While flexible solar panels are not as efficient as standard solar panels you see on the rooftops of homes, they are increasing in popularity since they can be used in applications where conventional solar panels simply aren't practical. And now, one company has pulled ahead with the first ever Underwriters Laboratories certification in the PV solar industry. SoloPower earned the recognition for their flexible, CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, and selenium) modules. Why do customers care? Well, it's one more third party approval that helps sort through the dearth of options in the market place for solar panels. And it's particularly helpful for customers for whom standard solar panels aren't an option:
According to the company, "The flexibility and high-power rating of these products will allow SoloPower's customers to reduce balance-of-system and installation costs, while their low weight and application features will facilitate solar installations where they are otherwise impossible."
Though the company earned UL certification, customers still need to weigh all the factors about their installation before choosing what works best for them. Still, these panels are touted as incredibly easy to install. According to CNET, "The panels are lighter than glass-encased panels and can be installed quicker than other technologies... [they] can be laminated onto rooftops and mounted on racks to tilt the panels." They can achieve an 11% efficiency rate which is quite low across the board, but on the high end for this type of solar panel. And the additional hat tip from UL will help usher in more third party certification for products in the PV industry.
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