- What varieties of thin-film solar cells are there?
- How do they get made?
- How do they appear?
- How productive are they?
- What is their response to heat?
- They last how long?
- How much do they cost?
Types of Thin-Film Solar Cells
Thin-Film solar cells can be manufactured from a variety of materials, which makes them different from monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar cells.
Solar Thin-Film cells come in three different varieties:
Aggregate Silicon (a-Si) thin-film
Amorphous silicon (a-Si), a non-crystalline form of silicon used to make this kind of thin-film solar cells, makes them more simpler to manufacture than monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar cells.
Thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe)
After crystalline cells, this is the solar cell type that is utilised the most globally.
This form of solar cell, unlike a-Si solar cells, is constructed from a unique chemical substance called Cadmium Telluride, which is excellent at catching sunlight and turning it into electricity.
CdTe solar cells, however, have a few downsides, including:
Tellurium is extremely hard to obtain, making it difficult to produce in large quantities.
Cadmium is one of the most hazardous elements in the world, thus dealing with it necessitates taking specific measures.
Indium Gallium Selenide Copper (CIGS)
The CIGS solar panels are the final form of thin-film cells.
Copper, Indium, Gallium, and Selenide are layered on top of one another to form these cells’ strong semiconductor, which effectively transforms sunlight into energy.
How Thin-Film Solar Cells are Made?
The most straightforward and quick to produce type of solar panel is one with thin-film solar cells.
Three key components make up each thin-film solar panel:
The primary semiconductor used in photovoltaic systems, such as CdTe, a-Si, or CGIS, is responsible for converting sunlight into energy.
A conductor sheet In order to boost conductivity and stop electrical loss, a layer of conductive material, such as aluminium, is required.
Protective Layer: A thin covering of high-quality glass or plastic is put to the top of the system to increase durability and shield it from the elements in order to increase the lifespan of the solar module.
Any sort of thin-film solar cell can be produced because they are all created in the same way.
The primary PV material (a-Si, CdTe, or CGIS) just has to be sandwiched between a sheet of conductive material and a layer of glass or plastic to achieve success. You’re prepared to produce electricity.
How Do Thin-Film Solar Panels Look?
The name “Thin-Film” solar cells refers to their thin look, which makes them simple to identify.
These panels are thinner than a human hair, with each layer only being 1 micron (one millionth of a metre) thick.
Don’t misunderstand me; each solar system is built of several layers of thin film, not a solar module that is 1 micron thick.
Nevertheless, a thin-film solar panel can be as thick as silicon-based panels, but being roughly 350 times thinner than mono- or polycrystalline panels.
Furthermore, they don’t just stand out for being slender. They are superior to the other varieties in terms of flexibility and weight, making them ideal for use in portable devices.PV Thin-color Film’s can be either black or blue depending on the type of PV material utilised to create it.
How Effective Are Thin-Film Solar Cells?
In comparison to monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar cell types, thin-film solar panels are less efficient and have lower power capabilities.
Depending on the type of PV material used in the cells, the Thin-Film system’s efficiency varies, but in general, they typically range from 7% to 18%.
It’s crucial to note that although thin-film cells are less efficient than crystalline ones, they are theoretically more efficient than silicon.
Because of this, many believe thin-film cells will eventually outperform silicon in terms of efficiency.
What Are Their Responses To High Temperatures?
The temperature coefficient of thin-film solar panels is higher than that of silicon-based panels.
Hence, they are less impacted by high temperatures and only slightly decrease in performance when it gets too hot.
Thin-Film cells are advised for usage in deserts since they can withstand a lot of sunlight and open space.
Furthermore, they are well-suited for use in tropical locations where it is hot and humid since they are shielded by premium glass layers that are quite strong against moisture.
They last for how long?
Thin-Film cells, one of the three types of solar panels, have the shortest lifespan of 10 to 20 years.
Thin-Film panels provide the quickest payback time despite having a limited lifespan.
In other words, the system will save you a lot of money on electricity and will pay for itself within 8 years.
How Much Do They Cost?
Among all solar panel types, thin-film PV cells are by far the least expensive.
This is due to the fact that they need less material, produce less waste, and are considerably simpler to produce.
Thin-Film panels are also less difficult to install than monocrystalline or polycrystalline cells because to their lightweight design and flexibility, which lowers the installation cost and makes them even more affordable than they already are.
The solar energy sector has optimism in thin-film solar panels.
because of their affordability, simplicity in manufacturing, lightness, adaptability, and range of uses.
Moreover, Thin-Film technology is anticipated to overtake all silicon-based solar panels in a few years, according to Solar Energy Hackers.