March 2024 | Aluminum Solar Frames are a House of Cards

Mar 19, 2024

Aluminum Solar Frames are a House of Cards

By Gregg Patterson, CEO

Article published on Latitude Media

Switching to steel would mitigate many of the risks that currently plague the solar industry.

The entire solar industry rests — both literally and figuratively — on a dangerously vulnerable material.

It is vulnerable to the United States’ increasingly fraught relationship with China. It is vulnerable to snarled supply chains and to the increased size and demanding mounting methods for utility-scale modules. And it’s vulnerable to the severe weather that climate change has made so much worse.

That material, from which the industry makes all the frames on which solar modules rest, is aluminum. It is one of the most carbon intensive metals, and the bulk of its supply originates in one of the world’s most coal-intensive nations an ocean away. It is time for solar to leave aluminum behind.

In the News

Renewable Energy World article img

Chinese Aluminum or American-made Steel? Origami Solar Challenges the Solar Frame Standard

Renewable Energy World

Through incentives and adders, we are shortening supply chains and prioritizing products made for Americans, by Americans.

And if Origami Solar has its way, good old-fashioned American-made steel is going to be at the heart of the Renaissance noveau.

Read the full article

PV Magazine USA article img

U.S. Steel Solar Module Frames Have One Tenth Embodied Carbon of Chinese Aluminum Alternatives

PV Magazine USA

Although PV produces electricity from sunlight with no emissions, it is not “free.” It requires energy, resources, transportation, and installation, all of which are processes currently require carbon emissions.

According to the Ultra Low-Carbon Solar Alliance, the use of PV materials with a lower carbon backpack can reduce the carbon footprint by 50% in the U.S. and 70% in Europe.

Read the full article

Upcoming Events

Have questions about the 3rd party testing of Origami Solar frames, their full backward compatibility with current aluminum frames, or the domestic supply chain that we have built here in the US and Europe? We will be at the following upcoming events. Reach out to set up a time to talk!

Large Scale Solar USA conference logo

Large Scale Solar USA

May 1-2, 2024
Dallas, Texas

Eric Hafter, Origami Solar founder, will be speaking on the panel:
Are We Ready for US-Based Solar Manufacturing?
May 2, 2024 9:40am – 10:20am, Room One

Be sure to catch this engaging conversation on domestic content requirements, local manufacturing, and supply chain.

PV ModuleTech conference logo

PV ModuleTech USA

May 21-22, 2024
Napa, CA

New Module Factory Build-out in the U.S.
Eric Hafter will speak on this panel as they discuss the current and future status of domestic module manufacturing in the US.

May 21, 2024
4:00pm – 5:30pm

CEBA Connect summit logo

CEBA Connect: Spring Summit

May 22-24, 2024
Denver, CO

Join Origami Solar and other CEBA members dedicated to advancing a carbon-free energy future as we collaborate to scale clean energy.

Wood Mackenzie logo

Solar & Energy Storage Summit 2024

June 12-13, 2024
San Francisco, CA

Keynote Panel: Overcoming Global and Domestic Supply-Chain Constraints
Eric Hafter will present as part of this keynote panel discussing clean energy supply chain constraints and solutions to grow solar and energy storage.

June 12, 2024
9:30am – 10:10am

Boundless Impact Report image

Origami Solar Module Frames Contribute to Drastic Decarbonization in the Global Supply Chain

GHG emissions per MW chart. 90%+ GHG reduction per MW with recycled steel module frames.Last week, Boundless Impact Research and Analytics released a new Origami Solar Environmental Impact Report. Boundless has developed extensive data on Origami Solar’s carbon footprint and provided a direct comparison with aluminum frames manufactured in China. The results show that a simple switch to recycled steel would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 90% per frame! That is a GHG savings of over 173 metric tons per megawatt in the US and almost 182 metric tons per megawatt in Europe.