The National Renewable Energy Laboratory declared in a recent report that due to tax credit extensions, the United States is projected to add 53 additional gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by the year 2020. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects solar to achieve the greatest increases, adding 9.5 gigawatts of utility-scale solar in 2016. This sets the stage for Sunflare, a new and highly innovative entrant in the solar industry. Sunflare is the first company to successfully mass produce flexible, light, affordable CIGS solar panels. Sunflare has totally reengineered the manufacturing of CIGS panels with its Capture4 technology.
Efficiently mass producing CIGS thin film has been a challenge. The solar industry has been plagued by a history of failures in CIGS, most notably with Solyndra in 2011.
“Sunflare has worked for six years to perfect Capture4, a cell-by-cell manufacturing process with the highest degree of precision and the cleanest environmental footprint. This allows us to do what no manufacturer of CIGS thin film has done before—mass produce efficient, flexible solar panels,” said Philip Gao, Sunflare’s CEO.
Compared to crystalline Silicon, Sunflare is flexible and light because it does not use a glass substrate and has thinner layers of semiconductors. It is environmentally cleaner because it requires less energy to manufacture and does not use toxic chemicals. Compared to crystalline Silicon, Sunflare captures 10% more energy from dawn to dusk at a comparable cost.
Sunflare is ideal for all rooftops, particularly large commercial buildings, because it’s over 65% lighter than Silicon modules. This allows the entire roof to be covered without load-bearing concerns. In addition, it is easier to install because it does not require an aluminum frame nor does it require building penetration. With Sunflare nearly any surface, vertical, horizontal, even curved, can be transformed into an energy gathering and power generating plant.
Sunflare began as a dream for founder, Len Gao, in his early 20s. After graduating from college in China, Len came to America to earn his MBA at Pacific State University with $200 in his pocket and limited English language skills. Len knew some day he wanted to create a world-changing technology. He founded a successful furniture business 13 years ago. Six years ago he discovered a revolutionary solar concept and began perfecting Capture4. In 2015, Sunflare completed its first successful production run and a full-scale manufacturing facility is scheduled to open in June 2016.