
    Your film will change the world and I have a use
    for this product that you haven’t thought of.

  6. average person says

    You say its available on ebay but where is it? All I see is people coming up with great new technology at low cost. Where is it? how come nobody can buy this stuff, why isn’t this solar film on the market and being sold somewhere. It’s all talk a bunch of bull. Big talkers no action. same thing with fuel cells a bunch of talk but no action.

  7. says

    No way to get a simple data sheet on this technology, impossible to buy a small amount to do a test……Well, this company is aimed to sell these new panels only to giant integrators, not to distributors, so this product will not be available for small entrepreneurs. So better wait to the Chinese for if they can have a similar product soon………its life.

  8. dushyant barot says

    great ! but how exactly to buy it.can i buy it online? is its output comparable or better than existing panels

  9. says

    I’m really interested to have a technical data sheet for this product.
    Anyone know about some company, as described above as “giant integrators”, who suposed are buying from them, to try to buy from?

  10. Jeremiah says

    I would be greatly impressed to see 99 cent per watt solar solutions. In fact, I am looking to purchase. When will this be available?

  11. Uncle B says

    Einstein cycle fridges, solar driven and super-insulated (currently hidden by corporatists from Americans), Eco-shelters of reasonable size, LED lights, and other commonly available technologies, combined with Solar, Wind, derived electricity can make for comfortable lifestyle after the dollar crash necessitates it, right after the price of oil goes from the current $80.00/bbl to over $100.00/bbl and rises from there to astronomical numbers as Asian demands increase pressure upwards and wells in OPEC territories dry out! Americans currently victims of oil barons, as Euro-diesels out-perform our gas models at 40% higher efficiencies but we resist due to fuel oil price manipulations and the combined supporting propaganda! American dollar no longer strong enough to command the 80% of worlds finite resources required to maintain American “Status Quo”! Somethings got to give, and it looks like Yankee Doodle has benn elected one more time! Good candidate, with his thick brow, strong back and tendency to trust the corporatists lies!

  12. Jose J Thaikkattil says

    I would like to start solar grid power manufaturing (power project) plants in India how i get guidlines for that also i am looking for which company’s are supplying compents for thta

  13. Anonymous says

    any one intrested to for manufacturing of solar panels in india please contact me i have land in industrial area so we can do that please contact . me on my no 91 7738343453

    Manoj

  14. jojo says

    this company has been over-promising for a half a decade. Now GE has entered the game with big money. This company is just pr and poop.

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