Enter the Flexible Solar Panel

For some, solar panels are an eye-sore, regardless of the energy-saving qualities, the reduction in the reliance of the National Grid and being a drain on fossil-fuel energy. As technology advances, especially as photovoltaics are one of the fastest growing technologies of this last decade, the design and structure of panels are always changing.

Enter the flexible solar panel. With the cost of glass-encased solar panels being expensive, added to the expense of fitting them, some companies nowadays are producing flexible panels to be stuck to roof tops with adhesive.

These lightweight film-like panels still look like normal photovoltaics, but without the bulkiness. As with many modern technologies, such as mobile phones and TVs, the slimmer the package means less transport costs per unit and les storage costs, which can then be passed on to the final selling price.

The film panels can be laminated onto the roof of businesses, flat roof factories, and pretty much anywhere normal panels can go. The rate of efficiency is only around 11%, although tests with CIGS (a combination of copper, indium, gallium and selenium) cells, the highest recorded efficiency rating has been 15%. The market average of ‘normal’ solar panel efficiency across the many companies making them is between 12-18% with only a handful reaching 20+%.

With lower costs, and easier fitment which can be completed more quickly, these film-strip solar panels could replace the heftier solar panels. Being more accessible, everyday home-owners could purchase these solar panels, not just the multi-million dollar businesses who always sign a power-purchase agreement with the government and electrical suppliers before investing.

This accessibility will have a more positive effect on the environment, rather than one which offsets enormous energy waste, such as those large factories. Now it is time to increase the amount of solar panels on roofs and make them a majority.

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