Solyndra just released new details of their proprietary solar technology printed with a copper, indium, gallium, and selenium (CIGS) mixture on glass tubes. Solyndra also announced over $1.2 billion in orders and a successful installation using the cylindrical solar tubes on the roof of their corporate headquarters. With the glass tube design and easy installation, the company expects to provide commercial customers with higher electricity output per rooftop and significantly reduced installation costs.
Unlike other thin-film CIGS solar technology, Solyndra panels capture sunlight across a 360-degree surface through direct, diffuse, and reflected light. As a result, the company claims their cylindrical panels capture more sunlight than traditional flat-surfaced panels.
At least for the time being, Solyndra is focusing on the commercial market — a smart strategy especially with approximately 30 billion square feet of rooftop space ripe for photovoltaic systems.
Speaking of the costs advantage of Solyndra’s PV system, Manfred Bachler, CTO of Phoenix Solar AG and customer of Solyndra, said: “By eliminating the need for roof-penetrating mounts and wind ballasts, PV arrays with Solyndra panels can be installed with one-third the labor, in one-third of the time, at one-half the cost.” That’s quite the statement, if the numbers actually crunch out to verify it.
Top image credit: Wired Science; other images: Solyndra.