SOLYNDRA – a report from Earth2Tech

There are hundreds of solar companies developing new materials, new business models, new installation techniques and new manufacturing processes in an effort to bring down the cost and up the efficiency of solar panels. But there’s only one company that has made progress in 2009 with uniquely-designed solar tube-shaped panels: Solyndra.

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Only founded in 2005, and starting its first shipping in mid-2008, Solyndra has designed its solar panels into a series of skinny tubes that can absorb sun light from all directions, and can be installed flat on a roof (in contrast to traditional panels that need to be nailed down at an angle). That means the panels can be installed more easily and can in theory be cheaper.

Over on Earth2Tech we’ve been following Solyndra closely because the company plans to do an IPO on the stock market in 2010, planning to try to raise $300 million in the effort. When companies plan IPOs they have to file documents that can unveil interesting info, like Solyndra wants to reach grid parity by 2012, and has raised close to $1 billion in funding (which is the most money a startup has raised ever). Solyndra is also the first company to receive a loan guarantee from the DOE’s program, which helped it start construction on a factory in Fremont, California in September where DOE Energy Secretary Steven Chu and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave speeches.

Be sure to watch solar tube designer Solyndra closely in 2010 as it ramps up production and signs up new customers.