Applications and Solutions
High Performance Thin Film Solar in a Lightweight and Flexible Form Factor
The FLEX Series product is the ideal solar solution for metal and low-slope commercial roofs. These panels are lightweight and can be directly bonded to both metal and membrane system roofs — eliminating the need for solar racking, reducing weight load and significantly lowering project costs. For metal roofs, the FLEX series PV modules can be installed over a wide range of standard architectural metal roof panels, including flat and striated panel pans ranging from 16 to 36 inches wide. As an example, the FLEX Series modules can be directly applied to square rib corrugated panels to create solar parking canopies.
For today’s advanced membrane roof systems, the FLEX modules bond directly onto the membrane, eliminating the need for solar racking, concrete ballasts, and roof penetrations. Integration of the low profile, thin film modules onto the membrane roof surface protects against seismic movement and high winds. The MiaSolé FLEX modules simplify project logistics and reduce labor costs and installation times. The final installed solar solution is lightweight, making it ideal for low weight bearing building structures.
Features and Benefits:
- Factory Applied Self-Adhesive – Simple Peel-and-Stick Application
- Efficiency Rating +16%
- High Wind Zone Performance
- Low Labor and Balance of System (BOS) Costs
- Optional: Factory Laminated on Metal Panel for Rapid Installation
- Optional: Field Applied Modules — On-site Roll Forming — Retrofit
- Direct Bonding on Membrane Roofs from Some Roof Manufacturers
- Optional: Secondary Membrane Panel Option for Older Membrane Roofs
Reference: Kansas State University / Manhattan, KS
|Kansas State University
High Performance Thin Film Solar for Residential Rooftops
The MiaSolé Flex Series solar modules are designed for building integrated solar applications over a wide range of residential standing seam metal roof panels. MiaSolé’s FLEX N series panels can be applied onsite and are available factory laminated onto metal roof panels by Miasole’s metal roof manufacturer partners to reduce onsite labor cost. Unlike conventional glass modules and rack systems that cover the metal roof, the FLEX N series modules bond directly onto the metal roof panel and blend in with architectural standing seam panels preserving the visual look and design of the architectural metal roof panels.
Without heavy and expensive solar racking, roof penetrations are eliminated and the reduction in weight load significantly lowers project costs and stress on the roof and home. In addition, since the roof and the solar system are now one BIPV (Building-integrated Photovoltaic) product, project logistics are greatly simplified, and installation labor costs and time are reduced.
Integration of the low profile, BIPV roof modules onto a residential roof surface protects against seismic movement and high winds. The final installed solar solution is lightweight, maintains normal roof warranty, and is ideal for low weight bearing building structures.
Features and Benefits:
- Factory Applied Self-Adhesive – Simple Peel & Stick Application
- Efficiency Rating +15.5% Lightweight – 0.7 lb/ft2
- High Wind Zone Performance
- Low Labor and Balance of System (BOS) Costs
Reference: NSW/ Australia
|Read the case study
Reference: Residence in Liberia, Costa Rica
|Liberia, Costa Rica
Reference: General Membrane
|Phoenix Solar Tech bituminous waterproofing membrane
|Read the case study
The SolarRide™ transportation solution is comprised of solar modules and a proprietary smart charge controller that ensures you receive the maximum benefit from your solar investment.
SolarRide auxiliary power allows you to:
- Reduce Fuel Consumption. Use solar energy instead of gas to power auxiliary systems
- Reduce Maintenance Costs. Running the truck engine less results in decreased intervals for scheduled maintenance.
- Reduce Emissions. Using clean solar power instead of fuel reduces emissions to help truckers comply with environmental regulations
- Provide Stand-by Power. Use solar energy for standby power without running the engine.
- Provide Power to Truck De-icing Systems. De-ice the truck with solar energy instead of fuel
- Off-load Alternator Loads. Use solar power to provide off-load electrical power
The SolarRide smart charge controller optimizes solar power
The MiaSolé smart charge controller ensures that all of the power generated by the solar modules is utilized and provides overcharge and undercharge protection.
