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Thin Film PV in Europe - Page 3

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Posted by Eeyore on March 10, 2009, 7:59 pm

Mauried wrote:

New info to me.

And if you cover the entire roof which is what's needed for significant
produce less output.


Solar thermal does at least have far better efficiency.

But the biggest trouble in the higher Northern latitudes is that you get the
output when you need it most.


Posted by James W on March 10, 2009, 6:52 pm

About 50 km south of Stockholm,  say 150 km south of Uppsala in the
greenish area by the bulge on the east side of the map you gave me the
url of.  Central Srmland, if you know Sweden.

Got it from the map.  Down at the bottom the colours apply to two

Nope.  Green is 21st century.  Nobody thought green 20 years ago when
most of them were installed.  Our hut in the forest is 15 km from the
nearest grid cable, and no-one in the area wants to pay the costs of
bringing the grid nearer.  Most heating is by wood, and cooking by
wood or gas cylinders.  These are holiday homes.  We have a 65W (I
think it was) crystalline panel about 15 years old which feeds three
car batteries, which are always full.  We don't need three, but
thought we would when we installed the system.  It's a really bad day
in winter when we don't get some charging.  This hut, btw, is about
200 km north of Uppsala close to the border with Norway on your

In our hut the system runs only lighting, cellphones and a laptop (via
a small hobby inverter), so we have far and away too much capacity.
Our neighbours run water pumps from their well, refrigerators and
tvs.  We are only there a week at a time several times a year, both
summer and winter, but most of the neighbours are local, live 15-20 km
away, and spend every weekend up there, and are permanently up there
during the summer months.  Figures I have for a slightly larger panel,
75W (though modern) from the sales literature show 50 Wh or 4.1 Ah in
January, although I'm not sure where, probably Stockholm/Uppsala area
which is fairly central on the north-south axis of Sweden, and over
350 Wh or 30 Ah May through August.  So I reckon there's a good chance
that a similar setup will run the ventilation, lighting and top-up
heating for a well-insulated 2 m x 3 m hen-house.  Just how much the
heating will be is something I'll have to find out by my empirical

Don't know yet. The building I want to work on is currently not
insulated, and is on the grid.  I want to take it off the grid.
During the summer I want to run a small ventilation fan.  During the
winter I want to provide lighting for about 10 hours a day.  On very
cold days I need to provide a little extra heat, at present I have no
information other than that my on-grid supply provides far and away
too much.

I don't at the moment know the amount of heat produced by the
livestock in the building, but I am told that in a well-insulated
building, only small amounts of extra heat are required on the few
really cold days at my latitude.

Almost everyone in here knows more than I do about PV systems, so I'm
grateful for any input, and can take the noob scorn.  What I want to
do is to try PV for the above purpose on the little building I have
now, with my five hens, and see how it works, and try and work out
payback times and how it would work on bigger agricultural units.

And then there is the 'green' thing.  As a sideline, I'm interested in
the so-called hydrogen economy.

I first heard about TFPV about eight years ago,then suddenly the
reports ceased.  And then last week I read that First Solar had broken
the $/W barrier so I decided to look into thin film again.  The thing
that amazes me is that our 15 year old system cost us 5000 Swedish
crowns, a vast sum then.  Now an equivalent system would cost in the
region of 10000 crowns, which means that someone is making a shitload
of money and that prices are being artificially inflated, because I
can't believe that production costs have gone up so much, with no
large scale production benefits, not with the quantities of these
things that are being sold nowadays.

Or it may be just Sweden.  I see that the price of a 32W TF panel is
279 Euros in Germany, so 64W would be, say, 550 Euros or close to the
5000 Swedish crowns we paid fifteen years ago.  It all depends how
much the extras are, like the control unit and cabling, but I'll be
surprised if that comes to another 5000 crowns.


Posted by Eeyore on March 10, 2009, 8:10 pm

James W wrote:

< big snips to relevant points >

I have nothing against being green ( indeed I was concerned about 25 years ago )
but PV
solar ISN'T green ! It's a con-trick.

That's where ALL the money should go. Tackle the problem at the source !

That would almost certainly be quite environmentally damaging if you cared to do
a total
impact calculation.

Stay ON grid, it's the best way by far to make electricity. PV solar only really
any sense for situations where there is no grid.


Posted by Eeyore on March 10, 2009, 8:25 pm

James W wrote:

location ?

Right, so you're looking at ~ 900 kWh p.a. with a 1kWp system using crystalline
as you said. I got it now.

That's ~ 2.5 kWh per day on average.

At 15% conversion efficiency, you'll need about 6 m2 of panels to do that. I'd
the panels alone to cost ~ 3500. To this must be added an inverter and
batteries that
will probably need replacement every 10 years or so. Total installed cost
estimate ~ say

This will provide 25p of electricity a day. That makes the pay back time (
battery replacement and interest ) of 65 years ! Add in the real costs I
excluded and it
will simply be a never-ending debt.

To make things worse, the above was calculated using average figures. Since you
most electricity in winter, the system would have to be sized far larger for any
effective use.

You see what I mean about it being a con-trick  now ?


Posted by Mel on March 26, 2009, 1:01 pm
 Try contacting some boating supplies companies, they often stock small,
flexible, thin film modules. (I hear the Swedes have lot's of boats).


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