Usually solar panels are heavy and need to be installed properly, for instance, expensive reinforced scaffolding is often needed on the roofs. A Los Angeles-based startup called Sunflare invented a new type of solar panel that is light and flexible, allowing it to be hung anyplace with just a bit of adhesive. Sunflare claims they can be hung with “little more than a 3M tab on the side of buildings.”
They’re so light because company managed to do away with the glass substrate required of other copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) type solar cells. These CIGS panels can be manufactured with just a flexible thin film. If an expensive silicone panel bends or gets smacked, it may very well break.
The company is also claiming it has improved the efficiency of these panels compared to the silicon variety and can produce 10% more energy throughout the day thanks to better light absorption in low-light. Also the panels are cheaper to produce, bringing them in-line with existing technology. This is a major improvement over past designs, that 65% lighter solar panel is able to produce 10% more energy throughout the day.