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Thin Film Solar Panels

Thin film solar panels are part of the second generation technology of solar energy. The second generation took the advances of crystalline silicon and vacuum deposition and aimed to improve energy requirements and production costs of solar cells. Unfortunately so far second generation technologies are still struggling to reconcile the lower production values with lower efficiencies.

Thin film solar panels are made by depositing thin layers of photovoltaic material on several layers of substrate. They are categorized according to the materials used. Cadmium Telluride (CdTe), copper indium gallium selenide (CIS or CIGs), and thin film silicon (TF-Si). These are all categories that are currently in mass production.

There are other materials used to make thin film solar panels that are still in the testing or development phases. The ‘thin’ in thin film refers to overcoming the bulkiness of the original crystalline silicon panels. Currently in testing is a silicon thin film application to be applied to windows that will function as a window tinting as well as generating energy.


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