Thin Films: Past, Present, Future

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    The idea of thin films dates back to the inception of photovoltaics. It is an idea based on achieving truly low-cost photovoltaics appropriate for mass production. The key to the idea is the use of pennies worth of active materials. Since sunlight carries relatively little energy in comparison with combustion-based energy sources, photovoltaic (PV) modules must be cheap to produce energy that canbe competitive. Thin films are presumed to be the answer to that low-cost requirement. But how cheap do they have to be? The following is an oversimplified analysis that allows some insight into this question.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages17
    StatePublished - 1995

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-413-7486


    • photovoltaics (PV)
    • thin films


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