Key features of the proprietary, unique smart charge controller:
- When the truck engine is on, the charge controller prioritizes solar power over alternator power
- When the engine is off, solar power charges the vehicle battery(s)
SolarRide smart charge controller reliably manages power delivery from multiple sources
The low-profile MiaSolé FLEX modules offer superior performance in high-wind environments, making them an ideal solution to provide solar power on boats. The low-profile unobtrusive design also maintains the aesthetic appeal of the boat. The panels are so lightweight that they do not require retrofitting the boat structure for support, and they can be easily mounted and removed. The high efficiency rating of 16% enables the highest energy production possible in a flexible panel, crucial on a boat with little free space.
|Read the Case Study
Reference: Solar Boat Twente
|University of Twente
The installation of solar (photovoltaic or PV) carports on both private- and public-owned parking lots provides a new and cost-effective opportunity for generating clean, renewable energy without consuming additional land resources. Solar PV carports can provide far more power generation area compared to the more limited rooftop surface commonly used for many solar installations.
Parking lots, in general, have more solar potential and less shading issues than rooftop solar and can be easier to install than rooftop solar installations and be less disruptive to the facility. Two additional advantages to mounting solar on carports versus roof-mounted solar arrays include no roof penetrations, which increase exposure to potential water leaks, and the ability to avoid additional roof inspection or engineering and repair costs regarding the age, service life and integrity of the building’s roof.
Solar PV parking canopies offer the parking lot owner and the environment considerable value:
- Highly desirable shade for parked cars.
- Rain and snow protection
- Protection from hail damage
- Reduced UV exposure
- Reduced parking lot temperatures and heat island effect
- Low-cost renewable power generation
- Low power distribution and energy transmission cost for the utilities.
- Improved municipal energy independences
Lightweight Flexible Solar vs. Glass
Traditionally most solar carports use conventional heavy glass crystalline solar modules installed on rails over large heavy gauge structural steel building components requiring large support columns with deep concrete piers or large ballast blocks. Even carports designed and built using architectural metal panels require additional heavy gauge structural steel, railing and roof clamps, all adding weight and cost to the solar carport.
MiaSolé FLEX-02 thin film modules offer the same high efficiency power output as standard crystalline modules while weighing less than 0.7 lb/sf vs the 3-5 lbs. /sf for crystalline modules. The lighter weight of the FLEX-02 modules means less structural steel is required in the carport design, which means less cost and faster construction time. Solar carports constructed with the FLEX-02 can use light-gauge roll-formed steel, which allows the support columns to be placed further apart, creating a more open design.
Good wind- and seismic-performance engineering is important to carport design. With traditional glass modules, there is concern about the stresses of wind and seismic movement. In addition, purlins can sag when support columns are placed far apart, impacting glass module and rail attachment. Architectural metal panels with FLEX-02 modules provide stiffer support surfaces, can span wider distances, and are engineered for good wind and seismic performance while using lighter structural support.
Installing Solar Modules onto Existing Carports
Many facility owners have existing carports without solar. Owners often want to retrofit these existing carports, only to realize that the original design and construction will not support the additional weight of convention crystalline modules. Until now, the only option was to tear down the existing carport structure and to design and rebuild the carport to support conventional solar.
MiaSolé FLEX-02 flexible and lightweight thin-film solar modules can be installed over existing carports constructed with architectural metal panels and some square rib corrugated metal panels without affecting the current weight limitation design. On carports with non-compatible metal panel profiles, these metal panels can be removed and replaced with new architectural metal panels without having to modify the existing support structure at a cost lower than full replacement. FLEX-02 modules can be installed onsite, requiring fewer installers and equipment, speeding up both new construction and retrofit installations, all at a lower cost.
MiaSolé Thin-film Solar Cell Ideal for a Variety of Non-roof Applications
The MiaSolé solar cell is the most powerful thin-film product on the market today. Its flexible, lightweight design makes it ideal for a wide variety of non-roof applications. Following are a few examples:
Landfills are located on large, open areas with no commercial or agriculture use or value—perfect for solar installations. Closing and sealing landfills with a synthetic TPO membrane cover reduces costs compared to conventional standard subtitle D methods, and flexible solar modules then can be bonded directly to the membrane cover, providing power generation capability.
Landfill membrane covers and flexible modules are a perfect combination for sloped landfill sites where conventional solar arrays cannot be installed due to slope and live-load limitations. Landfills provide large power-generation area and fewer shading issues when compared to rooftop solar, and adding solar modules to landfill covers is an excellent complement to landfill gas technology to increase overall energy output.
