Opinions on CIGS PV technology?

Eric_B Registered Users Posts: 14
I'm talking about the new 'nano' technology that nanosolar pioneered:

I'm starting to see CIGS panels on the market now.

For example Edmund Scientific has them:
(check out their high efficiency mono Si cells also!)
Or, here (25 watt folding panel):

What are peoples opinion of this new technology? I'm wondering about things like lifespan, longevity, robustness & efficiency.

The Si solar PV stuff is old and 'proven' technology. If you get a decent Si PV panel it will likely be good for 20-40 years. I seem to remember that on average a good mono/poly silicon PV panel will lose roughly 1% of its capacity per year, and that's with heavy use. I wonder if CIGS will hold up as well?

Anyway, unless they can really lower the cost of the CIGS stuff it may not be much of an improvement over Si PV technology. It's not much less expensive at this point.


  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Opinions on CIGS PV technology?

    so far i'm not impressed. .25w at $2.95 is a far cry from nanosolar's original hype of $1 per watt and isn't in the ballpark for even for poly or mono crystalline pvs. they are still poor on efficiency and the warranty (at least on nano's pvs) is only now about par with other pvs. when at a $1/w for somebody with lots of room and a cheap mounting method it might fly as a viable option.
  • Eric_B
    Eric_B Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Opinions on CIGS PV technology?

    That was my opinion also. Nanosolar wasn't able to lower the cost enough to really be an improvement over silicon PV technology. For example eBay is now infested with 'string ribbon' Si poly crystalline cells for well under $1.00/watt.

    For years people were predicting the demise of computer hard drives - they'd soon be replaced with solid state devices and no moving parts. Well this turned out to be incorrect, hard drive technology proved to be a moving target and was continually refined. Now even tiny netbooks have hard drives with high capacities.. It appears the same thing is true with Silicon PV, despite people predicting its demise for some time. Cost has come down quite a bit compared to 20 years ago.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,477 admin
    Re: Opinions on CIGS PV technology?

    CIGS panels need to be hermetically sealed--More so than crystalline panels (as I understand).

    Those costs and issues will probably weigh heavily on the various thin film manufactures for a long time to come.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset