Bila Solar to manufacture glass-less solar panels in Indiana

Bila Solar facility

Bila Solar is the latest Asia-based solar module manufacturer setting up shop in the United States. The 1 GW-scale manufacturing plant is planned for Indianapolis and scheduled to be operational mid-2024. The company will invest upwards of $35 million in Indianapolis to renovate an existing 150,000-square-foot facility and employ about 250 people when up and running.

Bila has also designated the city as the location for its U.S. headquarters, situated within the same building.

“We are thrilled to begin the Bila Solar journey in Indianapolis,” said Mick McDaniel, VP & US General Manager, Bila. “We’re bringing to the U.S. market ultralight modules that go where traditional solar panels can’t go. In Indianapolis, we found a central urban location, a diverse workforce and an entrepreneurial spirit – ideal for our out-of-the-box approach to making clean energy attainable for all.”

Founded in 2014, Bila operates a 1 GW manufacturing facility in Asia. Bila’s new factory will be producing glassless, frameless solar modules – an output they compare to ~5,000 high-capacity modules daily.

Key feature: Lightweight PV

Bila’s debut product, the BF-Series, is a lightweight glass-less solar module that combines proprietary polymer laminates with mono PERC solar cells. The result is a module that weighs a mere 17 pounds — that is 30 percent of regular glass panels. Bila Solar’s modules are also 95 percent slimmer.

These modules can be employed in various challenging applications, including low load-bearing commercial and industrial roofs, waterproof membrane roofs, integration into vehicles for solar power, off-grid energy utilization and even curved surfaces.

In terms of mounting, they do not require penetration, ensuring roofs stay safe and waterproof.

A glass-less module is not new — we’ve reported on several that have launched and disappeared for various reasons — but Bila’s is the first glass-free laminated solar panel to pass the same durability tests as conventional glass panels, including IEC 61215:2016, IEC61730:2016, UL61730 (USA), PID, and salt mist level 8 tests.

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