Top Navigation  
 
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
 
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 
 
Backwoods Home Magazine, self-reliance, homesteading, off-grid

Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues
 Print Display Ads
 Print Classifieds
 Newsletter
 Letters
 Humor
 Free Stuff
 Recipes
 Home Energy

General Store
 Ordering Info
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 ePublications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Help Yourself
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

BHM Blogs
 Ask Jackie Clay
 Massad Ayoob
 Claire Wolfe
 James Kash
 Where We Live
 Behind The Scenes
 Dave on Twitter
Retired Blogs
 Oliver Del Signore
 David Lee
 Energy Questions
 Bramblestitches

Quick Links
 Home Energy Info
 Jackie Clay
 Ask Jackie Online
 Dave Duffy
 Massad Ayoob
 John Silveira
 Claire Wolfe

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Enter Forum
 Lost Password

More Features
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address
 Write For BHM
 Meet The Staff
 Meet The Authors
 Disclaimer and
 Privacy Policy


Retired Features
 Country Moments
 Links
 Feedback
 Radio Show


Link to BHM

Get Powered Up! Certified Energy Manager Jeff Yago answers your alternative energy questions

Wondering about a great new energy-saving device
you found on the Internet? Then CLICK HERE!

Sorry. Jeff no longer answers questions online.
This will remain as a searchable
resource for all BHM website visitors.



Archive for the ‘Thin film’ Category

 

Thin film solar modules

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Jeff:

I enjoy your articles whenever they appear in BHM.

I have been hearing about “thin-film” voltaic cells in the press for the last few years and I think your readers would enjoy an article discussing the present state of this inovation and how long it will be before they reach the mainstream market.

Are they really going to be as cheap in comparison to the current product as the press would have us believe?

Thanks

Jerry T.
Michigan

Jerry,

Actually I have discussed thin film solar module technology in past articles. Thin film solar modules are called amorphous cells and are one of several research attempts to lower the cost of solar modules. Unlike standard modules which are assembled from individual solar cells and then wired into a module and vacuum sealed behind tempered glass, the amorphous solar module is made by a plating process which deposits a thin film of photovoltaic material on the back of the glass or on the surface of a metal plate. A laser is then used to divide the single large cell into separate cells to increase the voltage, and this process is much faster and cheaper.

Unfortunately, although an amorphous solar module is less than half the cost of a conventional solar module, so far they are less than half the efficiency so you need to buy twice as many and use twice the roof area for the same amount of collected energy. They are also developing solar paints or inks that can be applied like spray painting a car, but these also are much lower efficiency and have a shorter life. There will, of course will, be some applications where system life and efficiency are not as important, as long as they are cheap.

There are many things in the news these days about improving solar technology and lowering costs, but so far, almost all of these articles are talking about things that are years away from being turned into real products you can buy.

Hope this helps,

Jeff Yago

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.