Sunflare may have made its world debut at 2018 Solar Power International show, but is by no means new to solar. The company has been working on the design of its cells and products for 9 years now and only started actually producing the cells at meaningful volumes last year.
The panels start with Sunflare’s CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) solar cells, created with a proprietary technology that actually prints the cells onto a stainless steel backing. The sheet of stainless that they’re printed on is durable and flexible, and opens up new options for how and where solar panels can be turned into products.
Sunflare’s team took their new solar cells and turned them into standard 6 by 10 panels of flexible solar modules, which has been appropriately named the Flex 60. These are much lighter and flexible than traditional solar panels.
CIGS solar cells have historically been inefficient and costly, which have made them non competitive with traditional silicon solar for now.
Sunflare is currently at 14-16% efficiency at the cell and 11% efficient at the module level. With traditional panels up around 20% efficiency, depending on the manufacturer, there is clearly some work to do. Even with the lower efficiencies, Sunflare’s system costs are competitive as the installation is a much more straightforward process and requires no racking.
Like most traditional solar modules, Sunflare’s panels sport a 25-year warranty with a production guarantee of 90% of stated capacity for the first 10 years and at least 80% of the nameplate output for years 11-25.
Sunflare’s modules are made with a 3M top sheet, giving name brand credibility to the only thing standing behind the cells and the sun.
Reference- Sunflare website, Cleantechnica