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We brought you word last week that thin-film solar company Nanosolar had recently started producing solar panels at its plant in San Jose, Calif., meeting its goal of beginning manufacturing before the end of 2007. Now Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen writes on the company blog that […]

nanosolarmartin1.jpgWe brought you word last week that thin-film solar company Nanosolar had recently started producing solar panels at its plant in San Jose, Calif., meeting its goal of beginning manufacturing before the end of 2007. Now Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen writes on the company blog that the five-year-old company, which has raised at least $100 million in funding from investors, has shipped its first product and received its first check of product revenue.

nanosolarmw1.jpgNice going, guys. The achievement is important, because thin-film solar companies have been notoriously slow to reach the commercial manufacturing stage and have faced delays in getting products to market. Roscheisen writes that the company’s solar products are:

“the world’s first printed thin-film solar cell in a commercial panel product,” and “the world’s lowest-cost solar panel . . . profitably selling solar panels at as little as $.99/Watt.”

The company has started shipping panels for deployment in Eastern Germany and says that the first MW of panels will be installed in a solar power plant.

The company is getting a bit nostalgic over its first three “commercial” panels, keeping panel No. 1 on exhibit at its headquarters, putting panel No. 2 up for auction on eBay, and donating panel No. 3 to the Tech Museum in San Jose.

  1. A couple of things don’t add up here:

    • The coal to solar PV comparison – one Watt of PV does not equal one Watt of Coal. For example 1 MW of PV panels only produces 1 MW of power under standard test conditions which only occur on a very limited basis. Occasionally it may produce more than 1 MW but most of the time it produces less and much of the time (at night) it produces zero. A 1MW coal plant on the other hand produces 1MW 24 hours a day.

    Of course, there are many advantages to solar power including the fact that you don’t need fuel. And there are not the very high climate, health and pollution costs associated with coal. But the simplistic comparison done here tells us nothing about whether or not this PV system is cheaper. For really comparison purposes we should see the cost of 1 Wh on an annual basis.

    • The article estimates the total install cost at $2 per W. But currently the balance of system components (mounting, inverters, wiring, circuit protection), labour and permitting come in at more like $4-5 per W.

    • All other PV panel manufacturers supply a spec sheet for their product. Nanosolar still has not put one up on their website.

    Day4 Energy has also claimed that their PV concentrator systems will be competitive with coal. But Day4 actually publishes spec sheets and hundreds of their modules have been installed around the world (in non-concentrator systems). Granted the non-concentrator systems are not coming close to matching the cost of coal generation but they are using the basic technological breakthruogh.

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  2. [...] that is very similar to the one used to print paper — and by, extension, money. Nanosolar started to roll the panels off its presses this week, prompting us to take a serious look at the thin-film market. So here are some basic [...]

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  3. [...] that is very similar to the one used to print paper — and by, extension, money. Nanosolar started to roll the panels off its presses this week, prompting us to take a serious look at the thin-film market. So here are some basic [...]

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  4. [...] Startups We guess solar thin-film startup HelioVolt was feeling a bit outshined this week with Nanosolar’s big announcement that it was shipping its first panels. The Austin, Texas-based company has revealed plans to build [...]

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  5. [...] guess solar thin-film startup HelioVolt was feeling a bit outshined this week with Nanosolar’s big announcement that it was shipping its first panels. The Austin, Texas-based company has revealed plans to build [...]

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  6. [...] Nanosolar this week started shipping its first thin-film solar panels and HelioVolt unveiled plans for its first manufacturing facility. We’ll see what Miasolé, one of the more well-known thin-film startups out there, has to tell us about their plans. Digg Stumble Reddit del.icio.us Email « Second Wind Gets Funds For Wind Data   Leave a reply Name (required) [...]

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  7. [...] Here’s a brief note to digest during your Xmas-cheer hangover. Nanosolar’s landmark “#2″ thin film solar panel, which was put up on eBay last week, has yet to find a home with an adoring fan. The thin film [...]

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  8. [...] a brief note to digest during your Xmas cheer-induced hangover. Nanosolar’s landmark “#2″ thin-film solar panel, which was put up on eBay last week, has yet to find a home with an adoring fan. The thin-film [...]

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  9. [...] thin film solar panels in its San Jose plant on schedule before the end of 2007. And soon after the company announced it had started shipping its first thin film solar panels. Then there’s the most popular post of the year, 10 [...]

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