There are many thin-film solar startups, but few have moved from the lab to the factory as fast as Nanosolar. They shipped their first solar panels last December, and their $100 million factory has been selling its whole production of copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) cells ever since.
The latest good news for the company is that France's EDF Energies Nouvelles has invested $50 million in the company and secured part of Nanosolar's 2009 production for a competitive price. The money should help them increase production in a market that gets more competitive all the time (Sharp is building a $725 million, 480 MW thin-film solar plant). ::CNN
What your watching above is a new thin-film coater from Nanosolar in action. The San Jose-based company calls the machine a “milestone in solar technology” and while usually such language is standard PR hyperbole, considering that 10-30MW in annual production through other methods is usual, the 1 gigawatt annual throughput of this coater really is a cut above.
Nanosolar says the way in which it can achieve such high levels of production is through its proprietary nanoparticle ink, which allows them simply print their highly efficient (up to 14.5%) solar cells at rates up to 100 feet per minute.
The cost of the coater is $1.65 million, which is significantly less expensive that vacuum process tools, as well as being much faster in operation.
Nanosolar began shipping its first panels last December.
Thin Film Solar Panels
EDF Energies Nouvelles Invests $50M in Nanosolar
Nanosolar: Printing Solar Film Like Paper
19.9%: New Thin Film Solar Efficiency Record
Sharp Invests $725 Million in 480 MW Thin-Film Solar Plant