No matter whether you’re installing solar panels on a flat, apartment, or house, Thin-film Solar Panels solar cells are a great choice. They are less expensive to produce and their flexibility makes them easy to work with.

But what about their efficiency?

Are Thin-film Solar Panels more efficient than other types of solar panels?

In this article, we’ll find out.

The other types of panels used for domestic properties are PERC Solar Panels, polycrystalline solar panels, and monocrystalline solar panels.

Thin-film Solar Cells

What are Thin-film solar cells?

A thin-film solar cell, a type of device that converts light energy into electrical power by utilizing the photovoltaic effect and features micron-thick photon-absorbing material layers deposited over a flexible substrate.

Each thin-film solar cell consists of numerous layers of light-absorbing materials.

These layers are up to 300 – 350 times thinner than the ones in conventional silicon panels. The material used as a base for these solar panels is classified into several categories.

Related: Solar Panel Stats

How do Thin-film solar cells work?

Thin-film solar panels work by absorbing sunlight and converting it into electrical energy.

The photons in the sunlight knock electrons loose from their atoms. As the electrons flow through the cell, they generate an electric current.

The solar panel’s job is to hold these electrons in a place where they can flow freely and generate electricity.

Related: Monocrystalline Vs. Polycrystalline Solar Panels

The lifespan of Thin-film solar panels

Thin-Film cells, which are the most common type of solar panel, have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years.

Although Thin-Film panels have a short lifetime, they provide the quickest payback time.

The system will save you a lot of money on your power bill because it will repay its price in 8 years or less.

Related: Solar Panels – How Do They Work?

The different sizes

The Thin-Film type is easily identified by its slender appearance -they are called “Thin-Film” for a reason-.

These panels are so thin that the layers are only 1 micron thick (one-millionth of a meter), which is thinner than a human hair.

Solar panels come in two distinct sizes: 60-cell and 72-cell. A solar cell is 6 inches on each side.

The grid of 60-cell panels is laid out in a 6×10 array. The grid of 72-cell panels, which are approximately a foot taller, is laid out in a 6×12 grid.

Thin-film solar panel working temperature

Solar modules are tested at a temperature of 25 degrees C (STC) – approximately 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and heat may reduce their performance by 10-25%.

The output current of the solar panel rises exponentially as the temperature rises, while the voltage output is reduced linearly.

The Advantages Of Thin-film Solar Panels

Here are some of the advantages of Thin-film solar cells:

  • They are less expensive to produce than crystalline silicon solar cells.
  • They are flexible and can be installed on curved surfaces.
  • They are less sensitive to shading than crystalline silicon solar cells.
  • They have a higher tolerance to heat than crystalline silicon solar cells.
  • They can be manufactured using a variety of techniques, including roll-to-roll processing.

Related: How long do Solar Panels Last?

The Disadvantages Of Thin-film Solar Panels

Here are some of the disadvantages of Thin-film solar cells:

  • They have a lower efficiency than crystalline silicon solar cells.
  • They have a shorter lifespan than crystalline silicon solar cells.
  • They are more sensitive to light degradation than crystalline silicon solar cells.

How Much Do Thin-film Solar Cells Cost?

Thin-film solar panels, on average, cost between $1 and $1.50 per watt, making a 6kW solar panel system worth between $6,000 and $9,000. Thin-film solar panels are less expensive than their predecessors but require a significant amount of space.

Thin-film PV cells are the most cost-effective form of solar panel available. This is due to a number of factors, including the fact that they need less material, generate less waste, and are considerably simpler to produce.

Are there government schemes to help with installation?

The UK government has committed £4 billion to solar panel and heat pump installations as a result of its ECO4 plan.

Local authorities will be able to establish eligibility criteria that are based on local demands and conditions. Because previous rules had excluded many people who needed financial assistance, this is a significant victory.

ECO4’s eligibility criteria are somewhat unique in that they aren’t limited to income or those on social assistance; the condition of the home, the number of people residing there, and so on may all be factors.

How Do I Know If Thin-film Solar Panels Are Right For Me?

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get into solar power, thin-film panels are a good option. They’re less expensive than traditional silicon panels and can be used in a variety of applications.

If you have the space, thin-film panels are definitely worth considering. Just keep in mind that they’re not as efficient as their silicon counterparts and have a shorter lifespan.


How thin-film solar cells are made?

A thin-film solar cell is formed by laying one or more thin layers of PV material on a supporting material, such as glass, plastic, or metal. Two of the most common types of thin-film PV semiconductors available today are cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS).

How do I install thin-film solar panels?

Clean the area with a degreaser, lay it back down flat to make it doesn’t roll back towards you, and then secure it with adhesive or tape. Once the film is down, use a squeegee to remove any air bubbles.

Can you use thin-film solar panels on metal roofs?

Thin-film PV technology works well on metal roofs, which are a great foundation for thin-film solar panels. Thin-film PV may be fastened directly to the roof surface between the raised seams when used on a metal roof. Its connections are readily hidden in the ridge cap of the roof, where they are protected from snow and ice.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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