SolarWorld solar blog
  • ASU-UNM Team Part 2: Solar Decathlon 2013 is over, Long Live Solar Decathlon!

    Posted 12/6/2013 by Prof. Olga Lavrova, Dept of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of New Mexico
    ASU-UNM 2013 Solar Decathlon solar house - solar panels donated by SolarWorldThe US DOE Solar Decathlon 2013 is over and the results are in. Team ASUNM did great on the engineering aspects of the competition: we placed sixth in the Engineering Contest (our competition from other top engineering universities was tough!) and we consistently held second or third place on the Energy Balance Contest.
  • WVU Solar Team Part 2: Hands-on Training

    Posted 10/15/2013 by Sharrafti Kuzmar, West Virginian University Solar Decathlon Team

    WVU Solar decathlon 2013 - Sharrafti KuzmarHi, my name’s Sharrafti Kuzmar. I first heard about the Solar Decathlon through a friend and was instantly intrigued. Students get to design a net-zero house and then come to California to build it? Sign me up! It was my second semester at West Virginia University (WVU) studying Computer Engineering. I knew joining the project would be a great learning experience and getting to work with a team of dedicated students who want to see a project succeed would be highly rewarding.

  • WVU Solar team Part 1: Learning Curve

    Posted 6/18/2013 by Katie Frye, financial lead for the West Virginnia University Solar Decathlon Team
    A computer-generated rendering of the Solar Decathlon 2013 concept of West Virginia University For the West Virginia University Solar Decathlon Team, I have been the finance lead since … yesterday. Wait, let me back up. “What is ‘Solar Decathlon’?” you ask. No worries -- I had no idea what it was a mere five months ago. At that time, I was finishing up my first semester at WVU. I had just graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., last spring and was pursuing my master’s e degree in professional accountancy.
  • ASU-UNM Solar team Part 1: Evolving SHADE

    Posted 5/7/2013 by John Cribbs, Architectural project manager for the ASU-UNM Solar Decathlon team
    John Cribbs, 25, from Valparaiso, Ind. John is finishing his master of architecture degree program at ASU. I’d like to say that designing SHADE has been an easy ride thus far. Only that’s not true. Quite far from it … What it has been, though, is an intense learning experience. An experience that I am more than excited to take with me for the rest of my career. It is one that has prepared me for the reality of the design/build field and has touched on all aspects of design.
  • Video Contest Winner Powers Non-Profit With Solar System Grand Prize

    Posted 4/16/2013 by Cheryl Lohrmann, Director, Create Plenty
    SolarWorld video contest winner's solar panel system My prize solar panels have been in operation now for nearly 18 months. Although they are fairly inconspicuous (you have to crane your neck or cross the street to see them on my 3rd story roof) they are an idealist’s dream addition to my small urban Portland yard.
  • Installing, Testing, Permitting, and Commissioning 450 Solar Panels in Four Days Flat

    Posted 3/13/2013 by Mike McKechnie, President of Mountain View Solar
    Mike McKechnie from Mountain View Solar, a SolarWorld Authorized Installer, teams up with volunteers to help install a 100-kilowatt solar system I first heard about the Water Missions International project while I was having dinner with my friend Ben Santarris from SolarWorld last year. He was telling me about this charitable group that SolarWorld had developed a strategic partnership with and about a 100-kilowatt project that the company wanted to build at Water Missions’ new headquarters in Charleston. S.C.
  • Volunteers Flock to Headquarters at Water Mission International to Help Install 100kW Solar System Donated by SolarWorld

    Posted 3/6/2013 by George Greene III, Chief Executive Officer of Water Missions International
    Water Missions' volunteers working on installing the 100 kilowatts of solar panels donated by SolarWorld Work has begun on one of the largest solar arrays in South Carolina -- to power Water Mission International’s world headquarters in Charleston. It’s exciting news that, when I think about it, translates into thousands of lives that are going to be saved.
  • ultra-marathon

    Posted 1/9/2013 by Brian Janecek, SolarWorld Senior Recruiter
    Brian Janecek - SolarWorld's solar energy running man at the Pony Express 100 mile ultra marathonThere’s something about accomplishing a goal that makes me reflect back on it a bit less than when I fall short. In April I failed to complete the 100-mile Salt Flats 100 ultramarathon and it took me two months of reflection before I was able to articulate how I felt about the whole thing.
  • Clean Water Part 2: Teamwork, Perseverance, and a Selfless Act of Kindness Bring Clean Water to the Families of Aucayo

    Posted 10/10/2012 by Seth Womble, Engineer, Water Missions International
    SolarWorld solar panels and Water Missions Internation in Peru The town of Centro Union Aucayo, on the banks of a creek in the Amazon River valley of Peru, clearly needed safe drinking water. An earlier effort by a previous non-profit organization had created water infrastructure, including a run-down water tower with a distribution network and water-tap stands throughout the community.
  • Clean Water Part 1: Water Missions International and the Rotary Club Team Up With SolarWorld to Bring Clean Water to Villagers in Peru

