TULiPPS Solar BV, a new firm based in Eindhoven, Netherlands, says it is working on the COSMOS, a lightweight solar photovoltaic module technology that harnesses the benefits of injection-molded automotive-grade composites to solve issues with conventional roof-mounted PV modules utilizing aluminum frames.
Central to the system's design is a thin glass PV laminate that is integrally bonded to the composite module base, forming a strong box-beam structure that eliminates the need for an external frame and reduces weight by 50% or more. This helps the system achieve a low roof load of less than 10 kg/m2, according to the company.
The company is currently developing prototypes for testing by early customers and has a goal of being commercial by 2012 with products initially focused on the light, flat roofs found on many large industrial buildings. Preliminary work on the design shows the patent-pending system will reduce weight and costs, speed installation, increase energy output per unit area, lower maintenance, and improve functionality over that of conventional systems, according to TULiPPS Solar.
The COSMOS system is being developed in partnership with companies in the automotive composites, roofing, and PV industries, and with financial support from the Province of Noord-Brabant.