31 August 2010


Global Solar rolls out 300W flexible CIGS BIPV module for roofing industry

Global Solar Energy Inc of Tucson, AZ, USA, which manufactures copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic cells, has unveiled the PowerFLEX BIPV flexible building-integrated photovoltaic module.

Specifically designed for commercial and industrial rooftops, Global Solar claims that its PowerFLEX BIPV modules can deliver more power per rooftop than any other solar solution, enabling rooftops to quickly and cost-effectively start generating clean energy.

With aperture efficiency of 12.6%, PowerFLEX BIPV delivers the highest efficiency in the flexible module industry, claims the firm, adding that the large format (5.75m x 0.5m) and high power density (300W) enables it to outperform other flexible solar roofing solutions on the market, including 50% more energy and power than the current amorphous silicon standard.

Global Solar says that its PowerFLEX BIPV module directly addresses the biggest concerns posed by the roofing industry regarding solar integration. It is lightweight and can be applied directly to a roofing surface, requiring no mounting hardware, no roof penetrations, and creates no additional wind load. Designed especially for roofs, PowerFLEX BIPV maintains the integrity and aesthetics of a building structure. Its large format and high power density can also lower installation and balance of system (BOS) costs.

Although traditional glass solar modules are too heavy for many commercial applications, they have been one of the few options available to the building industry for solar energy generation, says Global Solar. Unlike conventional glass modules, which are heavy, rigid and typically installed at an angle on racks, PowerFLEX BIPV modules are lightweight and flexible, and installed flat directly on the roofing surface. This allows the modules to cover a greater amount of rooftop space that, depending on the location of the building, can equate to 50–100% more power and energy per rooftop than a tilted solar array, the firm reckons. This advantage is particularly acute at higher latitudes.

“We recognized that the building industry has not been able to fully optimize the real estate on the rooftop with solar solutions currently available,” says CEO Dr Jeff Britt. “We worked closely with roofing professionals when we designed the PowerFLEX BIPV, and their experience mattered to us,” he adds. “Leveraging their input, we now offer a high-powered module that will create the most powerful rooftops in the world,” Britt reckons.

Industry research shows that the BIPV market is heating up. Lux Research reckons that the BIPV market will grow to $5.7bn by 2013. Solutions that will succeed are those that meet the power, design and cost requirements set by the building and roofing industries, Global Solar comments.

Global Solar will showcase its PowerFLEX BIPV at the 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (25th EU PVSEC)/5th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-5) in Valencia, Spain (6–9 September).

See related items:

Emerging building-integrated photovoltaics market accelerates

Search: Global Solar CIGS BIPV module