November 14, 2018

Do Thin Film Solar Panels Make Sense for My Organization?

What are thin film solar panels, how do they benefit businesses and what does the future look like?

What Are Thin Film Solar Panels?

Thin film solar panels, also known as flexible solar panels – or “flex”, are lightweight, thin-filmed solar cells that have light absorbing layers approximately 350 times smaller than the standard silicon panel. Their design is a great improvement over that of their predecessors.

Thin film solar panels are commonly made with one of the following technologies:

  • Cadmium Telluride (CdTe)
  • Amorphous Silicon (a-Si)
  • Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS)
  • Gallium Arsenide (GaAs)

Ultimately, thin film solar panels are typically used in commercial and large-scale rooftop installations like solar panel farms, or in corporations, universities, schools and the transportation market. Typically used on a building’s curved surfaces or structures where weight might be a concern, thin film solar panels have many benefits for commercial applications.

Benefits of Thin Film Solar Panels

When comparing thin film panels to standard solar panels used in commercial applications, a few benefits clearly stand out:

  • Flexibility
  • Lower installation costs, creating higher efficiency
  • Light weight
  • Temperature resistance.


One of the biggest advantages of thin film solar panels is their versatility and ability to fit many types of solar applications. With such flexibility, they can be easily shaped to fit most surfaces for installation, such as carports and odd-shaped roof tops.

Low Cost

Requiring less labor to install, they are a cost-effective option for many businesses. In light of their cost-effectiveness, owners are able to install larger areas of panels for the same cost as traditional solar panels. Accordingly, users are able to harness more energy for less installation costs, resulting in a super attractive option. Because of this, they are projected to emerge as the fastest growing segment over the next eight years.

Light Weight

With a such a flexible and narrow design, these efficient, thin film solar cells are the most lightweight PV cell available. Despite their lighter weight, they still maintain a high level of durability. And because they are made of silicon, penetrations are not required (they are directly glued to the surface), so they do not compromise structural integrity.

Withstand Environmental Factors

Another great advantage thin film solar panels have over traditional solar panels is that they are less affected by environmental factors, such as shade and high temperatures. Due to the unique photovoltaic materials used, they are able to absorb more sunlight, even if they are covered by shade, and also able to resist higher temperatures.

Global Thin Film Solar Panels Market Research Report 2018-2025

Recently, Marketresearchpro published a report, “Market Trends And Forecast Of Thin Film Solar Panels Market: 2018-2025,” which focuses on the thin film solar cell market. This report includes an in-depth analysis on development status and insights on future trends over the next five years. The overview below will not only help you gain a better understanding of the market, but also help you, as a business, make better decisions in the interest of your organization.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Thin film segment was valued at USD 7.6 million in 2016 and is likely to witness a considerable demand over the forecast period owing to various distinct characteristics.
  • Additionally, the recent falling prices for solar panels is anticipated to spur the rate of solar PV installations.
  • Monocrystalline solar panels, manufactured with single crystalline silicon, currently dominate the market. This is due to their greater efficiency levels, as well as various inherent benefits, such as longer shelf life and space efficiency. However, thin film solar panels are expected to emerge as the fastest growing segment over the forecast period owing to its effective performance with low cost.

KMB Solutions for Thin Film Solar Panels

Interested in learning more about thin film solar panels for your organization?

As a leading commercial solar company in the U.S., KMB Design Group is a full-service solar engineering company fully committed to providing quality photovoltaic design and custom engineering services for businesses, public entities and building owners nationwide. We offer a complete range of solar services including: conceptual design and feasibility, energy usage and production analysis, RFP preparation, project management, permitting & applications, commissioning support and much more.

Contact the commercial solar engineers at KMB Design Group at 888-942-9401 to learn more.

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