Solyndra Panels

heynow999heynow999 Solar Expert Posts: 80 ✭✭✭✭
I was at the Solar Conference in Toronto last week and Solyndra had a booth there. I spent quite a while talking with one of the reps. I think I have a good understanding of how they work.

- they are only for low/no slope roofs
-they need to be on a white membrane roof to take advantage of the reflection from the roof, otherwise you are better off using regular flat pv panels
-the tubes are cylinders, and have PV material all around the cylinder.
-the idea is that they are "self tracking" so the output is more of a square or u shaped rather than a bell curve.

I am considering using them in a 10kw Feed-in-tariff project in Toronto and I am trying to get more information from them to see how the numbers stack up. I was tenatively quoted $5 a watt, but not sure if this is $USD or $CD, or FOB California? The plus for these is that cost includes the rack. They are very light and they just sit on the roof with no ballast as the wind will just blow between the panels.

I would be interested in anyones input

http://www.solyndra.com/datasheets/SOL021_DataSheet_r3.pdf

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels

    since they are yanks , I bet it was in Greenback dollars.. :cry: probably PLUS freight too :cry::cry:

    I am wondering why they would not work on a sloped surface as well as long as there is a membrane under the array? The 'mounts ' would have to be anchored though. With the winds at my location I wouldn't leave them out without being very well secured... and that doesn't include the theft angle

    Looks like they use the same concept as the tubular water collectors, there is always a perpendicular to the sun surface thus maximizing collection as well as the reflected energy...

    using the 1.82 m / 40 tubes per panel gives ~ 4.5 cm center to center,and the pic shows that the tubes and the spaces are about the same size, ~ 2 cm or a little less than 1 inch, not much room for the snow to get through especially if you are near the snow belt there in Ontario.... we can get bigggg gobs of coastal snow that would never clear by itself...

    HTH
    Eric
     
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  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels

    i did read an article on them and westbranch is correct in saying they mount flatly as they supposedly solved the sun angle problem. i say, to a point they did, but on a winter solstice the sun is on the horizon and the incident light will not optimally hit the pvs that are laying flat. imo, they still need to be aimed south at an optimal angle based on one's latitude and the design will make better use of the solar-east west track of the sun. i do not know how well they actually perform, but i would not invest big $ until i saw what it is they really can do and what it may involve. maybe buy a few of them to test with one laying flat and one angled as a normal pv would be and measure the reaped power for each of them under otherwise identical conditions. maybe they won't be cost effective over normal pvs, who knows, but if you do this i would love to hear of your results.
    edit to add-
    you may want to try the 2 example pv scenarios also with and without lightly colored backgrounds with an optimally angled pv having that light surface up paralleled to it as would be the case with one laying flat on a flat light roof and one where the light surface is not brought up parallel to the angled pvs.
  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels

    I'm going to be installing some in the near future. I'm a sub and didn't pick the modules, but the reason they were chosen is because it's a flat roof and they didn't want penetrations or heavy ballasting. Supposedly with these modules you can have a fairly light array with no penetrations because the wind doesn't lift them as much as standard panels.
  • machinemanmachineman Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels

    Solyndra likely has a viable product for commercial use with orders to go. They are building a massive new manufacturing facility across the freeway from where I work. Broke ground a couple months ago and already have the part of the steel structure up. Also heard rumor that the CEO from Evergreen Solar has moved to Solyndra.

    Off Grid Cabin, 24V 440ah 6V GC battery bank, Xantrex MPPT60-150 CC, Magnum MS4024 inverter-charger, >1200w Solar bank

  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels

    After hearing they are going bankrupt and seeing their wierd round tube solar PV panels I got curious and watched their videos
    http://www.solyndra.com/technology-products/videos/
    the second one down with all the robots making the panels is really sad knowing the whole place will be moth balled. Wonder if any company is gong to have a Solyndra clearance sale?
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels
    machineman wrote: »
    Solyndra likely has a viable product for commercial use with orders to go. They are building a massive new manufacturing facility across the freeway from where I work. Broke ground a couple months ago and already have the part of the steel structure up. Also heard rumor that the CEO from Evergreen Solar has moved to Solyndra.

