At CES 2017, Sunflare Solar, a Los Angeles-based producer of thin-film copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar cells, has unveiled flexible solar panels that can be stuck onto roofs and walls. According to the company, the new thin-film solar product is flexible, light, and affordable.
“Sunflare has worked for six years to perfect Capture 4, a cell-by-cell manufacturing process with the highest degree of precision and the cleanest environmental footprint,” said Philip Gao, CEO of Sunflare, in a statement. “This allows us to do what no manufacturer of CIGS thin-film has done before — mass produce efficient, flexible solar panels.”
Unlike crystalline silicon solar cells that frequently use glass substrates, Sunflare’s CIGS cells are light and flexible. The company claims that the cells are also environmentally cleaner because they require less energy to manufacture and do not use toxic chemicals in the process. The Capture 4, according to Sunflare, harnesses 10 percent more energy from dawn until dusk than crystalline silicon cells of comparable cost.
Additionally, Sunflare claims its panels are about 65 percent lighter than silicon modules and boast easier installation because they do not require an aluminum frame or building penetration. The company asserts that with its products, nearly any surface vertical, horizontal, or even curved can be transformed into an energy-gathering and power-generator.