SoloPower rolls out flexible rooftop solar panels

Company releases flexible solar panels for commercial rooftops that use CIGS thin-film solar cells. They are lightweight and designed to be relatively easy to install.

SoloPower flexible solar panels are lightweight and can be installed quickly on commercial buildings, the company says.
SoloPower's flexible solar panels are lightweight and can be installed quickly on commercial buildings, the company says. SoloPower

SoloPower, one of many companies vying to lower the cost of solar energy, introduced on Monday a line of flexible panels for commercial rooftops.

The company makes thin-film solar cells from a combination of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium (CIGS) which is placed on a flexible foil. Its first product line is a set of solar panels designed for the flat roofs of commercial buildings.

The panels are lighter than glass-encased panels and can be installed quicker than other technologies, SoloPower CEO Tim Harris said in a statement. The panels can be laminated onto rooftops and mounted on racks to tilt the panels, Harris told Gunther Portofolio.

There are many companies trying to make CIGS solar cheaper than the incumbent technology of silicon solar cells. SoloPower earlier this year said that it had achieved 11 percent efficiency for its panels, which is relatively good compared with other CIGS makers.

To make cells, it uses a roll-to-roll electroplating process , which the company says makes it cost-competitive with other solar manufacturers.

The company is in the process of applying for a Department of Energy loan to expand production at its San Jose, Calif., factory.

 

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