    I wonder where he is going next. I hope he stays away from the company I work for.
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels

    If a company goes TU a short time after Obama gives a speech at your factory, then the business model must have really sucked from the start.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels

    When people eliminate regulatory steps to make these deals fly to satisfy some political goal, this is what happens. The early in and early out investors / promoters got their money and ran, all that was left was a empty bag. Unfortunately the good people are just pawns on the chest board. It's a wag the dog, thats why they could never have a public stock offering.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,010 admin
    Re: Solyndra Panels

    Crony Capitalism:
    ANOTHER UPDATE: “You will be shocked to learn that Solyndra’s majority owner, Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, was a major fundraiser for the 2008 ******** campaign.” Like I said, follow the money.
    What’s amazing about the ****** Administration isn’t the corruption, which we’ve seen before. It’s the crudity and obviousness of the corruption.
    Coupled with ineptitude. Reader Patrick Kelly writes:
    I read the WaPo article on Solyndra. This quote from Solyndra’s CEO really stood out:
    “This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate,” Solyndra chief executive Brian Harrison said in a statement. “Regulatory and policy uncertainties” made it impossible to raise capital to quickly rescue the operation, he said.
    I guess that’s what you get when you dance with the devil. The same government that can take other people’s money to make your company work can also regulate your company to the point where you can’t raise capital from any other source.
    Oft evil will shall evil mar.
    Some details:
    ... that it planned to close one of its older factories and planned to lay-off 135 temporary or contract workers and 40 full-time employees. A closer look at the company shows it has never turned a profit since it was founded in 2005, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.
    And Solyndra’s auditor declared that “the company has suffered recurring losses, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders’ deficit that, among other factors, [that] raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a growing concern” in a March 2010 amendment to its SEC registration statement.
    “While we understand the purpose of the Loan Guarantee Program is to help private companies engaging in clean energy products to obtain financing by providing loan guarantees, subsequent events raise questions about Solyndra was the right candidate to receive a loan guarantee in excess of half a billion dollars,” Upton and Stearns wrote.
    It really does not matter which Administration funded this... There is no way in heck that the government should have laid one dime on this turkey.

    People have complained about Venture Capitalists (aka Vulture Capitalists)--But there was a lot of money lost by these firms and people get fired/lost their investments many times.

    There had already been a 1/2 billion bucks down this hole before the government (our grand kids) funded them.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • monolocomonoloco Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels
    BB. wrote: »
    Crony Capitalism:

    Some details:


    It really does not matter which Administration funded this... There is no way in heck that the government should have laid one dime on this turkey.

    People have complained about Venture Capitalists (aka Vulture Capitalists)--But there was a lot of money lost by these firms and people get fired/lost their investments many times.

    There had already been a 1/2 billion bucks down this hole before the government (our grand kids) funded them.

    -Bill
    This is a sad commentary about government waste, but not nearly as wasteful as the ethanol subsidy. Putting a tariff on foreign made panels would probably be a much more effective way to prop up domestic production.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,010 admin
    Re: Solyndra Panels
    monoloco wrote: »
    This is a sad commentary about government waste, but not nearly as wasteful as the ethanol subsidy. Putting a tariff on foreign made panels would probably be a much more effective way to prop up domestic production.
    It appears to be even getting weirder:
    California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard would place a much lower carbon value on sugarcane ethanol than corn ethanol, providing refiners with an incentive to use more of the Brazilian fuel.
    The federal renewable fuel mandate also classifies sugarcane ethanol as an advanced biofuel. With production of cellulosic ethanol, another form of advanced biofuels, unlikely to meet the federal targets in the near future, Brazilian ethanol could fill that gap, the EIA said.
    "In this context, it is not hard to envision a scenario in which the United States continues to export corn-based ethanol to Brazil while at the same time importing sugarcane ethanol from Brazil to comply with California LCFS and Federal RFS requirements," the EIA said.
    Brazil is producing less Cane alcohol because sugar is currently worth more as food than as a fuel...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels
    BB. wrote: »
    It appears to be even getting weirder:

    Brazil is producing less Cane alcohol because sugar is currently worth more as food than as a fuel...

