Solyndra's Cylindrical Solar Cell Racks Reduce Costs of Solar Power Production

Solyndra Inc. has recently developed a new solar cell system that will reduce the costs of solar power production. They will install it over the rooftop of a North Sacramento plastics factory. This investment will prove to be one of the biggest West Coast solar harvesting systems.

The technology uses racks of solar cells that will have the size and shape of a long fluorescent light tube. This cylindrical shape allows the solar cells to harvest solar power from any angle, including the light reflected from the rooftops of large commercial buildings which are usually silvery from the zinc-plated covering sheets.

The system will provide 1/3 of the energy needed by Plastic Package Inc. as it is able to output 208 kWh. Plastic Package seems to be devoted to green thinking as they recycle about a quarter of the raw material resulted from the manufacturing operations. Their $1.3 million solar system was supported by a 30% subsidy from the federal renewable-energy program. Besides this, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) will pay 30 cents for each kWh of energy this project produces. This subsidy rate will decrease for further projects but still it’s a good approach for encouraging green energy use.

The subsidy fund is created by charging each consumer for 100 kWh billed 2 cents. From next year this rate will increase up to 9 cents each consumer would have to pay for 100kWh billed.

Solyndra received a loan of $535 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to increase the manufacturing site from Fremont. The site has now contract for orders worth more than $2 billion. Plastic Package Inc. on the other hand expects their system to pay itself in the next 5 years.

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Comments

  • Captain

    Indeed, new technology is being researched, developed and invented. I have been introduced for the first time to these tube modules in the 2009 24th PVsec exhibition I attended in hamburg. Lots of companies and individuals have been gathered around this piece, fascinated by what the technology could offer.
    I like this site by the way, I read most of the article and I am waiting for more others.