MiaSolé thin-film solar panels: Complete review

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MiaSole solar panels

Most solar panels installed in the United States are made of silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, but silicon PV doesn't work for every situation. Thin-film solar panels are an alternative starting to take hold, particularly in cases where rigid PV panels aren't an option.

MiaSolé is a Santa Clara-based thin-film solar panel manufacturer owned by the Chinese multinational renewable energy company Hanergy. They manufacture flexible thin-film solar panels made of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS).

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EnergySage spoke with a representative from MiaSolé to learn more about their flexible solar panels.


A conventional solar PV panel measures approximately 3 feet by 5 feet and is around 1.5 inches thick. For a standard rooftop or ground-mounted solar panel system, that's not a problem, but there are some unique situations where you may want a system that's thinner, lighter, and more flexible.

miasole flex solar panels on a curved roof

MiaSolé flex solar panels on a curved roof structure.

MiaSolé offers a flexible CIGS solar module that adheres directly to surfaces, making it an ideal option for curved structures and metal roofs. They are also lightweight, especially compared to conventional solar PV panels, which means they may be used when a structure can't support the full weight of a traditional system. Other thin-film modules are encased in glass, negating some of the benefits of thin film.

Most thin-film solar panels are less efficient than their silicon PV counterparts. However, CIGS thin-film solar cells have a similar cell efficiency to silicon PV solar cells – as far as thin-film technology goes, CIGS solar panels are one of the most efficient options available. MiaSolé cells offer an average efficiency of 17.5%.


Typical CIGS solar modules are significantly more expensive than standard silicon PV panels. However, they don't require racking or brackets to mount them to the roof, which can reduce installation costs. According to MiaSolé, their total installation costs are typically around 80% of that of silicon PV panels. However, the modules themselves are more expensive.

Regardless of the solar panel technology you're considering, you should always compare options from multiple installers before deciding. You can use the EnergySage Marketplace to easily get quotes from local installers offering different options near you.


According to the company, MiaSolé has a manufacturing facility at its headquarters in California and also manufactures in China. Typically, panels sold in the U.S. and European markets come from the Santa Clara HQ facility. If manufacturing location is important to you, you can specify that when you order.


Solar panel manufacturers offer two main warranties for their products – a workmanship warranty and a production warranty.

The workmanship warranty is the manufacturer's guarantee against product defects. The industry standard is ten years; some manufacturers offer 15 or even 25-year workmanship warranties. MiaSolé only provides a 5-year workmanship warranty.

The production warranty is the manufacturer's guarantee that your panels won't lose their ability to produce electricity too quickly (every solar panel loses some generating capacity over time.) MiaSolé guarantees that their panels will generate at least 90% of their original production capacity after ten years and at least 80% after 25 years. This aligns with the industry standard, although many companies will offer a more detailed warranty that specifies annual production capacity.


MiaSolé has resellers across the U.S., and customers can also request their solar panels directly through the company's website. However, MiaSolé and other thin film solar panel manufacturers won't be as widely available as a standard silicon PV option.

If you have a non-standard roof or other structure where you want to install solar and don’t mind a price premium for aesthetics, thin film solar-like MiaSolé's flexible panels could be the right fit for you. For example, properties with metal roofs are often good candidates for thin film solar panels because the panels can fit in between the roof's seams. (You can read more about thin film solar panels and whether they make sense for your property in EnergySage's thin film solar overview).

miasole solar panels on metal roof

MiaSolé thin film panels on a standing seam metal roof.

The best way to be confident in your solar decision, whether considering thin film, silicon PV, or both, is to compare offers from solar installers in your area. On the EnergySage Marketplace, pre-vetted solar installers will prepare customized quotes for your home at no cost. You can use EnergySage's side-by-side tables to compare all of your options accurately – and if you already have a quote from an installer, you can upload that to compare it as well.

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