The Midsummer cells are made on individual stainless steel substrates. The cells are durable and flexible so they don’t need the rigid and heavy glass and aluminum frame that are required for silicon cells to ensure they don’t crack. This allows us to use a plastic front sheet and to make flexible and lightweight modules that can be made to any size and shape.
We use verified encapsulation materials and front sheets to ensure that the modules conforms to IEC test criteria, and that they have the same lifetime as conventional Silicon modules.
These lightweight CIGS modules are typically mounted by using a pre-attached butyl adhesive that vulcanize onto the mounting surface. This gives fast and easy installation with no need to penetrate the mounting surface, a problem with Silicon and monolithic Thin Film modules that require bolted fastening racks and supports.
The installation method in combination with a low weight, a module that can bend and flex and that is strong enough to walk on open up for new applications where PV has traditionally not been possible.
We often get the question “How do you compete with Silicon modules”. We don’t. We focus on new and higher value applications where Silicon modules cannot be used. We have shown some examples on our website, but for the creative mind, there is a multitude of opportunities ranging from consumer electronic gadgets to utility sized landfill and industrial roof installations.
Applications for lightweight flexible modules are a niche market, but it is a fast growing, creative and profitable niche market for both manufacturers and end users.