Bloomberg News

MiaSole Producing Thin-Film Solar With 13% Efficiency

October 25, 2011

(Corrects description of panel materials in second paragraph.)

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- MiaSole Inc., a closely held manufacturer of thin-film solar products, is producing panels in volume that convert 13 percent of the energy in sunlight into electricity.

That’s higher than the 11.7 percent average efficiency that First Solar Inc., the world’s biggest thin-film solar company, reported for the second quarter. MiaSole sells panels with a layer of a copper indium gallium selenide compound sandwiched between sheets of glass.

MiaSole’s conversion efficiency has increased by 30 percent this year, the Santa Clara, California-based company said today in a statement.

Thin-film panels tend to be cheaper and less efficient than the more-common panels made with polysilicon. Thin-film panels make up about 15 percent of the global market for solar power, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

SunPower Corp. uses polysilicon to make the world’s most efficient panels in commercial production, with a conversion rate of about 22 percent.

First Solar has achieved conversion rates of 17.3 percent in a lab and is working to update its manufacturing process with techniques that the Tempe, Arizona-based company expects will yield panels with rates of 15.3 percent in volume production.

--Editors: Will Wade, Randall Hackley

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Martin in New York at cmartin11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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