Eco Factor: Solar cell module for large scale installations.
In a bid to cut the weight of solar panels and make them efficient at the same time, Fuji Electric showcased lightweight solar modules at the PV EXPO 2009. Known as the “F Wave,” the module is just 1mm thick and weighs about 8kg/m2, though still not feather-light, the modules weigh 50% less than other conventional crystal Si-based modules.
The module is based on a 0.8mm thick steel plate, which carries light and flexible solar cells. The company also showcased another system that is based on an even lighter aluminum frame, which further reduced the weight of the panels by another 5kg/m2.
The Dark Side:
The efficiency of the panels is something Fuji Electric needs to work on before mass producing the systems. For now the system has an efficiency of about 8%, which is 50% less when compared to other Si-based systems with an efficiency of 16%. Fuji does state that further improvements in the module will push the efficiency to over 12%, which will still be much less than other modules available on the market today.