Installing solar panels on your roof can be a good investment in your home, adding value and clean energy, but it usually requires a few days of professional installation.
Existing solar panels are heavy and expensive though, requiring many hours of labor on the roof. Solar Frontier has developed a new lightweight solar panel that weighs just 17½ lb for a 170W module. The lighter Solacis Neo module is therefore much easier to install on the average roof.
Part of Solar Frontier’s design results in a very thin panel, that is just 6.5mm thick, and self-supporting. The self-supporting nature of the Solacis Neo solar panel makes it much easier to install and doesn’t require as much intrusion into the roof.
Standard panels typically require up to six hours and many holes in the roof, requiring waterproofing methods to keep from ruining the roof under the panels. The new mounting, which Solar Frontier is calling the “Cross One Method,” takes as less than four hours.
Lighter solar panels and faster installation should prove to be a boon to solar panel installers, and could even open it up to do-it-yourself homeowners should they be looking to get into solar energy projects for their own homes.
Solar Frontier is located in Japan and will be starting production of the 170W panel this month. Starting in October, Solar Frontier expects to have some 100MW of this panel shipped by the end of 2014. A heavier high-output version of this panel, 44lb worth, isn’t as lightweight, but just as easy to install. Solar Frontier expects to ship 400MW of that panel by the end of 2014.