Solyndra’s cylindrical design offers proven reliability and superior performance. Each panel is made up of 40 individual modules, wired in parallel for high current, which capture sunlight across a 360-degree photovoltaic surface capable of converting direct, diffuse and reflected sunlight into electricity. Using innovative cylindrical copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS modules) and thin-film technology, Solyndra systems are designed to be able to provide the lowest system installation costs on a per watt basis for the commercial rooftop market. More than 1000 Solyndra systems are installed around the world, representing nearly 100 Megawatts.
Minimal Orientation Impact
The cylindrical design allows panels to be placed in virtually any orientation with minimal impact on energy generation. This allows Solyndra panels to follow building contours and high system density on the rooftop.
Lightweight: Low Distributed Load of 2.8 lbs. per Square Foot
The Solyndra system is extremely lightweight and modules are spaced within the panel frame offering unique air flow properties. This eliminates the need for expensive mounting hardware and ballast. The low roof weight is ideal for older buildings and “value-engineered buildings” not designed to carry a heavy rooftop load, and often Solyndra is the only solar solution that works for these installations.
Designed to Last for More than 25 Years
The modules are hermetically sealed and designed to reliably produce power for more than 25 years in the harsh environment of the rooftop and to provide superior performance with soiling, wind and snow on rooftops around the world.
The thin film photovoltaic material employed by Solyndra’s proprietary modules is copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS). To prevent any possibility of cell degradation due to moisture, Solyndra’s design employs a hermetic seal at the ends of each module — creating a gas-leak tight glass-to-metal seal. Each comes with a 25-year power warranty.
Ease of Installation
To meet rooftop wind loading requirements, conventional flat solar panels typically must be secured to commercial roofs with either expensive mounting hardware or ballast. Together with the need for tilting, the resulting mounting systems require a substantial investment in labor, hardware, design and other balance of system (BOS) costs.
The ease of installation and simpler mounting hardware of the Solyndra system enables customers to significantly reduce labor, hardware, design and other BOS costs, which account for a substantial portion of the total installed cost of a conventional PV system. Fast installations mean less business disruption for the end customer as the rooftop work is completed quickly. For installers, being able to complete more jobs quickly means more revenue during the best installation seasons.
The wind blows through Solyndra’s panels and the panels can be mounted horizontally. There is no need for concern that the panels will transfer wind load to the roof or be blown off the roof. Simple, non-penetrating mounting hardware is used in the Solyndra system. No roof penetrations, attachments or ballast are needed. Panels and mounts are quickly attached together, enabling installations to be done faster and more cost-effectively than conventional rooftop PV installations. Customers can also feel more comfortable knowing there is less opportunity for leaks on their rooftop and in some cases, maintain a rooftop warranty that might otherwise be voided by penetrations.
After the installation is complete, these same attributes enable Solyndra systems to be easily moved for relocation or roof servicing, a valuable benefit for some real estate investors and owners.
Superior Wind Performance: Ideal for Windy Locations
Wind naturally flows through the spaces between the modules in Solyndra’s panel, greatly simplifying mounting requirements. Even in areas with high winds, there is no need for roof-penetrating mounts or ballast to hold Solyndra panels in place. Solyndra’s panels have been tested and are certified for use in winds of up to 208km/h (130mph). Further, having a distributed rooftop load of 16kg/m2 (3.3lbs/ft2), Solyndra’s self-ballasting systems can be used on buildings that would otherwise require structural reinforcement to harvest solar power. Additionally, Solyndra panels impart negligible resultant upward or downward wind loads on a roof structure.
Effective Rooftop Coverage
Conventional flat PV panels typically must be tilted and spaced apart to achieve effective energy generation. The sunlight striking the spaces between the panels is not collected and therefore is wasted. Solyndra’s panels achieve effective energy generation when mounted horizontally and spaced closely together, frequently enabling greater rooftop coverage and enhancing energy production over the system’s lifetime compared to a conventional panel installation. A partially-shaded panel still generates electricity from the unshaded modules. Solyndra panels also work well around roof obstacles and over obstructions like cables, while providing easy visibility and access for rooftop maintenance.
Design Keeps Panels and Roofs Cooler
By allowing air to flow under and around the panels Solyndra panels stay cooler and don’t trap hot air against the roof. This allows them to collect more energy and retains the cooling benefits of a reflective roof and doesn’t contribute to building heating.
Third Party Validation
Solyndra products have been extensively tested by leading third party companies around the world.