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Thread: Steel roofs to generate PV electricity?

  1. #1
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    Steel roofs to generate PV electricity?


  2. #2
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    Re: Steel roofs to generate PV electricity?

    It can be done - in fact it WAS done about 35 years ago. Thin film PV cells are inherently more difficult to make efficient than polycrystaline or single crystal types, but the redeeming feature was to be that they'd be dirt cheap. We're now to the point (silicon being silicon), that inherent cell costs are a small part of the system selling price/cost: in other words thin film technology has lost the race, but of course, and as always, there are those who refuse to accept it's dead. Norwegian Blue parrot anyone?

    PS Commercial companies are a bit secretive about costs, but you can probably assume CELL costs are less than $0.2 per watt now, and complete (framed and with a front sheet) panel costs less than $0.5 per watt. The $0.2 is for polysilicon, and single crystal silicon is about 20% more. It's difficult to get a realistic cost for thin film cell equivalents, but iit's probably a bit less than polysilicon. However, the area needed to get the same maximum power as the first two technologies is at least 50% more and probably double, so the framing and packaging costs are a lot higher, and the total cost comes out higher as a result.

    People trying to sell thin film panels claim they do better in lowish lighting conditions, but that's a bit misleading. What they really mean is that thin film cells are maybe 70% as good as polysilicon at 50W/sq metre irradiance, but only 50% as good at 500W/sq metre.

  3. #3
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    Re: Steel roofs to generate PV electricity?

    Thanks RGSP

    A very interesting an informative reply.

    JV

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