Cylindrical solar panels, a new approach for powering big buildings

Scoot over solar panels, there's a new solar solution in town: cylinders. Developed by California-based alternative energy startup Solyndra, the cylindrical shape of the solar fixtures is said to generate more energy, as well as be easier to mount on roofs and big buildings. Even more important for the latter, as an array of the solar cylinders — spaced out as they are — catch a lot less in the wind.

The cylinders are composed of curved solar panels made from thin semiconductor sheets fixed to a glass tube. The company touts that the panels are far easier to bracket to a structure than conventional panels, which sounds pretty nice. Imagine if every big building could power itself, completely independent of the grid — sounds pretty nice, right?

Solyndra has a video on its website showing how the cylindrical panels are installed.

Solyndra, via Technology Review