Like time and money, the space on the rooftops of public and commercial buildings is a finite resource. Now, a curvy, new solar cell offers building owners and contractors an opportunity to make the most of all three. The system consists of dozens of hermetically sealed glass tubes containing a cylindrical core of thin-film photovoltaic material arranged in a 3.5-ft x 5-ft rectangular aluminum framework to create panels specifically designed for optimal performance on low-slope rooftops. Photo: Solyndra Curved cells (above) allow for flexible rooftop installation. Related Links: America May Gain from Materials Designed To Stretch Your Stimulus Dollars Packing
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.