Mar 21, 2009 | 4
The Department of Energy (DOE) this week made the first alternative-energy loan guarantee, announcing that Solyndra Inc., a solar energy company based in Fremont, Calif., will receive $535 million. The company – profiled recently by ScientificAmerican.com – plans to use the money to ramp up production of its cylindrical, thin-film solar panels that lie flat on rooftops.
The cash won't flow until the loan receives some final legal and financial green lights, according to a DOE press release. The DOE is reviewing dozens of other projects, from nuclear to carbon capture and sequestration, and will likely be issuing more loan guarantees in the coming weeks, the New York Times reports.
Oct 8, 2008
Munich-based Phoenix Solar AG, a German photovoltaic system installer, has committed $615 million (450 million Euros) to purchasing Solyndra's cylindrical solar cells as a core part of its future rooftop installation business. Why? "We see significant cost-savings," says chief technology officer Manfred Bächler. "We simply do not need any supporting structures or ballasts or roof penetrations," because, unlike traditional flat solar panels, the new round kind don't need any help to keep grounded when the wind blows.
In addition, the ability of the solar cylinders to collect direct, diffuse and sunlight reflected from the rooftop—as well as the ability to lay panels of them horizontal to the roof itself means more electricity can be made from a given rooftop. Further, the solar cylinders keep cooler overall, which enhances the performance of the system, Bächler says.
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