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  • commented 10/26/14
  • tags: WPM
  • This is a very simplistic analysis which ignores technological developments in solar panels.

    It is highly unlikely that solar silver use will rise in proportion to annual solar manufacture for three reasons.

    First reason - there is a strong trend towards less silver per solar panel achieved by reducing the proportion of silver in silver based pastes, and by changes to how it is used so that the amount of silver per panel will almost certainly decrease. Some companies are also looking at copper based technologies which whilst very slightly less efficient are far less expensive.

    2. Panels are getting more efficient - the market place is now increasingly demanding high efficiency panels, which are now starting to be manufactured in far greater quantities at lower cost. Even if the same amount of silver were to be used per panel, silver per watt will reduce.

    3. Thin film technologies are increasing in efficiency far more quickly than silicon based technologies - e.g Cadmium Telluride panels from First Solar, CIGS technologies by Hanergy and others, and newly developed Perovskite technologies. These technologies have a fundamentally different interconnection system not dependent on silver. [ less... ]
    This is a very simplistic analysis which ignores technological developments in solar panels. It is highly unlikely that solar silver use will rise in proportion to annual solar manufacture for three reasons. First reason - there is a strong trend towards less silver per solar panel achieved by reducing the proportion of silver in silver based pastes, and by changes to how it is used so that the amount of silver per panel will almost certainly decrease. Some companies are also looking at copper based technologies which whilst very slightly less efficient are far less expensive. 2. Panels are getting more efficient - the market place is now increasingly demanding high efficiency panels, which are now starting to be manufactured in far greater quantities at lower cost. Even if the same amount of silver were to be used per panel, silver per watt will reduce. 3. Thin film technologies are increasing in efficiency far more quickly than silicon based technologies - e.g Cadmium Telluride panels from First Solar, CIGS technologies by Hanergy and others, and newly developed Perovskite technologies. These technologies have a fundamentally different interconnection system not dependent on silver.
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