It seems that the vast majority of the industry drastically misunderstands the importance of thin-film. Yes, they are aesthetically, superior, but the implications of their advanced technology is far more significant.
At ALIVE Solar, we’ve been exclusively installing Stion CIGS Thin-Film PV panels since 2013. These panels produce on average 10% more kilowatt hours per square foot installed than typical crystalline silicone PV. Their electrical characteristics cause them to start working earlier in the day and later into the evening and because they don’t require direct sunlight, they operate efficiently even under shade or cloud cover and less-than-ideal tilts and angles. These US-made panels are already well below $1/watt.
These same panels are installed at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado–a system that has shown ZERO detectable degradation over the past 13 years. Please show me a crystalline solar PV technology that can display that kind of longevity. Further, the thin film panels have hundreds less possible points of failure as compared to crystalline PV, FAR lower temperature coefficients (about half of crystalline PV — so they’ll produce more power on hot days when the most light is available), and lower BOS costs because peak amperages are so much lower.
They integrate with standard inverters, and are available TODAY.