Solyndra CEO Chris Gronet said the company has continued to talk to investors after announcing earlier this month that it had raised a total of $600 million in equity funding since 2005.

"Fund raising is an ongoing process," he said.

With all the financial turmoil, it might seem like a tough time to raise money for a new factory, and Solyndra plans to build a 450-megawatt manufacturing facility in Fremont, Calif. (see Solyndra Plans Huge Thin-Film Factory).

But the company has enough cash to carry it through, Gronet said.

"Part of our vision is to expand manufacturing capacity as fast as we can," he said. "And we're fortunate to have a great set of investors with the resources and long-term vision to get through this. [The weak economy] really hasn't had an impact on us."

The company earlier this month came out of stealth mode with news that it has signed $1.2 billion worth of contracts to sell its thin-film solar panels, which are made up of tubes of cylindrical films made of copper, indium, gallium and selenium that click into place and sit on flat commercial roofs without having to be bolted on (see Solyndra Rolls Out Tube-Shaped Thin Film).

Because of the way the tubes are spaced out, wind blows through the system - like a chain-link fence - instead of pushing against it like a sail. That design enables the weight of the system to keep it on the roof in winds as fast as 130 mph, the company said.

"Our weight is far greater than the lift from the wind," said J. Kelly Truman, vice president of marketing, sales and business development at Solyndra, who added that the weight is far less than traditional solar-power systems.

While some areas do get winds greater than 130 mph, that rating is enough to cover all of Europe and most of the United States - with exceptions including Florida and mountaintops where commercial-rooftops installations are unlikely, he said.

The company claims its panels take a third of the time of a normal system to install, at about half the cost.

That has made Solyndra popular with installers, because they can save time and keep more of the revenue, Gronet said.

"We can make a difference and be at scale where we're relevant," he said. "We're 100 percent focused on ramping our capacity. We have more demand than we can handle because we change the business model for the installer."

Still, not everyone is convinced the concept will succeed.

Jenny Chase, a senior associate at New Energy Finance, called Solyndra's product "cute."

"It seems like a brilliant idea to try," she said. "I've got to wonder if they will be able to pull it off, if it's cost effective to stuff one glass tube into another and if it will withstand things like hail."

Chase said fluorescent lights require a similar process, but are fairly expensive.

In general, thin-film solar will be similar to many new technologies in that many attempts will fail, she said, adding that it may be that some of the least interesting concepts will end up being the most successful.