film photovoltaic represents the finest advancements of second generation
solar cells. Advancing technology and materials like cadmium telluride
(CdTe) have proven to lower the production costs and make the cells
thinner and more efficient than ever. Copper indium gallium selenide
(CIGS) is another material that has been deemed successful in the second
generation cell advancements.
It’s called thin film photovoltaic because the semiconductors
used act as direct bandgaps enabling the solar cells to be very thin.
First generation cells may still be most represented on the market –
they are still the most all-around value when it comes to efficiency
CIGS are made using polycrystalline thin film photovoltaic technology.
This material isn’t as efficient as cells made using crystalline
silicon, but they are expected to cost much less. CIGS are being studied
and in some cases used already. Honda is integrating them into cars,
for example. In other thin film technology, roof tiles and shingles
embedded with an inverter and wiring and covered with thin film materials
are becoming very popular because they blend right in with the rest
of a roof.
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