Toledo Solar gets DOE grant to research study lighter, steel-backed solar modules

Aug 13, 2020 03:48 PM ET
  • As if being the only thin-film cadmium telluride solar panel maker in the household market had not been enough of a niche, Toledo Solar is currently seeking to establish something never done prior to: modules with glass-enameled steel backs.
Toledo Solar gets DOE grant to research study lighter, steel-backed solar modules

The country's very first residential thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic panel supplier, Toledo Solar, has actually been given a $200,000 Phase I government Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) give from the Department of Energy for the research and development of lighter solar panels.

Particularly, the company will be seeking to establish modules with glass-enameled steel backs, instead of making use of a glass sheet to envelop the panel. Toledo Solar currently had plans in the jobs to research glass-enameled, steel-backed modules in the future, the awarding of the SBIR grant just sped up the procedure.

The research study is likewise not being done to establish whether glass-enameled, steel-backed module innovation is a possibility, extra so to examine that technology versus traditional modules to see how they compare in energy manufacturing and also degradation/failure rates when exposed to the elements.

The suggestion is that not just will the glass-enameled, steel-backed modules be lighter than their conventional equivalents, making them less complicated to install, but the steel backing opens up different racking possibilities, instead of simply utilizing private mounting clips. Longevity, nevertheless, is the primary concern of these prospective modules, as steel has different warm expansion residential or commercial properties than glass as well as might also have problem withstanding more extreme climate condition, including extended snow protection.

If the development of these panels succeeds, Toledo solar can then look for a Phase II SBIR give from DOE. This second give would give a lot more operating funding, coming in at $1.6 million over a two-year duration. This second give might assist Toledo solar obtain closer to commercial-scale manufacturing of glass-enameled, steel-backed modules.

A makeover for domestic solar

It seems that, up until now, Toledo Solar's entire production philosophy has been to zig where all various other producers zag. Aaron Bates, chairman of The Atlas Venture Group, the team that owns Toledo Solar, said as much when the firm began industrial operations.

" We recognize the void in the non-utility solar markets that have actually been underserved by silicon solar panels. Cad-Tel is clearly a much better alternative. We are delighted to lead this investment in Toledo as well as remain to push Cad-Tel solar innovation onward."

Toledo Solar is aiming to establish the company as the premier (as well as just) domestic CdTe panel maker. It's additionally looking to be the very first firm to market a glass-enameled, steel-backed solar module

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