Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Integrated Flexible Photovoltaic Structures(ST10900)

FTL Solar, LLC


Flexible PV (photovoltaic) solar panels open up numerous designs for solar electric generation applications not possible with rigid PV panels FTL Solar combines its experience designing flexible tensile structures (i.e. suspended fabric roofing systems) with commercially available flexible PV cells, with the vision to provide lightweight structures that also produce electricity. The structures could be used as shade structures (as in a carport), mobile shelters (as in tents and event pavilions), fixed structure roofing (such as Denver Airport’s tension fabric roof), or other applications.

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Project Description

The objective of this project is to assist FTL Solar to design and commercialize structures with integrated flexible PV . This project involves the integration of Ascent Solar modules with the FTL Solar product line, improvements to the FTL PowerMod product given experience in testing, and evaluation of prototypes. Ascent Solar’s CIGS modules have been tested at 10% efficiency. They currently sell modules with efficiencies between 7%-9%. The development work will be carried out under a collaborative agreement between FTL Solar and the Center for Advanced Microelectronic Manufacturing in Endicott, NY and the Center for Autonomous Solar at Binghamton University. It is the intent, under this scope of work that the intellectual property, funded and developed under this NYSERDA contract, will remain in New York, with a future manufacturing operation situated in Endicott, New York. Once this development program is underway, FTL Solar expects that additional funding will be available under other federal programs to expand the scope of work and the scale of operations.


The project will result in development of an updated and cost-competitive PowerMod product that performs at an efficiency of between 8-10% and has a power output level that is at least twice the level of the current prototype product (the current 20’ x 20’ commercial PowerMod produces 750 watts). This product shall incorporate thin-film flexible copper indium gallium arsenide (CIGS) solar modules currently being produced by Ascent Solar. The optimal lamination and manufacturing process will be investigated. The result of this project shall be a post-prototype near-commercial product that will be ready to be sold in the marketplace.

Project Results


FTL Solar, LLC
327 Congress Avenue, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78701

Principle Investigator

Robert Lerner

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Energy Power Supply

NYSERDA Contact Information

Bryan Berry


R&D - Innovation & Biz Dev

Contract Details

Start Date: 10/7/2009
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10900

Last Updated: 1/25/2012