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Nanosolar Starts Shipping Thin-Film Solar Panels

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.

21 Responses to “Nanosolar Starts Shipping Thin-Film Solar Panels”

  1. ATTETION; Sales Manager. i hope you doing well with business. we would like to purchase solar panels pv modules From your estemmed company.

    1=solar panels mono-crystaline===75watta====50pcs
    2=solar panel mono-crystaline ===80watts===50pcs

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    so please send us the price list of them
    i look forward to hear from you soon
    Deo MUKASA
    project manager

  2. Shawn Mullen

    I think this would be a great product if they actually sold it. I’m not a wholesale buyer, I am simple residential customer who would like to add solar power to my home. This product would be a great cost saver, but since I can’t buy it, it saves me nothing. I still have to spend $40K or more to get a solution.

    So, this product is just a dream.


    It is excelent. The American Government may provide the technology to developing countries like india and encourage house owner to generate solar power to coupe their individual needs.The Governmnets may also encourage house owner to generate more power and provide excess power to grid by providing easy loans to be repaid from revenue received from grid….

  4. Donald LaFave

    Hey lets get the goverment to guarantee energy loans like they do student loans! If this NANO product is what it’s cracked up to be we could do it for less then free by paying off loans with part of the money we won’t be sending the power company.

  5. Matt Everett

    If you’re failing to be impressed with the projected cost savings your just not considering the factors.

    Coal is of limited supply and it’s price will only go up.

    When the sun runs out, the last of out concerns will be switching back to coal power.

    Sunlight is not ONLY free, it’s also a highly stable power source.

    PLUS you’re not taking into account that solar pays for itself and then has ZERO cost per kilowatt.

    No matter if the price of solar panels is 4-5 dollars a watt. The fact is you have to divide the 25 year costs of both technologies, not simply todays costs.

    At 25 years the thin-film cells DESTROY all other forms of power generation in cost ration.

    PLUS your saving trillions in pollution costs that are nearly impossible to account for.

    PLUS you’re giving home owners the security and convenience of home power generation.

    This ‘third wave of solar’ tech is simply going to eliminate the need for most fossil fuels. Even with limited supplies of the metals needed I’m pretty confident the solar market will simply become competitive enough to replace far more than 25% of the fossil fuel market.

    Lithium ion batteries are here and very fast charge super capacitor batteries aren’t far away.

    That and nanosolar pretty much eliminate most fossil fuel needs. Sure developing nations may take to solar slower, but in the end the price alone will force everyone to change over.

    A lithium ion battery only sounds expensive at 10k until gas is 5-6 dollars a gallon and you spend half that a year just in fuel costs, 75% of that going up in waste heat from the lousy internal combustion engine.

    So, in all reality, the solutions are HERE. The only thing lacking are BILLION dollar investments instead of million dollar investments.

    Oddly enough Intel can raise a couple billion for a tiny chip to be mass produced, but start talking about lowered energy costs and the billionaires butts pucker right up.

    They aren’t ready to give up the consumption based economy, with electricity having a service area solar is the worst case scenario for them.

    There is almost not way to spin the need for solar power plants when home owners can install the stuff themselves. Thus killing the distributor/consumer model corporations love so much.

    Plus you have electric device such as heat pumps nearly double in efficiency every 20 years further killing the profit margin of distributor energy.

    Add a carbon tax on all that, which should have been there since the 70’s and we wouldn’t be in this mess, and coal is no longer worth the trouble. Time to shut down those plants from the 50’s we still have pumping ash into our lungs and dump a couple billion into thin-film and securing the resources.

    biofuel and nuclear are just wasted time compared to thin-film solar.

    If anything you want wind and hydro and solar. The rest are dead end technologies that produce unspoken external costs. Even 2nd generation solar has a comparable costs to coal when you factor in the fact power plants should be PAYING to dump their carbon in our atmosphere.

    The energy crisis only exists out of our own stupidity. We have the technologies to avoid it already. I assume we simply feel consumption hurts countries like China and India and the US can afford it, for now.
    Seems like the basic GOP strategy. Very short sighted when you consider we are also the worlds largest power consumer, so if anyone suffers to most, it’s likely America.

  6. 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.