Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Solyndra tubeular solar panels to improve efficency


A low cross-section gives the tubes resistance against wind, lowering install costs.

Solar panel manufacturer Solyndra has announced a new photovoltaic technology employing tube-shaped modules. The tubes, resembling fluorescent light bulbs, are coated on the outside with a solar cell layer. The cylindrical shape is designed to both improve efficiency and lower installation costs. Traditional solar panels function best when sunlight strikes them at a right angle, so for peak efficiency they must be tilted to face the sun. A cylinder is able to more effectively capture light without being steered towards the sun, letting it also capture light reflected off roofs and surrounding land. Since wind flows around the tubes rather than catching them like a sail, they can be installed with lighter-weight hardware, at a corresponding lower cost.

[Via Slashgearby Stephen Schenck

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