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Flexible Solar Panels July 13, 2010

Posted by OldGuy in Alternatives.
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On Monday (Jul 12) SoloPower announced new line of flexible thin-film solar panels.  Made from a combination of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium (CIGS), these are made to be easily installed on existing commercial rooftops.

SoloPower's high-efficiency flexible thin-film solar panels are lighter and easier to install in commercial or industrial applications.

The company makes  the panels using a roll-to-roll electroplating process,  to be lighter than glass-encased panels.   These thin film solar cells utilize only a 1–4 µm thick layer of semiconducting material to produce electricity, instead of the traditional rigid multi-crystalline silicon wafers that are typically 150 µm thick.

The CIGS process is also more efficient.  SoloPower says they have achieved 19.9%, which is significantly better than most other solar generating systems.  It is also better than tests concluded earlier this year by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of  aperture conversion efficiencies of 11% – itself an improvement.

These low-cost, high-power, flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules from SoloPower offer a viable alternative to electricity produced from hydrocarbon sources.

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additional material from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/solopower-launches-breakthrough-flexible-cigs-module-product-line-98216074.html and http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20010229-54.html

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