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> Learning Center > Thin Film Photovoltaic

Thin Film Photovoltaic

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Thin Film Photovoltaic

Thin Film PhotovoltaicThin 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 and cost.

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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