ISOVOLTAIC, Isosport, Renolit, Konarka AIT and Hymmen are developing a 34-meter-long flexible solar module on a roofing membrane. The companies say these modules have potential to produce more cost-effective power due to reduced production and installation costs.
Flexible solar modules that combine the roofing membrane and solar module in one structural element can be handled like conventional roofing membranes. A roll-to-roll process can be used to manufacture the modules, which employ flexible solar cells.
Upon completion of the joint effort, individual project members will install pilot plants enabling visual and technical monitoring of the flexible solar modules.
This partnership project is being funded by the Climate and Energy Fund and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency. ISOVOLTAIC and Isosport have developed the special films required for encapsulation of the flexible solar cells. The two flexible solar cells used were developed by Konarka and another thin-film solar manufacturer.
Renolit developed the roofing membrane and other components for the product's construction. The Energy Department of the Austrian Institute of Technology is acting as consultant and is involved in measuring and characterizing the materials and modules. Hymmen Industrial Systems is providing information on the continuous production of composite materials.