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September 19, 2005



Good news. Are we looking at the beginning of a thin-film PV revolution for solar!?

Robert McLeod

No, there are a few thin-film amorphous manufacturers out there, the product simply isn't that good yet.

Chinese manufacturer and solar cell is a dirty word at the moment. The Chinese have been exagerating the performance of their systems the most. Be suspicious of amorphous cells for awhile because they degrade significantly after installation.

James Fraser

I am very optimistic about these cells. As my post on amorphous cells indicates this catagory includes single, double and triple junction cells. There has been significant degradation of single junction cells over time. The triple junction cells, which I identified as being made by three companies in my research, Ovonics, Sanyo and Tianjin, appear to be the most resistant to degradation. Sanyo, Ovonics and Kaneke had the highest production volume - the cell structure of the Kanake cells was not disclosed. I attribute some correlation of the production volume and the quality of the cell - especially to Sanyo whose current capacity is 250 MW/yr and is expanding to 1,000 MW per year and whose marketing of the current cell structure dates back to 1997. Certainly over zealous marketing can produce some inferior products, but I hope not at this scale. Sanyo warrantees their panels for 80% of rated power for 20 years. Kaneke warrants their cells for 80% of rated power for 25 years. Ovonics rates and warrants their panels +-10% of rated output (in the stabilized, not initial, condition) for 20 years. One of Sanyos layers is c-Si, while Ovonics has no Si, using a-Ge for their n-type (middle) cell. So, Sanyo may not be considered truly thin film. Sanyo has an efficiencey of about 16% and Ovonics is about 13%, so their efficiencies are comparable or better than c-Si cells. Ovonics expanding to 150 MW/yr is certainly a vote of confidense by their management.

Ovonics makes the point, in their press release, that a sister division of theirs, who designed their two US lines, is designing and building the production equipment. Their Chinese partner, Tianjin, was one of the suppliers of triple junction cells that I found, so they already have experience in making this type of cell. Also Tinjin is a large established company. I believe that under these circumstances building the cells in China is worth the risk and could result in a high quality, inexpensive product.

husky air compressor

I'm working on a green house project. I'm really interested by this Ovonics to Build Third 25 MW/yr Production Line and I really would like to know if it's reliable for single housing application.
thanks a lot!
Husky air compressor
Husky air compressor tools


The products, unlike conventional glass-based PV products, are lightweight, flexible and rugged and can be aesthetically integrated into buildings.

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