The cost of energy is increasing with every passing day and a lot of people are looking for energy alternatives and no longer want to pay $150 a month in terms of electricity bills. Solar energy is cheap but its initial cost is what prevents most of the people from adopting it. Now National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will be give $1 million aid to a startup project by Stion. The purpose of this project is to develop a low cost solar panel with high efficiency.
Stion is already in business and is making thin film solar panels that are not as efficient as conventional solar panels. But the manufacturing cost of these solar panels is almost half of the cost of the silicon solar panels and this aid is given to make them as efficient as silicon ones. Obama administration announced the Sun Shot initiative a while ago and this funding is a part of the program. The purpose of the program is to reduce the installation cost of the solar panels and make them feasible for customers.
The existing thin film solar panels of Stion are converting 12% of sunlight energy into electricity which is very good compared to the similar panels manufactured by other companies. The new panel will use tandem solar cell and will increase the efficiency up to 18%. This will be a significant improvement and will certainly benefit the consumers.
Stion’s existing technology is quite good and low cost too as it does not require the specialized equipment like other manufacturers. It uses same conventional materials that are used in making hard drives and semiconductors. The company was established in 2006 and has generated revenue of staggering $115million till today and with this funding from NREL, there is a potential of growing more.