Global Solar, a solar cells manufacturer, has just developed and released a flexible solar panel designed for flat commercial rooftop buildings. The modules, consisting of solar panels 19 feet long and 1.5 feet wide, are actually made with CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, selenium) cells that work as well as their rigid counterparts.
Their advantage, though, is that they occupy less space, because they don’t need frames and are much lighter. Global Solar’s solar cell modules can be embedded into the roofs they are installed on, and because they need no racks, they don’t occupy as much space, hence producing more power.
About the prices, the company says that they are comparable with those of standard solar cells installations. The only thing Global Solar needs right now is to get certifications for the modules, and they’re ready to ship the first units as soon as next year. No word about the efficiency, though. We may suspect it lies somewhere between 10 and 15 percent.
To prove their technology works, the company has already built solar power systems worth 75 megawatts in Tucson, Arizona and Berlin, Germany. Their CEO, Jeff Britt, has also revealed that they want to produce their own solar panels, rather than sending the cells to panel manufacturers, like they did until recently.