Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland have developed flexible solar panels that can be installed on roofs like shingles. These flexible panels will incorporate a technology, which will use thin, transparent films that act as barriers. This technology is presently being used to protect flat panel displays that use organic light-emitting diodes from dampness. PNNL, Vitex Systems and Battelle are working in collaboration aiming to enable the flexible rooftop solar panels called building integrated photovoltaics or BIPVs.
Economical way to generate power:
These building-integrated photovoltaics, created at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, are expected to replace the boxy solar panels used currently. The boxy solar panels made with rigid glass or silicon and mounted on thick metal frames are expensive and difficult to install. The flexible solar panels uses the otherwise wasted space on the rooftop very efficiently by generating power. Being easy and less expensive to install they can be incorporated into the architecture of commercial buildings and homes.