Is it cheaper to buy a piece of paper or a piece of glass? Is it easier to install something that weighs 10 pounds or something that weighs less than a pound? Is this really possible?
The answer is yes. Due to special dyes and inks, solar panels can be produced in a wide range of thin-film plastics with a special printing machine. One company that pioneered thin-film solar is Nanosolar.
They are a start-up company with a lot of financial backing from Google. Nanosolar has invented special inks that use nanotechnology to create a solar panel with a special layered printing process.
The other company to watch is Covalent Solar. They use special dyes instead of ink. The company was started at MIT and has some bright engineers working there. What is the difference between an ink and a dye?
The difference is semantics, at best. What is important to know is that there is more than one company working on the same processes and they are both having success.
The efficiency rates produced by Covalent solar are amazing. Both companies expect to be in full production in the near future.
So, the main thing about thin-film solar is that the price is going to come way down. There is a certain threshold that will make or break the industry.
When solar is less costly than using your utility provider, you can expect a revolution. Since utility prices vary widely, certain areas will catch onto solar first.
However, once solar is cheaper than most utilities, you can expect the revolution to gain some real traction. Will it happen?
Many proponents of solar are saying that it is going to happen soon. Already, at this point, many utilities have a huge backlog of customers that want to tie into the grid or that have applied for utility rebate programs.
Many people are committed and just waiting for their utilities or for a thin film to get into full production.
Thin Film Solar Panels Are Easier To Install
With thin-film solar, you can expect that the contractor’s pricing will be reduced by more than two-thirds.
As the industry gains momentum, homeowners will install their own solar panels as they get support from stores like Home Depot and Lowes.
All these factors point to a much lower cost of getting into solar, for your home.
Innovation will take leaps and bounds with the new technology. Thin-film solar can be applied in many new ways that have never been used or thought of before.
For example, as of today, there are solar shingles and solar panels built into solar cars (like the Toyota Prius).
These innovations are awesome, but much more is coming. For example, some engineers are working on producing solar paint. Can you imagine painting your entire home with a solar panel?
That would be something a homeowner could do and could cover a lot of area for a great price. Thin-film solar will also be light enough to roll up and pack around to install just about anywhere.