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Global Solar Energy: Passion for Flexible Modules

It is said that Global Solar Energy’s BIPV modules are around twice as efficient as the current flexible amorphous silicon standard. After being rolled on the roof, the flexible thin-film modules are simply affixed into position, requiring no mounting hardware.
InterPV talks to Jean-Noel Poirier, VP of Global Solar Energy, about their enthusiasm for innovation in flexible thin-film technology.

Reported by Stella Lee (pved1@infothe.com)



Please describe your product portfolio. What new products have you introduced?

We produce flexible solar cells and modules and have 3 major product lines: A range of portable solar chargers, cells for BIPV applications, and large flexible modules destined to commercial roofs.

Recently, we have introduced our new module PowerFLEX BIPV, which is the most powerful flexible module on the market, with up to 300W or twice the power per module compared to available alternatives today. It is lightweight and highly flexible, which makes it perfectly suited to large roofs with weight limitations, or for integration in BIPV roofing systems.


Your company is famous for the flexible modules in the PV industry. Will you give us an explanation about them?

Global Solar has been a leader in flexible solar modules for years. We are producing at high efficiency and in high volume in 2 factories with a total of 75 MW of production capacity. This sets us apart in the industry.

Thanks to their low weight of just 3.5 kilograms per square meter, thin-film modules from Global Solar are particularly well-suited to industrial roofs that are unable to bear high loads. This is a large market as about 30% of all commercial roofs have severe weight limitations. We are currently ramping up and delivering to our customers in the U.S., Europe and Asia.


So, they are added to the roof.

The PowerFLEX modules can be installed very quickly and easily: After being rolled onto the roof surface, they are simply affixed into position and require no support frames or stands. The roof membrane is not penetrated and no additional wind loads are produced.


How much power can your flexible modules produce?

Each measuring 5.74 x 0.5 meters, the new modules have a high power density of up to 300 W.


Who are your target customers?

Our customers are construction companies, system integrators and roofing material manufacturers. They are integrating our flexible modules into innovative solar roof solutions. Furthermore, we address architects as the module’s flexibility offers great options for aesthetic applications on rooftops.      


If you’re concentrating the sunlight on your solar panels, won’t they wear out?

Our modules are designed to handle (and harvest!) the sun, and are warranted for 25 years. We are using state-of-the-art materials specially designed for this purpose.


Are the modules you are providing designed for the commercial market only?

We are addressing both markets. The PowerFLEX BIPV is mostly destined to commercial rooftops because of its large format (5.74 m long), but we have a shorter version (2 m long) that can apply to residential roofs. Also, we are involved in the residential market through our customers. For example, Dow is introducing the revolutionary PowerHouse Shingle, a fully integrated product destined to the U.S. residential market. Dow has chosen Global Solar’s cells for their product.


What is the warranty and cost efficiency on your solar panels?

Aperture efficiency of up to 12.6% is achieved thanks to a unique technology based on Copper, Indium, Gallium and diSelenide. Because our modules are light weight and installed flat (not requiring tilt), we can cover a large percentage of each roof, which leads to a lot of power per roof. Also, we decrease the installation and balance of system cost dramatically (no racking systems, etc.).

As a result, rooftop systems using our modules provide very attractive economics to our customers.


Stella Lee is Editor of InterPV. Send you comments to pved1@infothe.com.



For more information, please send your e-mails to pved@infothe.com.

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