Installing tile after tile of solar panels on your roof isn’t exactly the easiest thing, usually requiring professional hands to do right. If SoloPower has its way, that may become a thing of the past, as their new line of flexible solar PV cells can be laid out as quickly as a rug.
According to the company, they will be producing numerous models of the flexible, thin-film, high-power photovoltaic modules, which use a low-cost roll-to-roll electroplating process. They’re hoping the low cost of manufacturing facilitated by the proprietary electrochemical process, paired with the easy-to-install design, will make it an attractive proposition for those looking to invest in harvesting energy from the sun.
The first model rolling out off SoloPower’s facilities will be the SFX1-i module, which produces 80 Watts of power in peak conditions, all while measuring a conservative 0.3 x 2.9 meters. Optimized primarily for commercial roofs, they can be laid flat or hoisted in a rack to maximize available space. Considerably lighter than typical glass-encased solar panels, they weigh an impressively scant 5 lbs.
Two other models are on the pipe: the SFX1-i3 module (260 Wp, 0.9m x 2.9m, 13lbs) and the SFX2 module (170Wp, 0.3m x 5.8m, 8 lbs). General availability is slated towards the end of the year, with the modules in the current production line (SFX1-i and SFX1-i3) presently being sampled by customers.
No word on exact pricing. Given that SoloPower appears to be marketing to businesses at the moment, though, expect it to be a tad more expensive than typical home setups.