Independent testing by TECSI Solar confirms the superior strength of Origami steel module frame protects the solar active components better than conventional aluminum frames

The testing conducted at TECSI Solar compared a 35mm tall Origami steel frame against a 40mm aluminum frame under identical conditions and using identical PV laminates. In all tests our steel frame met or exceeded UL/IEC requirements and delivered superior results over aluminum frames.

Testing

Using TECSI, a world-class testing and engineering firm, we put our Gen 1 frames through their paces. We put our steel frames onto laminates, and used aluminum-framed laminates from the same supplier for side-by-side comparison tests. The results exceeded our expectations. Please download the TECSI Executive Summary to see the results summarized. We’ve highlighted two key results below that tell a terrific story, especially when you consider that we tested a 35mm tall steel frame against a 40mm tall aluminum frame.

Results

Under extreme loading, both downward and upward, the Origami steel frames were more rigid than the taller aluminum frames. In the graphs below, you can see the Origami frames (blue) showing significantly less deflection under load. And, in the downforce test, the aluminum frames (red) deflected first upward and then suddenly downward, imparting sudden and dramatic forces onto the laminate. The Origami steel frame significantly outperformed the taller aluminum frame in frame wall rigidity, structural stability, and total deflection even at 3X UL/IEC loading (150psf).

The Origami steel frame (dark blue line) remains stable and relatively flat even as loading pressures become extreme.

The aluminum frame (red line) cannot match this performance, passing on these deflections to the laminate.

Origami Solar testing results - load pressure
The 40mm standard aluminum frames typically fail the upforce test ~80psf

The 35mm Origami steel frame does not fail until ~135psf

Origami Solar testing results graph - PSF

Module Performance

We performed electroluminescence testing on the Origami steel framed panel and the aluminum “control” panels, taking images as we increased the loading. These results were amazing, and demonstrated how the steel frame is protecting the solar-active elements. As you can see in this image, the aluminum framed panels experienced multiple new cell cracks with increased loading and the “from-the-factory” cell cracks propagated substantially in the aluminum-framed modules. Meanwhile, the Origami steel frames panels held firm, and only added one cell crack, which occurred when the panel was loaded with 3,200 lbs.!

Origami Solar testing results - Microfractures
The results are compelling.

Testing of the Origami Solar steel frame demonstrates that the frames do a better job of protecting from cell cracks and propagation, leading to superior long-term energy production.

Download the Executive Summary

Origami Solar testing results image