Bila Solar has developed what its experts are calling a “quantum leap” breakthrough for catching solar energy.
The company’s innovative, lightweight module debuted during a Las Vegas tech showcase in September. The design is billed as a way to bring solar power to “challenging” scenarios. At 17 pounds, Bila’s panels weigh about 30% of the weight of traditional glass sunray catchers. They are also 95% thinner, which expands their potential, per Bila.
“Bila empowers industries to harness solar energy where it was once impractical,” a company report states.
Commercial and industrial roofs, waterproof membrane roofs, and solar-powered vehicles are among applications for the product. It’s made possible by using proprietary aerospace composites and crystalline silicon solar cells — high-tech materials that deliver reliable, efficient, and low-weight power, according to Bila.
“This product represents a quantum leap in solar innovation that will redefine the solar landscape for years to come,” Bila Vice President and U.S. General Manager Mick McDaniel said in the company report.
Solar is a burgeoning industry, growing by 24% each year for the last decade, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The association credits federal policies, lower costs, and tax incentives for the growth. There is enough solar capacity in the U.S. to provide energy to 27 million homes, per the association.
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that all forms of renewable power account for about 20% of the country’s electricity. Solar power produces 2.8% of that share in the U.S. Wind provides the most, at 9.2%, all per the government.
The company’s lightweight modules are geared to provide sun-catching ability to places that have been unable to be served by common glass panels, Yahoo Finance reports.
Bila has been in the sun business since 2014, putting solar panel systems on a variety of surfaces of varying shapes, as highlighted in a video clip. Some of the projects include spiraling, cylinder-shaped buildings, and intricate roof architecture, made possible for solar modules thanks to Bila’s lightweight and flexible designs.
Carports and tractor-trailer roofs are other applications highlighted by Bila.
“We are delivering a solution that not only simplifies the installation, but also elevates the very notion of solar adaptability. Its potential applications are limitless,” McDaniel said in a press release.
In August, the company announced plans for a $35 million solar module manufacturing plant in Indianapolis, expected to create around 250 jobs and serve as the base of Bila’s U.S. efforts.
“Solar energy should be accessible and abundant for everyone,” McDaniel said. “We look forward to driving innovation in Indiana to pursue that mission.”
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