Nanosolar Starts Thin-Film Solar Panel Production

33 Comments

Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen tells us this morning that the company has already started production of its thin-film solar panels. The company had set a goal to start production and shipping by the end of this year, and in our post “10 Questions for Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen” back in July, Roscheisen told us: “Yes, we’re on track with this. Do not expect an Apple-style product launch, though.”

Roscheisen tells us that the company has reached that goal with production at its San Jose, Calif., manufacturing facility. We’re not sure to what extent production is being done, but Roscheisen says there will be more info coming soon. The fact that Nanosolar is producing on schedule is a big step for the thin-film solar industry, as many thin-film companies have faced setbacks and delays.

This morning we read this Gunther Portfolio report (hat tip to GreentechMedia) with an update and pictures of a Nanosolar production facility in Luckenwalde, Germany. Of the San Jose and German facilities, Roscheisen tells us:

[The] German panel-assembly factory was always scheduled to start operation one quarter behind our San Jose operation. We have a secondary, semi-automated 24×6 panel-assembly operation up and running in San Jose which is capable to address all of our initial panel-assembly needs until the German factory kicks in. The German operation is geared towards multi-100MW capacity — in fact a total capacity much larger than what our current cell operation is designed for — and in a fully-automated “lights-out” way for maximum cost efficiency.

Founded in 2002, Nanosolar has raised at least $100 million from a long list of venture firms including Benchmark Capital and Mohr Davidow; individual investors such as Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and entrepreneur Jeff Skoll; as well as the Department of Energy.

The company is producing thin-film solar panels made of copper indium gallium selenide; it counts Heliovolt and Miasole among its competitors. Thin-film technology promises to be cheaper than traditional solar technology because it uses little or no silicon, and it can be printed on flexible materials. But there’s a trade-off, as those developing the technology are still struggling to boost its efficiency levels.

33 Comments

Akpore Peter

Hello,

My Name is Akpore Peter O. Am a Nigerian whom has being in search for a reliable source of power supply and through frequent and unending search, I found your Company.
I would like to know the possibility of your Company producing a solar panel which has the following features;

  • Easy Installation (can be installed by buyer)
  • Cheap and Affordable (the targeted end-user here are the ‘Masses’)
  • Maximum power output of 800W

Majority of Nigerians here in Nigeria, have a bad perception of Solar energy this is due to its inability to generate electricity throughout the night, but due to the fluctuating cost of fuel and its scarcity (at times), alternatives are not ruled out. It is also believed that Solar power is exclusively for the rich, but I am of the opinion that a solar panel built with such flexibility as those listed above will not only appeal to the public but will also generate a whole lot of profit for your Organization, whilst changing public opinion of Solar power.

I hope this will be an end to my search and I will appreciate your reply as to the possibility of the production of a Panel that will meet the above features and while not ruling out the thought of being a local distributor or frontier of these project, I remain;

Yours faithfully
Akpore Peter O.

William Hughes-Games

Forget efficiency for now. Have you got the panels down to $1US per watt with a 20 year warantee. If so the world is yours. Your market will be equal to your production, however big that may be, for the next couple of decades.

Peace

If one wants to patner with You in distributing energy generating solar panels to areas where it is not popular, will you be willing to do so?

Reggie Rasmussen

I have seen reports that thin film is reaching the same efficiency as silicon. It will be interesting to see what happens when this product is fiel tested.

Tim

wikipedia’s entry for nanosolar shows 12-12-2006 for start of production pointing to this entry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanosolar
^ “Nanosolar Selects Manufacturing Sites”, 2006-12-12.
^ “Nanosolar announces start of thin-film production”, 2006-12-12.

I guess that is a type supposed to mean 12-12-2007.

plete

what would happen if I wore a Harry Potter hat, waved a wand, and said “indium gallium selenide?”

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