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MIT Aims for Thinner Solar Cells

7/9/2013 08:00 AM EDT
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Re: Manufacturing costs?
Kinnar   7/10/2013 2:51:37 PM
No this is just under simulation and modeling phase, the actual manufacturing cost calculation will not be possible at present. But  it will surely lead to all the new manufacturing techniuqe being introduced as all the materials being discussed here are not being used in  the present day solar panel manufacturing.

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Re: Solar Cells
DMcCunney   7/10/2013 3:50:34 PM
The cost of the materials is likely to be the smallest component of the total cost.  Photovoltaics are semi-conductor electronics, and the cells are actually made by a wafer fab.  Wafer fabs are enormously expensive, and the single biggest part of the cost of the cells will be an allocated share of the cost to build the factory that makes them.

And that's just the cost of the cells.  The cells must be incorporated in an installation, and someone will have to build and install the panels.

The key here is what this potential new approach will allow in terms of application, whether it might allow applications that aren't currently possible, and whether it might be better in some existing applications.

This is interesting and promising, but there's a long way between theory and proof of concept, and an even longer way between proof of concept and volume manufacture.




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Re: Solar Cells
R_Colin_Johnson   7/10/2013 3:58:24 PM
I agree and would add that only 50 percent of the cost of PV installations is in solar cells themselves--the other 50 percent is in the mounts, stand-offs, glass coverings and such. Since thinner solar cells are lighter and more durable, then there should also be cost savings from their easier installation.

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