top of page
Film Set

Solar within transport: CIGS vs Semi Flex

It’s taken its time, but we are finally seeing the acceptance of solar within the transportation industry with operators now agreeing with the benefits that solar brings.

Here at TRAILAR, we’ve been championing the use of solar for transport since the very beginning, dedicating 12+ years of our own research into the correct modules for commercial vehicles. This level of research and testing is unrivalled within the industry.

As the market leaders in solar transport solutions, we only use the best components and the only solar modules suitable for the transportation industry – CIGS solar technology.

CIGS technology

CIGS stands for Copper Indium Gallium and Selenide and is a thin film flexible technology. The construction of CIGS is very different to the semi flexible Crystalline panels that are widely available within other markets and industries.  

TRAILAR are proud to be the ONLY UK based company distributing the original patented, authentic CIGS solar modules for transport.

CIGS Vs Semi Flex

Most of us are already aware but the table above demonstrates the many differences between CIGS and semi flexible solar technology. There are, however, some differences for the transportation sector which simply cannot be ignored.

The benefits of CIGS technology for transport

1.       Durability   TRAILAR solar mats embody a culmination of cutting-edge advancement in the CIGS technology making TRAILAR solar modules shatterproof with extreme durability. Originally designed for use in earthquake areas, the 4-element powder-based build-up of the mat modules means there are no wafers to crack or damage, making them resistant to road vibrations.


With Semi flex panels the crystalline modules are vulnerable to cracks or micro cracks due to the wafer build. Within fleet operation micro cracks can appear as soon as 1 month due to the vibrations from the road travel and pressure from weather elements. Cracks within the modules decrease the efficiency, reduce power contributions and in extreme cases can cause fire.

2.       High Reliability

TRAILAR surpass industry standards and deliver unmatched efficiency and reliability. The TRAILAR CIGS solar modules will provide 90% output up to 10 years and 80% up to 25 years and is the most fireproof on the market, rated to the highest UL790 Classification (Class A). 

The most concerning issue with semi-flex modules or deviations from the original CIGS technology for transportation is that they are not proven to have the same longevity and their fireproof rating is generally the lowest UL790 Classification (Class C).


3.       Lightweight TRAILAR CIGS solar modules are just 3mm thin and extremely lightweight only 2KG/m2, meaning there is no effect on payload or loss of MPG due to drag. The design is also sleek and a more aesthetically pleasing fit for your commercial vehicles.


4.       Shade Performance It doesn’t need to be sunny for TRAILAR solar mats to perform (perfect for UK based companies 😊). CIGS solar modules work in any natural light and are designed to absorb and generate maximum energy as quickly and efficiently as possible. 


TRAILAR and its year-round performance is one of the reasons it has been listed as best practice in the Governments decarbonising plan - Decarbonising Transport, A Better Greener Britain.


5.       Convenient Installation CIGS solar modules from TRAILAR offers a direct adhesive installation applicable to a vast range of vehicles. The panels do not require any mechanical fixings or brackets eliminating the chance for water ingress and additional weight. The panels can be fitted to new vehicles or retrofitted to existing vehicles in less than 2- hours.




bottom of page