Solyndra - One Among the Richest Startup Companies!

Solyndra is one of the solar energy companies which have left quite an impression in the world solar energy market.

Dr. Christian Gronet founded this company in May 2005. Before he founded Solyndra he was working with semiconductor giants Applied Materials for more than a decade. He even founded G-Squared Semiconductor which was acquired by Applied Materials. Dr. Gronet even worked with SERA Solar Corporation where he pioneered next generation photovoltaic technologies. He even holds 20 US Patents in thin film and related technologies.

The Company is headquartered in Fremont, California. Fremont headquarters were founded in 2006. First Commercial production began in 2007 and commercial solar panel shipments were made in 2008. In the same year an Office was opened in Germany.

Solyndra Factory

Solyndra manufactures entire solution for mounting solar panels on large and low sloping commercial rooftops that includes solar panels and mounting structures. The solar panels give optimal output when they are horizontally mounted and packed closely together. Thus company people suggest covering a large rooftop area with solar panels as more number of panels can be accommodated thereby providing higher electricity yield per year.

The Solar Panels manufactured by them are called as “Tubular Solar Panels”. They are made by mounting cylindrical tubes which are rolled over by Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide (CIGS) thin films. A single panel of 1 X 2 meter has 40 such tubes fitted.

But why would anyone make solar panels tubular, seems like an obvious question my friend? Especially when majority of the solar panel manufacturers are making the solar panels “flat”.

By making the solar panels cylindrical the need for tracking the sun gets eliminated. As the sun moves across the sky from the east to the west some part of the tubular solar panel is always perpendicular to the sunlight. Common “flat” solar panels provide a peak in their output only when the sun is directly above them. Whereas Tubular Solar panels generate more electricity every day.

Solyndra Solar Panel
Solyndra Solar Panel

Each cylindrical tube is one inch in diameter and it is an assembly of two tubes the inner tube and the outer tube. Specially designed equipment is used to deposit CIGS on the outer side of the inner tube. Each such inner tube can be fitted with 200 CIGS solar cells. Once the CIGS is deposited on top of the inner tube an “optical coupling agent” is added. This optical agent concentrates sunlight which shines on the outer tube. The inner tube is inserted inside the outer tube. Each tube is hermetically sealed using metal and glass. The vacuum helps to keep out moisture as it degrades the performance of CIGS.

Solyndra Solar Panels allow air to circulate through them. This does two things it helps the panel to remain cool during operation and the panels can be mounted on varied number of rooftop areas by eliminating the need of anchoring the panels on the rooftop.

The Tubular Solar Panels have exhibited an efficiency of 12% to 14%. This efficiency is more than other CIGS competitors in the solar energy industry.

The tubular solar panels are available in three different product series, Series 100, Series 150 and Series 200 Respectively. Solar Panels are classified mostly by the voltage rating of each panel. For lower voltages Series 100 is used and for higher voltages Series 200 is preferred.

Typical Product Information

Maximum System Voltage: 1000 V (IEC) & 600 V (UL) Systems

Panel Weight: 31.8 kg without mounts

Maximum Snow Load: (38.6 lb/sq ft / 25.1 lb/sq ft)

Hail Impact: 25mm, 7.53 gm @ 23 m/s

Operating & Storage Temperature: -40°C to 85°C

Limited Power Warranty of 25 Years

Limited Product Warranty of 5 Years

Electrical Data

Power Rating Series 200

  • SL-200-182 : 182 Wp
  • SL-200-191 : 191 Wp
  • SL-200-200 : 200 Wp
  • SL-200-210 : 210 Wp
  • SL-200-220 : 220 Wp

Power Rating Series 150

  • SL-150-165 : 165 Wp
  • SL-150-173 : 173 Wp
  • SL-150-182 : 182 Wp
  • SL-150-191 : 191 Wp
  • SL-150-200 : 200 Wp

Power Rating Series 100

  • SL-001-150 : 150 Wp
  • SL-001-157 : 157 Wp
  • SL-001-165 : 165 Wp
  • SL-001-173 : 173 Wp
  • SL-001-182 : 182 Wp
  • SL-001-191 : 191 Wp
  • SL-001-200 : 200 Wp

My friend hopefully this information would be very beneficial for you if you decide to install Solyndra’s Tubular Solar Panels on your commercial roof, you’ll surely generate more electricity that’s very much possible.

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