Thin film based solar cells represent the forefront of solar technology. MiaSol√©'s objective is to manufacture quality thin film solar products in high volume and at cost points that enable solar to reach grid parity.
Thin film solar cells can be produced using only 1% of the semiconductor material used in silicon based cells. This basic raw material advantage, in conjunction with low cost capital equipment and efficient manufacturing processes provide thin film materials fundamental cost benefits compared to crystalline silicon technologies. In addition, because some thin film semiconductors can be deposited on low cost, flexible substrates, thin film cells can be integrated with roofing and other building materials, providing additional opportunities to reduce the installed cost of PV systems.
Thin Film Options
Thin film solar cells are generally produced from 3 different types of materials. One key metric for solar material is its conversion efficiency, which represents how much of the sun’s energy the material can convert into electricity. CIGS has demonstrated the highest thin film lab efficiency, and is widely seen as the most promising of thin film solar semiconductors. CIGS' lab efficiencies (20.2%) approach those of expensive silicon material, and can be produced in high volume at low cost points.
Material Highest Lab Cell Efficiency
Amorphous Silicon Triple Junction (a-Si) 12.3%
Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) 16.5%
Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) 20.2%