SolarWorld is producing 280-watt-peak, 60-cell Sunmodule solar panels at unprecedented commercial volumes. This achievement represents an important step along SolarWorld’s fast-escalating course toward manufacturing a 300-watt, 60-cell panel.
Volume production of American-made 280-watt modules stems from investments of tens of millions of dollars in technological and production innovations in the company’s Oregon factory, even amid the manufacturing industry’s ongoing distress.
“The announcement is yet another example of how SolarWorld uses advanced technology and superior-quality materials to maximize power and efficiency in our panels,” said Mukesh Dulani, U.S. president of SolarWorld. “Our strength lies not just in our ability to innovate in the lab but also to translate those breakthroughs into commercial-scale production on the factory floor.”
Beginning in the second half of 2014, SolarWorld expects 280-watt solar panels to represent the majority of production at its U.S. manufacturing headquarters.
The 280-watt mono-crystalline Sunmodule taps advanced light-capture and energy-conversion technologies to achieve industry-leading power density in a 60-cell format. The panel is about 10% more efficient than industry-standard 250-watt 60-cell panels, enabling installation savings of about 10 cents a watt in labor and balance-of-systems costs. In fact, SolarWorld’s 280-watt 60-cell solar panel offers nearly the same power as competitors’ 72-cell panels, which typically range from 280 to 300 watts peak, but with a 15% savings in system footprint.
Coming with the same high quality, performance and reliability, the 280-watt includes a 25-year linear performance guarantee and 10-year product workmanship warranty, both consumer protections that the company pioneered. Like other wattage-class SolarWorld products, the new solar panels feature high-efficiency cells, a versatile frame to accommodate both top-down and bottom-up mounting, eight possible grounding locations and extended cable lengths for easier installation.