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  • The Next Generation of Solar Panels?

    The scarce resource of silicon is the main semiconductor for most monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film solar panels. It's the second most abundant element on this planet, but of course it can't be used forever.

    An innovative company by the name of Nanosolar has looked far ahead into the future and is currently producing solar panels that are printed on a thin film with a special ink. Nanosolar raised over $300 million dollars, which is the largest amount for any solar start up. Some of the investors are company giants such as Google and IBM. The U.S. Department of Energy selects Nanosolar among a stiffly competitive field of applicants and awards $20 million to the company, the largest amount any company receives in the United States.

    This technology is said to have 14.5% efficiency and is the lowest price for solar panels ever developed. The only downfall as of now is that it's only available commercially. It could be a couple years before this patented solar technology is available for residential consumers, however it gives you a look at what's coming our way.

    Check out the company at http://www.nanosolar.com

    I think this will be a huge leap for residential consumers to easily obtain cost efficient solar panels and within the next few years I believe you'll be seeing panels popping up everywhere. Especially with all of the available tax credits and incentives that come along with converting to alternative renewable resources. I signed up for the nanosolar newsletter and will keep my eyes peeled on the moves they make.

  • #2
    Re: The Next Generation of Solar Panels?

    do you know of a good place to get the thin film solar panels now? the nanosolar sounds great, but I'm looking for panels within the next few months. thanks!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Next Generation of Solar Panels?

      Hi Ladydusoleil and thanks for visiting.

      I don't have thin film panels on my home, but I'm looking into purchasing them for other projects. I have been looking into a company called UniSolar for the panels. Check out their website at www.uni-solar.com You'll have to find a distributor and call them for more details.

      If anyone else has any suggestions please post them as well.

      Hope this helps!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Next Generation of Solar Panels?

        Ok great, thanks for the website link. I noticed there is a distributor pretty close to where I'm at so I will be contacting them.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Next Generation of Solar Panels?

          i bought my thin film solar panels from unisolar and had a great experience. i actually am much happier with thin film because I didn't have to put any holes in my roof, they just glue down.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Next Generation of Solar Panels?

            i noticed that nanosolar only makes panels commercially, any idea when they will be available for residential homes?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Next Generation of Solar Panels?

              nanosolar hasn't given a date as to when they will provide to the residential market, but my guess would be a few years. When they do I'm sure there will be a year or two waiting list as well.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Next Generation of Solar Panels?

                Nanosolar is such an interesting company. I just saw the company in Times Magazine for "The 50 best inventions for 2008." I'm looking forward to what they will put out in the near future.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Didn't have to put any holes in roof, just glue down

                  Originally posted by WiseWizard View Post
                  i bought my thin film solar panels from unisolar and had a great experience. i actually am much happier with thin film because I [b]didn't have to put any holes in my roof, they just glue down[/b].

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nanosolar is on the right track. This should force the prices down for solar PV. I am sure in time the efficiency will be around 20%. Printing solar cells has to be faster and the energy used to print the solar cells has to be a lot less energy used in the silicon process. This alone should drop the prices of a watt. The only thing I question is how will it maintain power or produce power 10 years from now? Only time will tell.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SolarGuy View Post
                      This technology is said to have 14.5% efficiency and is the lowest price for solar panels ever developed. The only downfall as of now is that it's only available commercially.
                      Was just looking at some Kyocera panels this AM, and they claim 16% eff, and it's just
                      http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/wind-...cera-KD205.pdf
                      a tweak of established technology, with 20+ year lifetimes, tested in the field Any feedback on the nano panels?
                      Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                      || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                      || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                      solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                      gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you are looking for solar panels in the next few months. You see we are producing the next generation solar panel. Here are facts. Silicon solar cells are expensive and do not put out too much power because silicon can only absorb up to 25% of photons. Printed solar cells are even worse (but cheap). The new solar panels are comming in the next 3 months and are amazing. Up to 41% eff. Lower cost to produce, lower cost all around.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                          Any feedback on the nano panels?
                          every now and then I check up on nano's progress at their blog:

                          http://www.nanosolar.com/blog3/

                          I haven't found any recent news as to what they are currently doing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Off Grid Solar View Post
                            If you are looking for solar panels in the next few months. You see we are producing the next generation solar panel. Here are facts. Silicon solar cells are expensive and do not put out too much power because silicon can only absorb up to 25% of photons. Printed solar cells are even worse (but cheap). The new solar panels are comming in the next 3 months and are amazing. Up to 41% eff. Lower cost to produce, lower cost all around.
                            Just think where solar technology will be in 10 years from now. The renewable industry is only getting better and better, as each year passes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Off Grid Solar View Post
                              The new solar panels are comming in the next 3 months and are amazing. Up to 41% eff. Lower cost to produce, lower cost all around.
                              That will be truly amazing ! Can I hold you to that ? 3 months?
                              Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                              || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                              || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                              solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                              gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                              Comment

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