2 March 2010


Solyndra appoints former Agilent head Barnholt to board

Solyndra Inc of Fremont, CA, USA, which manufactures copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) photovoltaic (PV) systems consisting of panels and mounting hardware for commercial rooftops, has appointed Edward W. (Ned) Barnholt to serve on its board of directors.

Barnholt guided the spin-off of Agilent Technologies from Hewlett Packard Company in 1999 and was its president & CEO from March 1999 to March 2005. He also served as chairman of the board of Agilent from November 2002 until March 2005.

Before being named Agilent’s president & CEO, Barnholt was executive VP & general manager of Hewlett-Packard’s Measurement Organization from 1998 to 1999. From 1990 to 1998, he served as general manager of Hewlett-Packard’s Test & Measurement Organization. Prior to this, he held numerous management positions at Hewlett Packard after joining the company in R&D in 1966.

Barnholt is currently the non-executive chairman of process control and yield management solutions provider KLA-Tencor Corp of Milpitas, CA, USA and on the board of directors of Adobe Systems Inc and eBay Inc. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. He received a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Solyndra’s proprietary cylindrical thin-film solar panels are built from tubes. It is reckoned that this ‘self-tracking’ design — with a 360º photovoltaic surface capable of absorbing direct, diffuse and reflected sunlight (from below) — allows the capture of more sunlight from low-slope commercial rooftops than conventional flat-surfaced solar panels, which need costly tilted mounting devices to improve the capture of direct light from the sun, offer poor collection of diffuse light, and fail to collect reflected light. Also, gaps between the tubes and their frame let wind pass through, reducing the need for heavy, roof-penetrating fastenings or anchoring; their lighter weight also allows installation on scantier roofs. Simple horizontal mounting hardware also allows fast and economical installation, claims the firm.

See related item:

CIGS PV maker Solyndra files for $300m IPO

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