What are flexible solar panels and what benefits do they offer?

Flexible solar panels or rather cells are an innovative solar technology that is largely at the research level currently. They are a lightweight solution to conventional solar panels which are bulky and may often be hard to install.

In conventional solar panels, the glass, frame etc. can be costlier than the PV materials used. Flexible solar cells are made by depositing PV material on flexible substrates like paper, which is a much cheaper option than glass. The technology for developing solar cells on paper was developed by a group of researchers from MIT.

Due to their flexible nature, they can fit on curved and other complex surfaces. Their reliability and compactness make them suitable for off-grid applications like powering irrigation pumps and portable applications such as mobile charging.

Take a look at some flexible solar panel installations below.




Key Benefits of Flexible Solar Panels

Flexible solar panels offer the following benefits over a traditional solar panel.

  • Due to their lightweight, they can be installed on low-load bearing roofs which are otherwise unsuitable for erecting conventional solar panels
  • The absence of structural additions like racks, ballasts or roof penetrations make it easier for installation and reduces labor costs

Interesting Applications of Flexible Thin-films

Some flexible solar panel technologies, due to their ruggedness and versatility, are especially suitable for marine applications on boats and yachts where typical solar panels can be unsafe.

There is also an emerging category of ultra-thin film solar panels that you can bend it as much as you can bend a thin sheet of plastic, but these currently have very low efficiency. Such fully flexible thin film solar panels are however widely expected to have significant potential in future, as their efficiency improves.

Many flexible panels in the market today can even rival the efficiencies of some conventional solar panels. Despite their advantages, the problem faced with flexible panels are that they are likely to get damaged when exposed to outdoor conditions. If technological maturity is achieved along with cost reductions, flexible solar panels can come in handy for numerous applications, even indoors as wallpapers for producing electricity from room lighting.

Here are some fun videos on flexible solar panels…


Related Posts:



Other web resources from Solar Mango

IIT Club

Green Expo


15 thoughts on “What are flexible solar panels and what benefits do they offer?

  1. Pingback: What are Li-Fi solar panels and how do they work? - Solar Mango – #1 guide for solar

  2. Pingback: Super Big Questions on Solar Innovations - from Solar Mango - Solar Mango – #1 guide for solar

  3. Pingback: What are bifacial solar panels, and what are their advantages? - Solar Mango – #1 guide for solar

  4. Pingback: What is the relevance of building-integrated photovoltaics in the current solar market? - Solar Mango – #1 guide for solar

  5. Pingback: How beneficial are solar panels on parking lots? - Solar Mango – #1 guide for solar

  6. Pingback: Are solar panels on greenhouses a good idea? - Solar Mango – #1 guide for solar

  7. Pingback: Selfie with Solar - Selfie with a Flexible Solar Panel - Narasimhan Santhanam, Solar Mango - Solar Mango – #1 guide for solar

  8. Pingback: Are All Thin Film Solar Cells Flexible? Ask Solar Mango - Ask Solar Mango

  9. Pingback: What are flexible solar panels and what benefits do they offer? | India Renewable Energy Consulting - Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech

  10. Solar Albuquerque

    Good read And Great article. The solar power is the perfect solution for the future.The use of solar power can control the level of pollution, as the process of generating electricity from sunlight cause no pollutants. 

  11. Solar Las Vegas

    The solar power is the safest and cleanest energy and helps us sustain the environment.Unlike the non-renewable energy sources, such as coal and petroleum, solar power does not smog or global warming.

  12. Adeniji Azeez

    My company in Nigeria is willing to do business with you by importing your products for massive installations in order to counter our power problem

  13. Ajay Verma

    Solar is one of the the most smartest way of generating power witout transmitting any harmful element in the enviornment. It is safe and cleanest method of power generation. Global worming can be reduced to a great extent if it is been inculcated by mass users. Althoug the article was a great read thanks for sharing.

  14. Pingback: Flexible Solar Panels vs Rigid – SolarPowerCampingGear.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

BRING - Biomass Residues Intelligence