Maxeon releases line of flexible silicon-based solar panels

Maxeon Solar Technologies will release a new line of glass-less, flexible silicon-based solar panels this summer called Maxeon Air. The panels will first be used in European markets before having a global release in Q1 2022.

“The Maxeon Air technology platform continues our 35-year legacy of solar panel technology innovation and once again demonstrates the ability of our R&D team to develop leading edge, disruptive technology,” said Jeff Waters, CEO of Maxeon Solar Technologies. “For close to 50 years, the solar power industry has almost exclusively utilized glass superstrate panel construction. As solar panels have increased in size, and the cost of solar cells has been dramatically reduced, the cost of transporting, installing and mounting large glass panels has become a relatively larger portion of total system cost. With Maxeon Air technology, we can now develop products that reduce these costs while opening up completely new market opportunities such as low-load commercial rooftops.”

Maxeon Air solar panels are conformable, ultra-light, robust and fire-certified panels that can be adhered directly to the roof without the need for racking or other mounting systems. The first product introduction using the technology will target installation on roofs that are not engineered to support the weight of conventional solar systems.

Read Solar Power World’s recent coverage on the flexible solar panel market. 

Maxeon Air solar panels are frameless and glass-less. And with no additional racking needed, the resulting installed weight of the systems is “less than half of conventional systems,” according to the company.

Maxeon Air solar panels use Maxeon’s IBC solar cells, which move all busbar contacts to the cell’s backside. One Maxeon Air panel has an efficiency of 20.9%. The flexible panels use 90 solar cells and are longer than traditional modules. The company has listed on its website that the modules are 330 W.

“We are very pleased to introduce yet another groundbreaking solar power innovation,” commented Jeff Waters. “In addition to the team’s innovative development work on the module design and materials, this new technology platform is fundamentally enabled by our unique IBC cell technology with its superior corrosion resistance and ability to bend without harmful cracking. Perhaps as importantly, Maxeon’s IBC module technology has the unique ability to pass current while shaded, continuing to produce power in conditions that would shut off other panels. This feature, along with inherently low temperature sensitivity ensures industry leading performance in all conditions.”

News item from Maxeon