Singapore-based Maxeon Solar Technologies has announced it Maxeon Air solar panels this summer. The company says the Air solar panels are frameless, thin, lightweight and malleable, with the same efficiency and performance as standard solar panels.
Thin, flexible, self-adhesive solar panels
In fact, the Air is a solar panel sticker, or as Maxeon describes it, “peel and stick”, so that the panels can be installed directly on the roof surface without racks, anchors or ballast. Maxeon says the solar panels are designed to adapt to uneven roof surfaces.
There is no metal frame or heavy glass in the panel. Installed weight is approximately 6 kg (13 pounds) per square meter, which is less than half that of conventional systems. They are also certified for fire resistance.
The cells in the panels contain a solid metal foundation and low-voltage cell connections. That protects against corrosion and enables fault-tolerant circuits that allow the energy to flow even with cracked cells.
The Air panels have an efficiency valuation of 20.9%, a low power-temperature coefficient, shadow tolerance, wide spectral response and hot spot resistance.
Maxeon Air panels will be used in selected projects in Europe in the second half of 2021. General product availability is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.
That has to be some seriously strong adhesive, and Maxeon doesn’t specify what types of roofs the Air panels can be glued to. How do the Air panels work if tiles are not flat? And if there are panels to be replaced, how do they peel them off?
Regardless of the questions we still have, this seems like a breakthrough product in the solar industry, and Maxeon isn’t a startup – it’s been around for 35 years. It is active in more than 100 countries through a network of more than 1,200 partners and distributors. In principle, if the Air panel is as great as it sounds, it can be easily applied to roofs that previously could not bear the load of conventional solar panels or had an awkward shape.
Maxeon also does not yet specify what the Air panels will cost, but it does state that the product will be presented to the public at “The Smarter E Industry Days” on July 21-23. You can sign up for more information on their website.
What do you think of these new solar panels? Let us know in the comments below.
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