Italy’s Levante unveils origami solar panel with 23.4% cell efficiency

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Levante has developed foldable, portable solar panels in 330 W and 500 W versions. They weigh 9 kg and feature monocrystalline silicon cells with 23.4% conversion efficiency. Each module has its own junction box with MC4 cables.

The manufacturer said on its website that the origami panel is 20% lighter and 10% more compact than conventional panels, and 40% more compact than other folding panels. The Levante solar panel is 100% “Made in Italy,” and its technology is patented.

When unfolded, it measures 180 cm x 165 cm x 2 cm. When folded, the structure is rigid, and the dimensions are 119 cm x 40 cm x 5 cm. The product was developed with two nautical experts behind the Sailing Uma project.

Levante said the origami panels surpass conventional panels in several ways, as they are 20% lighter and 10% more compact. They also outperform other folding panels, with a purported 40% increase in compactness.

The 330 W Origami Solar Panels are ingeniously divided into two sections, and can be interconnected in either series or parallel configurations, delivering varying outputs. When connected in series, they yield a maximum power voltage of 73 V, and a maximum power current of 4.8 A. The open-circuit voltage reaches 84.4 V, with a short-circuit current of 5.1 A.

In parallel connection, the panels achieve a maximum power voltage of 36.5 V, and max power current of 9.7 A. The open-circuit voltage measures 42.2 V, alongside a short circuit current of 10.2 A.

For Kickstarter backers, panel deliveries are scheduled for November, while those who pre-ordered on Indiegogo can anticipate shipments in December. The Kickstarter campaign has garnered support from 77 backers, contributing a total of €85,244 ($93,290).

The 330 W panels are currently available for order on Indiegogo, with a price tag of €1,112, and larger 500 W panels can be obtained for €1,575.

Each set includes the panels and also adjustable telescopic arms for optimal placement, 3-meter MC4 cables, and protective storage bags. The set does not include a solar charge controller or batteries.

Image: Levante

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