    -Bill

    You know, back in the 19th century Germany nearly starved to death because they were exporting one type of wheat which grew there and importing another (preferred) type that didn't. Imported wheat crop failed: Germany had no bread. While it exported tons of wheat.

    Have these enviro-geniuses considered the affect on the environment from shipping one type of ethanol to Brazil while importing the other? It's not like it travels via matter-transmitter you know. The local crop (of anything) is automatically "greener" over-all than something that has to be transported thousands of miles. :roll:
  • bgarrettbgarrett Solar Expert Posts: 48
    Re: Solyndra Panels

    Peter Lynch, a longtime solar industry analyst, told ABC News the company's fate should have been obvious from the start.

    "Here's the bottom line," Lynch said. "It costs them $6 to make a unit. They're selling it for $3. In order to be competitive today, they have to sell it for between $1.5 and $2. That is not a viable business plan."
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels
    bgarrett wrote: »
    Peter Lynch, a longtime solar industry analyst, told ABC News the company's fate should have been obvious from the start.

    "Here's the bottom line," Lynch said. "It costs them $6 to make a unit. They're selling it for $3. In order to be competitive today, they have to sell it for between $1.5 and $2. That is not a viable business plan."

    Couldn't they make it up in volume? :p
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels
    When people eliminate regulatory steps to make these deals fly to satisfy some political goal, this is what happens. The early in and early out investors / promoters got their money and ran, all that was left was a empty bag. Unfortunately the good people are just pawns on the chest board.
    Chessboard, maybe? ;)

    Unfortunately for most of us, this is the way business works these days. Greed rules the world, and economic predation and hoarding has starved the U.S. economy to the point where the states and fed alike are "broke". Private prosperity is financed through public debt.
  • MiamiSunriseMiamiSunrise Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Solyndra Panels

    Well, my two cents:

    Terrible design. New, revolutionary, unique... those do not always mean "better".

    GREAT CELLS.

    We have a small sample of one of the Solyndra cells here. In a space the size of an F8 fluorescent tube about six inches long, it gave us more power than a polycrystalline panel with about three or four times the panel area.

    A little research on their website (which is still up) shows that they used a CIGS cell chemistry. The cell material like a really deep moss green color.

    Soo... anyone making proper *flat* CIGS panels? I'd love to get my hands on some...
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels
    Well, my two cents:

    Terrible design. New, revolutionary, unique... those do not always mean "better".

    GREAT CELLS.

    We have a small sample of one of the Solyndra cells here. In a space the size of an F8 fluorescent tube about six inches long, it gave us more power than a polycrystalline panel with about three or four times the panel area.

    A little research on their website (which is still up) shows that they used a CIGS cell chemistry. The cell material like a really deep moss green color.

    Soo... anyone making proper *flat* CIGS panels? I'd love to get my hands on some...
    Heliovolt does.

    I question, however, how a CIGS module could possibly have 3X or 4X the output of a poly Si module of the same area. More voltage, maybe, but power I don't think so.
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Solyndra Panels

    Q Cells "smart" range are CIGS: http://www.q-cells.com/en/products/solar_modules.html#3156

    And there are these guys who I've never heard of before: http://www.miasole.com/products_ms

    Some performance data from a Solyndra install: http://www.solar-yield.eu/en/zonhoven/hulsmansw/10230/10478.html it does worse than the average PV installation for his area BUT it's installed completely flat.

    And another 2:

    http://www.solar-yield.eu/en/haastrecht/ouden604/11254/11545.html
    http://www.solar-yield.eu/en/merksem/marc-dz/7684/7849.html
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