The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) invested $250,000 in product development for flexible tensile structures with integrated solar modules for a wide range of applications. FTL Solar, Austin, Texas, mass-produces pre-fabricated photovoltaic (PV) tensile structures that turn sunlight into electricity. NYSERDA president Francis J. Murray says the investment will “attract clean energy efficiency manufacturing jobs to our state.”
Ascent Solar, Thornton, Colo., developed the flexible thin-film PV modules, which it supplies to FTL Solar for integration into flexible, super-strength composite fabrics. Among the products already sold by FTL Solar are shaded parking structures, rooftop installations and solar tents, but the applications are endless and customers are eagerly awaiting cost-effective energy-saving solutions.