Steel solar panel frame manufacturer Origami Solar announced that its second-generation frame is now ready for evaluation and certification testing. This second version is lighter and provides enhanced structural performance compared to the first-generation prototype.
The steel solar module frame represents a significant opportunity to disrupt high-risk Asian supply chains by leveraging regional steelmaking resources to end the solar industry’s reliance on imported aluminum. Leveraging the significant investment in U.S. module production capacity by sourcing domestic steel frames can lower costs, create jobs, and tap into domestic content incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Origami Solar steel module frames will help accelerate our energy independence, significantly reduce the solar industry’s carbon footprint, and enable unconstrained local-region panel production,” said Gregg Patterson, CEO of Origami Solar. “Our Gen 2 frames are lighter, stronger and ideally suited to provide superior support to the new large-format modules coming to market. In collaboration with steelmakers and precision roll formers, we have designed the Origami steel module frame to match the fit, form and function of industry-standard frames, making the transition from aluminum to steel seamless for module manufacturing and field installation.”
“We are excited to partner with Origami Solar to develop their innovative and revolutionary steel module frames,” said Thomas Welser of Welser Profile, a global manufacturer of roll-formed steel products. “Our goal throughout this process has been to support Origami Solar to ensure that any solar panel producer will be able to rapidly integrate and scale these frames with virtually no changes to their production processes, in both the U.S. and Europe. Together with Origami Solar we have optimized the design and are working on further innovations that will address future industry needs.”
“Steel is an earth-abundant resource that can be manufactured on every continent, the use of which in trackers, racking, mounts, and tubes is already widely accepted by the solar industry,” said Mathew Arnold, CEO of Unimacts. “We are excited to collaborate with Origami Solar to rapidly facilitate the shift from imported aluminum to domestically made steel frames.”
Along with support for increased production of domestically produced recycled steel, Origami Solar frames will reduce production-related greenhouse gases by up to 93%, representing a reduction of 80 kg per module or 200 metric tons per megawatt, through the use of recycled or “green” steel. With performance testing by third-party labs and module manufacturers nearing completion, Gen 2 production-ready frames are now available for evaluation testing by module makers and key partners across the solar value chain.
News item from Origami Solar