MiaSolé FLEX modules provide the following benefits when used on landfill covers:
- Easy to install—simply peel-and-stick module onto the membrane used to contain, cover and close the landfill
- Non-penetration installation protects the environment
- Flexible—conforms to the contours of the landfill and accommodates differential settlement
- Resistant to theft and vandalism
- Wind- and seismic-resistant
- Shatter-proof—won’t break if struck by debris
Installing solar modules on reservoir covers allows reservoir owners and municipalities to generate power using the water surface area without consuming valuable land area for a solar array. Due to reduced evaporation, a 3-acre storage pond covered with a solar reservoir cover could save over four million gallons of water each year. In addition, solar reservoir covers ensure less water contamination and algae growth, minimizing water treatment costs.
Solar reservoir covers offer a large power-generation area and less shading issues when compared to rooftop solar. The cooling effect of the water also improves solar module performance. And for reservoir-based hydro power plants, solar power provides an ideal supplement to hydro-based power generation.
MiaSolé FLEX modules provide the following benefits when used on reservoir covers:
- Lightweight: less than 2.9 kg/m2—Ideal for floating structures
- Easy to install—simply peel-and-stick onto reservoir membrane
- Resistant to wind
- Shatter-proof—won’t break if struck by debris
MiaSolé FLEX panels are the most efficient thin-film lightweight flexible panels on the market today—with an efficiency rating of 16%–generating the most power possible. For lighting applications, this means that the power generated by a MiaSolé panel is sufficient to power an LED streetlight for up to eight days, meaning even in times of inclement weather the light will be powered.
The MiaSolé Flex panels curve around the light pole structure, eliminating the need for a separate rack. Not only does this reduce the chance of vandalism and theft, but it preserves the aesthetic appeal of the light. In addition, the manner in which the FLEX panels lay on top of the cylindrical shape of the pole increases wind resistance. A traditional solar light with rectangular panel can only withstand 70 to 90 mph winds while a light powered by a MiaSolé flexible panel can withstand 150+ mph.
Because solar-powered lighting is self-contained, it is off-grid and can be used in remote installations and is unaffected by power outages.
- Provide outdoor lighting that preserves resources, has no moving parts and is virtually maintenance-free
- Panels need to:
- Generate sufficient power
- Easily fit onto existing poles
- Withstand the outdoor environment
- Look good
- Flexible panels curve around light pole, preserving the look of the light
- Lights can withstand 150+ mph winds and have low risk of theft and vandalism
- Powerful enough to charge battery to power light for eight days
Greenhouses are climate controlled environmental structures. With the integration of photovoltaic panels, LED lighting, heating and monitoring systems can be powered off-grid. This allows growers to fulfill green mandates and sustainability goals through carbon reduction and local sourcing. Adding photovoltaic panels to greenhouses also dramatically reduces lifetime building and energy costs.
The flexible and lightweight thin-film MiaSolé solar cell can be configured in multiple ways and be tailored to fit any application. The unbreakable cell is a dark uniform color with an appealing interconnected design that enhances the appearance of consumer devices. The cell generates the most power available in a thin-film design at 16% efficiency, which, along with the lightweight design keeps the final weight of the device as low as possible.
Hantile Solar Roof Tile
Hanergy Hantiles are created by encapsulating MiaSolé thin, flexible thin-film solar cells into ultra-clear float glass. As a building material, Hantile conserves heat more effectively and offers better thermal insulation than standard roof tiles. The glass Hantile products are waterproof and can generate electricity at temperatures ranging from -40C to 85 C. The product line has been certified by the Chinese and European authorities, with US certification expected in the coming year.
Hantiles have an efficiency rate of 16.5%.
Hanergy Solar Car
The Hanergy Solar series of vehicles include the Hanergy Solar R, Hanergy Solar O, Hanergy Solar L and Hanergy Solar A, targeted at different groups of users.
Integrated with flexible and highly efficient thin-film solar cells and modules, the full solar power vehicles with zero emissions use solar energy as its main source of driving force through a series of precise control and managing systems, including a photoelectric conversion system, an energy storage system and an intelligent control system.
As Hanergy’s full solar power vehicles acquire power directly from the sun, they do not depend on charging posts and thus have no need to bother with “distance per charge” anymore, making “zero charging” possible during medium and short distance journeys.
The solar cars use Hanergy’s gallium arsenide (GaAs) dual-junction solar cell, with a conversion rate of 31.6%. This cell was awarded with aWorld Record Certificateby the World Record Association.
The vehicles feature light weight and maximization of the area covered by thin-film solar cells. Their user-friendly designs enable users to select and manage different travelling and weather modes in a real-time, mobile, networked and smart way. Users can select charging modes in accordance with varied weather conditions through Apps on their mobiles. Moreover, the vehicles are equipped with ultrasonic cleaning technology for maintenance of the solar cells.