One hundredth of a human hair
The thickness of the active layer in traditional c-Si solar panels is somewhat similar to that of a human hair. By comparison, the active layer in thin-film solar panels is roughly 100 times thinner. What’s more, photovoltaic material that consists of perovskite is 10 times thinner still.
Advantages of thin film
Thin film has important advantages:
- The active material can be deposited on flexible materials such as foil. Flexible thin-film solar panels are:
- The energy yield is comparable with that of c-Si and is getting better all the time.
- Little material is required to produce it, which makes it relatively cheap.
- Flexible and lightweight
- Optionally semi-transparent
- Ideally suited to integrate into existing products
Different types of thin film
There are different types of photovoltaic material:
- Cadmium telluride (CdTe)
- Amorphous silicon (a-Si)
- Organic photovoltaic materials (OPV)
Solliance mainly conducts research into:
- CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide)
- Perovskite solar cells (PSC)
Towards cost effective production processes
Thin-film solar panels are still relatively expensive. This is because currently only panels based on CdTe are produced on a large scale. A disadvantage of this type of panel is that it contains cadmium, which is toxic. None of the other thin-film panels are already being produced on a large scale. This is because no large-scale, cheap production processes are available yet for most of the other thin-film panels.
The mission of Solliance is to team up with companies to develop technology that can contribute to the large-scale and low-cost production of thin-film solar panels. Our ultimate goal is to increase employment in Europe.
Solliance has achieved world record cell-level conversion efficiency of 13.5% and module-level aperture area conversion efficiency of 12.2% for perovskite-based photovoltaics using industrially-applicable, roll-to-roll (R2R) production processes. Following the...read more
Technology meets design! In order to develop new applications for thin-film solar cell applications, Solliance has asked three design studios to reflect on innovative applications of this solar film. Studio Tour, Studio Bas Sala and VANTOT are selected for the...read more
Solar Square Challenge candidates pitch their ideas Three design studios devised how to apply thin-film solar panels in the future park in the Emmasingel kwadrant in Eindhoven. Solliance made a flexible solar panel available and provided expert advice. On 11 October,...read more