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Thin Film PV in Europe

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Posted by James on March 4, 2009, 3:39 pm
I've spent the better part of a day searching the web without much

Can anyone help me find suppliers of thin film PV units who are
prepared to sell to the general public.  I'm based in Sweden which
seems to be a solar power desert as far as production is concerned,
notwithstanding all the great work done at the ngstrm lab of Uppsala
University.  But I can deal with, say, Germany which looks like a
likely bet if someone can give me an address or a url.

Would be nice to find retail prices on a website so that one could
compare them with the prices of standard non-TF panels.

Thanks in advance for any help.


Posted by Eeyore on March 9, 2009, 1:31 am

James wrote:

Look at an insolation map. PV solar is idiotic for Sweden.

The limited supply of TF panels is all well sold in advance. The
technology is also highly unproven and of unknown lifespan.


Posted by James W on March 9, 2009, 6:24 pm
 Thanks for the input, Graham, but I've looked at the map and I live in
an area with 11-1200 kWh/m2 or 825-900 kWp per 1 kWp system.
Crystalline panels are in use all over Sweden.  You might not want to
run your town house on a system yet, but experience is good.  In the
area where we have our forest hut, which is quite a bit further north
and in an area with less insolation (two grades lower on the map), all
the houses have solar panels, for the most part 50-75Wp panels, and
these drive lighting, well pumps, tv's, refrigerators and recharge the

Commercial crystalline panels have a conversion factor of about 20%
and as I understand it, TF panels are currently around 12-15%.  So if
the price is right, which is what I want to find out, it's worth a

For my purposes I may well end up using traditional crystalline
panels, but my experience is that they are far and away too expensive
still, and it was therefore I wanted to check the prices of TF.  All I
need is to provide light, ventilation and possibly a little top-up
heat to a small insulated enclosed space.



Posted by Mauried on March 9, 2009, 9:32 pm
 On Mon, 9 Mar 2009 11:24:37 -0700 (PDT), James W

Thin film panels are amorphous and have very low efficiencies, around
6% is typical.
They re cheaper than convenional mono or poly panels,but not
sufficiently to make them atractive.
The reliability, lifespan is currently unknown due to lack of
historical data.
Do a google search on  Kaneka thin film panels if you need more info.

Posted by Eeyore on March 9, 2009, 11:08 pm

Mauried wrote:

Thanks for injecting some more sanity.

I'll have to fly an A380 one day and meet you.


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