Thin film solar technology is compelling: a way to make panels in a continuous or large batch fashion instead of assembling and gluing individual cells to the back of glass. But with very few exceptions (notably First Solar), more thin film companies litter the solar graveyard than any other product category.
In order to get solar to scale, we need to make panels inexpensively and en masse -- the way we make almost all other building products. Big investments are still being made to achieve this goal because the potential returns from success are so high. One approach to achieve the manufacturing throughput needed for very low costs is to use CIGs on glass.
Siva, formerly Solexant, has redirected their efforts towards CIGs. On this week's Energy Show my guest is Brad Mattson, CEO of Siva Power. He'll explain their plans to create solar panels with the efficiency of crystalline silicon with the throughput of CadTel. Maybe thin film is not dead yet?
About The Energy Show
As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.
The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.
About Your Host
Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.
His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.
Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies. He's been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.
Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock