Reducing thin film PV manufacturing costs with tin-based modules

Ramprasad Chandrasekharan, Jeffrey R.S. Brownson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This research evaluates the potential for tin-based materials to displace CdTe as a successive PV technology, due to the wider availability of tin relative to tellurium supplies and processing. The assessment evaluates the long term cost contributions of tin to PV production based on projected refined metal price estimates and mining trends and its potential for sustaining high growth rates. Calculations show that tellurium use in PV as of 2011 constitutes about $0.058/Wp of the manufacturing cost and 20% of the estimated global annual tellurium production. Demand for the refined metal can be expected to increase beyond production levels, thereby questioning the long-term sustainability of the CdTe-based technology for economic PV deployment. It is shown that similar use of tin sulfides in PV would indicate a 0.049/Wp cost advantage and utilize 1% of annual production for 1 GW deployment. Hence, tin has the potential to support not only gigawatt-level demand but also permit cost reductions through technological improvements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorld Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conference
Pages893-896
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Dec 31 2012
EventWorld Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conference - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: May 13 2012May 17 2012

Publication series

NameWorld Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conferen
Volume2

Other

OtherWorld Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conference
CountryUnited States
CityDenver, CO
Period5/13/125/17/12

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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