Solar power systems manufacturer SolarWorld announced Wednesday its new Sunmodule Protect glass-glass solar panel, a technological advancement that allows the 35 year old company to provide a 30-year linear guarantee on the panels.
“SolarWorld has advanced the cutting edge of solar-technology innovation for decades, and Sunmodule Protect’s launch is the latest milestone in that storied history,” said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America, based in Hillsboro, Ore. “We offered the first 25-year step guarantee in 1997 and the first 25-year linear guarantee in 2009. This year, we will offer the first glass-glass solar panel coupled with an industry-leading performance guarantee.”
The new solar panel is no heavier than a standard glass-film panel, substituting the conventional backsheet with lightweight glass to better shield energy-producing solar cells from the environment. It is this advance which has allowed SolarWorld to extend its linear performance guarantee to 30 years, up from 25 years. The guarantee offers only 0.35% in lower performance protection over each of the 30 years, guaranteed to provide 86.85% of their original performance after 30 years of operation.
While it may appear at first blush that swapping a thin polymer-based backsheet for a second pain of glass should unduly increase the weight of the solar panel, SolarWorld stress that the new Sunmodule Protect glass-glass solar panel remains lightweight, weighing in at approximately 46 pounds.
The announcements comes at the same time that SolarWorld is in the news for finding itself in troubled financial waters. According to Reuters, SolarWorld has said they are in “constructive” talks with creditors on a way to restructure, following news that they had delayed their annual press conference.
At the end of September, SolarWorld was in the red for $1.34 billion (1.03 billion euros).
SolarWorld will make an announcement when a debt plan has been approved for the company, SolarWorld announced, saying that they would “inform the public and present its annual group report at a press conference as well as at an analysts’ conference” as soon as a restructuring concept had been approved. SolarWorld are in talks with Görg law firm and Houlihan Lokey investment bank.
Last February, we reported on two separate SolarWorld initiatives that emphasise the company’s commitment to their customers.
SolarWorld on announced at the end of January that it will offer solar PV panels and systems to Helping Governments across the Country Buy (HGACBuy), “a 35 year-old group-purchasing program to offer renewable energy products and services to US state and municipal government agencies.”
While almost three weeks later, SolarWorld announced the launch of “the solar industry’s first financing program dedicated exclusively to American-made solar products.”
“The program is designed for homeowners seeking freedom from rising utility costs by replacing a portion of their electricity bill with a low monthly solar-power payment.”
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