Thin Film Covers Shell

Shell Solar Industries unveiled what they say is the world’s largest rooftop thin film photovoltaic (PV) array on the roof of its manufacturing building in Camarillo, California. The 245 kW system covers more than 31,000 square feet and is constructed in 13 rows containing 6144 solar modules.

Camarillo, California – October 29, 2003 [] The sizeable CIS thin film solar electric array is a showcase for Shell Solar, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the California Energy Commission (CEC). The four organizations have been involved for over 10 years, in close partnership, in developing CIS thin film from early experimentation to the commercial product it is today. In attendance at the dedication event was William Keese, Chairman of the California Energy Commission. Keese stressed the importance of the private sector and government partnering to push forward renewable energy technologies. “We’re pleased to have a long-term commitment with Shell Solar in the development of thin film technology,” Keese said. “Advances such as this help California move toward our goal of generating 20 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2010.” CIS thin film is a different method of making solar modules. Copper, indium and selenium are applied in minutely thin layers to glass via a vacuum process. This technique is widely used for coating window glass but is relatively new to the solar industry, Shell said. Manufacturing CIS thin film cells requires fewer process steps than the current mainstream crystalline silicon solar technology. Shell said, it also does not require the relatively expensive high purity silicon used to make traditional silicon cells and modules.