Bridgette Meinhold

Flexible & Lightweight Solar Fabric by FTL Solar

by , 04/30/10
filed under: Architecture, Solar Power

solar fabric, solar power, solar energy, photovoltaics, thin film pv, thin film, FTL solar, military applications, lightweight, emergency relief, renewable energy, green design, eco design, sustainable building

FTL Solar has created a lightweight tensile fabric with integrated thin film solar panels that is capable of shading your deck while powering your home. Originally designed as easily deployable canopies for military applications, FTL’s solar products are now available now for solar parking lot shades, rooftop building installations, and small and large solar tent structures. The solar fabric could even act as a shading for your sunny deck, and since it’s a fabric it’s easy to install without any heavy duty mounting hardware.

solar fabric, solar power, solar energy, photovoltaics, thin film pv, thin film, FTL solar, military applications, lightweight, emergency relief, renewable energy, green design, eco design, sustainable building

FTL has two main solar products – the Powermod 285 and the Powermod 1200, which are rated at 285 W and 1200 W, respectively. Each version of the solar fabric can be utilized in a number of situations — as a sun shade in your backyard, on top of a pop-up festival tent, or they can even be strung together for an even larger shade for parking lots and other large spaces. The fabric can basically be installed in the same ways you would utilize a tarp. The Powermod 285 can easily produce enough power to run phones, computers, fans, power tools, lights, signs, projectors, gadgets, appliances, and back-lit signage, and the Powermod 1200 can generate about 4.5 kWh a day.

The benefits of this type of solar installation are numerous. They are lightweight, flexible, easily deployed, portable, movable, can be hooked up to battery storage, they don’t require heavy or complicated mountings, and you certainly don’t need a permit to install one. Now if only they could develop a “plug and play” installation so individuals could do it themselves, these could easily be on the shelves of Walmart or Ikea and selling like hotcakes.

+ FTL Solar

Via Michelle Kaufmann Studio

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13 Comments

  1. CLyon May 2, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I would LOVE to see more plug ‘n’ play installation for homeowners and businesses alike. I am still researching whether my company has any plans (in the States, not so much – abroad, they do) for reaching a wider audience with panels like these.

    The buzz is that as solar energy setups become more affordable, energy companies are getting a bit fractious about consumers becoming less dependent on their product.
    In some states, electric companies are actively fighting their customers over whether they should have to ‘buy’ the surplus energy generated by their ‘green’ customers.
    Wasted potential, don’t you think?

  2. KnightBiologist January 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Is there someone to talk to about sponsoring a tent made of this material that could be show-cased on a cross-country walk? The Great March for Climate Action is eager to show working alternatives to fossil fuels, especially if they are light weight and portable. We’ll be hiking over 3,000 miles from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., starting March 1st, and passing through 100 cities on the way. This company could get free publicity and bolster our message simultaneously. More information at climatemarch.org.

  3. Gregory Knott December 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Nevada would love to see an option like this available to campers, and hunters. We get 360 days of bright sunny days. Having a powered camp would be an asset we would readily pay for. How much is it? Is it ready to ship?

    I am guessing this is still out of the consumer market, it will be interesting when this goes to local markets like Scheels and Cabelas.

  4. Gregory Knott December 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    What a lucrative idea. Here in Nevada, we only see clouds a few days in the winter. A solar fabric would be an excellent seller to us. There are many people who enjoy camping and hunting, and this would be a very excellent option for those that want to have a powered camp.

    I am curious why after nearly

  5. sunshinesolarguys July 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    FTL is MIA. A few interestign comments on potential product back in 2010 now nothing.

    What is up FTL is it available?

  6. Randy Shlomovi March 3, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Nicely designed products, but where are they? They’ve never made it to market with anything. This company showed high promise a few years ago, but it appears they do nothing but try to market themselves, and can never deliver anything.

  7. dass June 18, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Im Dass from Tamilnadu. Im doing B.tech Textile technology. I want to know about the solar fabric is woven or knitted fabric?. Did you give any coating over the surface of the fabric to produce the solar fabric?

  8. Prefab Solar Awning Pro... October 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    [...] couldn’t think of a better place for a solar awning than perpetually sunny Los Angeles. The videos depict a mythical mermaid who, upon observing the [...]

  9. FTLSOLAR July 27, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Direct COntact:
    TSaxton@Ftlsolar.com – CEO
    RLearner@FTLSolar.com – Founder
    TDalland@FTLSolar.com – Founder
    MBrozgul@FTLSolar.com – Admin.

  10. islander June 22, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Ditto w/Beau in Africa. How can I get in touch with someone at FTL? Many attempts via phone/email – no response…very frustrating. Is there a distributor outside the company? Is there any other way to connect?

  11. Beau June 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I live in Africa and have not been able to contact FTL solar company through the contact number and email supplied on their website. No body is responding to my calls or emails. Please help me with a direct number or any other alternative to get intouch with some one at FTL Solar. Thanks,
    Beau.

  12. ahbs May 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    FTL Solar products are actually extremely durable and designed to withstand heavy rain, strong wind gusts and military battlefields for years. Their off grid products are military tested which is actually a much more intensive testing process than UL. The company\’s grid tied products are all UL approved, and I highly recommend all of them for durability, mobility and efficiency.

  13. ECD fan May 5, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Just one problem: FTL’s products stop function just months after the first rain falls on them. That is why their products are not UL approved.

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