Shell Solar Supplies PV Modules to Welsh Project

Shell Solar, a producer and marketer of photovoltaic cells, panels and systems, will supply 2,400 CIS (copper, indium, selenium) thin film photovoltaic modules to a construction project in St. Asaph, North Wales, United Kingdom.

Wales, United Kingdom – June 25, 2003 [] The order is the largest yet for the next generation technology, which took Shell Solar more than 15 years of research to develop, according to the company. The panels will be installed by Welsh company PV Systems Ltd on the south-facing main façade of the OpTIC Technium, a business support center for the opto-electronics industry being constructed by the Welsh Development Agency. They will provide peak power of 84 kW, enough to supply 60 typical homes. The project is being supported under the United Kingdom’s Large-Scale Field Trial for Public Buildings, a Department of Trade and Industry initiative to promote solar power through its use in government buildings. CIS thin film is a new way of making a solar cell. Copper, indium and selenium are applied in minutely thin layers to glass through a vacuum process. This vacuum technique is widely used for coating window glass but is relatively new in the solar industry. The current mainstream crystalline silicon solar technology involves sawing, chemically etching and baking thin wafers from rods of highly purified silicon in a high temperature process. The main benefits of CIS thin film technology are expected far lower manufacturing costs and a more competitive cost-per-kWh price. Shell Solar was the first company in the world to begin series production of CIS solar modules, five years ago in Camarillo, California. CIS thin film modules offer exceptional performance in low-light, adverse and high temperature environments, making them ideal for locations where there are changeable weather conditions. With a uniform appearance, CIS thin film modules are also suitable for use in projects where aesthetics are an important consideration.
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