SolarWorld, the U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, once again is leading the world’s major solar-panel producers by debuting a leading power-performance guarantee for its Sunmodule Protect glass-glass solar panel that covers about 25 percent more energy generation than the industry-standard 25-year linear power guarantee for conventional solar panels. The Sunmodule Protect, along with its guarantee, will be available for review at SolarWorld’s booth (No. 7609) at the Intersolar North America Exhibition from July 9 to 11 in San Francisco.
The Sunmodule Protect guarantee covers 30 years of power performance, a 20 percent gain from the industry-standard 25 years. The policy also limits declines in performance protection to .35 percentage points in each of the 30 years – the lowest degradation rate for such a guarantee among major world industry producers.
Compared with energy generation guaranteed under a standard 25-year linear guarantee, the power guarantee for Sunmodule Protect solar panels in a hypothetical 250-kilowatt system installed in Southern California would cover additional generation that under typical meteorological conditions would be expected to realize a net present value of $25,981, assuming a commercial retail energy rate of 10.12 cents per kilowatt hour, an annual utility inflation rate of 3 percent and a discount rate of 12 percent. Under the same assumptions, similar systems would guarantee additional energy generation typically worth $24,075 in Austin, Texas, and $25,158 in Newark, N.J.
The panel is no heavier than a standard, 46-pound glass-film panel. The product substitutes a panel’s conventional backsheet with lightweight glass to better shield energy-producing solar cells against stress and environmental factors. In addition, they come with the same sturdy aluminum frame used in Sunmodule Plus glass-film panels.
Because Sunmodule Protect provides substantial, long-term power-performance advantages over panels containing polymer-based backsheets, the product can be guaranteed to provide a trail-blazing 86.85 percent of nameplate performance in its 30th year of service. The debut marks at least the third time when the company has set an industry guarantee milestone, including the first 25-year step guarantee in 1997 and first 25-year linear guarantee in 2009.