Video: Kent Whitfield on reliability and durability of thin-film PV
Kent Whitfield is Director of Reliability at MiaSolé, a manufacturer of CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide) thin-film semiconductor panels for solar energy.
Thin-film photovoltaics have long been considered a path toward achieving grid parity from a renewable resource because of the relative ease of active material optimization and through the economies associated with a continuous manufacturing process. Low price leadership for some thin-film products is being realized today; however, financing large scale thin-film systems remains a challenge due to reliability/durability issues and concerns regarding the lack of a proven track record.
Whitfield has been involved in all aspects of alternative energy; from testing and certification through manufacture and system design. Previously, he managed the R&D group at UL with a focus on renewable energy technologies and is a US representative to the IEC for PV modules. The interview was recorded in August 2010 at SPIE Optics + Photonics, where he was a plenary speaker.