Why does it matter if solar module frames are made of steel or aluminum?

A reckoning is upon us. Climate science shows that deep decarbonization of the electric grid, transportation sector and heavy industry is the only path forward. The PV industry isn’t as ready for the transition as you might think, because of an often-overlooked component, the solar module frame.

Using aluminum for module frames contributes more than 14 kilograms (kg) of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) per 1 kg of aluminum. Steel production results in about 1.2 kg of GHGs for every 1 kg of steel. Recycled steel, used extensively in the US, produces even less GHGs. Switching to steel module frames will deliver more than 85% reduction in GHG.

Solar’s outsized carbon footprint is unsustainable. And unnecessary.

Solar modules can quickly and easily switch to Origami Solar’s innovative steel frame that is backwards compatible with current mounting solutions, while vastly reducing environmental impact, lowering costs, and making use domestic steel ecosystems to eliminate supply chain constraints.

Whether it’s generating electricity or manufacturing solar modules, concentrating production in one place increases the risk that supply disruptions will bring everything to a halt. We need resilient and localized supply chains, now more than ever.

Precision roll formed steel provides a solution that meets or exceeds all of the industry UL and IEC standards for loading, corrosion, continuity and many other critical elements.

Steel roll forming image
Aluminum and steel pricing trends graph

Aluminum is three times the price of steel per kg.
Graph courtesy of Commodities Research Unit (CRU)

Ready to learn more about switching to steel module frames to save money and reduce GHG emissions?