    Posted 10/1/2012 by Seth Womble, Engineer, Water Missions International
    SolarWorld solar panels and Water Missions International bring clean water to villagers in Peru After a 30-minute boat ride down the Amazon River from the city of Iquitos, Peru, we reached the entrance to a tributary creek that would take us the village of Centro Union Aucayo. During normal times, navigating this winding creek through the Peruvian jungle would be easy, but these were not normal times.
  • Modern Design Meets SolarWorld Solar Panels

    Posted 7/5/2012 by Claudia Jordan, SolarWorld Consumer Events Specialist
    SolarWorld introduces solar panels to designers at Dwell on Design From high-end eco architects to the modern handy-man, attendees were embracing the technology of SolarWorld modules and were actively seeking engineering know-how on the subject. The show was jam-packed with panel discussions, demos, interactive exhibits, shopping opportunities and lots to look at. As I walked the floor, I noticed that SolarWorld was the only American solar panel manufacturer at Dwell on Design, the biggest modern design show on the West Coast.
  • SolarWorld's running man: Powered by perseverance

    Posted 6/25/2012 by Brian Janecek, SolarWorld Senior Recruiter
    Brian Janecek - SolarWorld's solar energy running man at Salt Flats 100 race Being a goal-oriented person who prides himself on pushing beyond pain and discomfort in order to achieve goals, it was a tough reality for me to face having to drop out short of the finish line in my first attempt at completing a 100-mile foot race. It was dark and nearly moonless and I was alone ascending the third of four big climbs in the race when the deep cough I’d been fighting for the last three days was first accompanied by a metallic taste.
  • University of Central Florida Knights get SunSense

    Posted 5/7/2012 by Chris Castro, UCF Alum and Founder & Executive Director of IDEAS for Us
    SolarWorld solar panel system at the University of Central Florida For those of us that were born at the close of the 20th century, the problems of the past are ours to address. If we do not learn from them, we will set ever worse problems for the future. One way to transform our society is to begin incorporating sustainable energy and the next generation of technologies to increase productivity, provide economic vitality, incorporate social responsibility and lessen our impacts on the global environment.
  • High school robotics teams tour SolarWorld's automated solar manufacturing facility

    Posted 4/30/2012 by Steve Pecis, Head of Cell Manufacturing, SolarWorld Industries Americas
    high school robotics team visits SolarWorld for tour of automated manufacturing facility FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), is an international high school robotics program and competition. Each year, student teams have six weeks to build a robot from scratch to accomplish a designated challenge. This year’s challenge was to shoot basketballs through hoops of various heights. The teams designed, built and then put their creations into competition to see how they stacked up against world-wide competitors.
  • Save a life: Walk for Water

    Posted 4/20/2012 by Kelsey McNamara, SolarWorld Solar2World program manager
    Walk for Water Every single day, more than 5,000 people die from waterborne illnesses because they lack access to safe drinking water. In many developing countries, people walk miles to a water source to collect often-contaminated water and then carry it home. With one gallon of water weighing over 8 pounds, a five-gallon water jug is 40 pounds. In most cases, the task of fetching the water is left to the women and children, many carrying as much as 30-60 pounds of water.
  • Veterans team up for American energy independence

    Posted 3/8/2012 by Rory Womack, Co-owner of Davisville Express Lube
    Solar power system installation at the Davisville Express Lube in Davis, CA The Air Force Veteran owners of my company, Davisville Express Lube, teamed up with the Marine Corps Veteran owner of GoSimpleSolar, a SolarWorld authorized installer to install a solar power generating system on our business in Davis, California.
  • Employee viewpoint on solar trade case

    Posted 2/22/2012 by Amy Keiter, SolarWorld community relations manager
    Mike Rice, production manager in SolarWorld’s crystal growing area The SolarWorld-led trade case against government-sponsored solar manufacturers in China has generated daily headlines for four months now, as it has progressed through investigations of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission. While details of the case are complex and the process looks muddy to those outside the small internal team managing the case, many of SolarWorld’s more than 1,100 employees are paying close attention.
  • SolarWorld GT solar car at the Bren School in Santa Barbara, Calif.

    Posted 2/6/2012 by Andy Prosser, Master’s Student at Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
    Andy prosser with SolarWorld GT solar carIt was a bright and sunny afternoon at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. Usually when I need a study break I step out onto the terrace of Bren Hall and take in the fantastic view of waves peeling around Campus Point and the sea stretching out past the Channel Islands and into the horizon.
  • Solar panels for Kaiser Permanente Hospital delivered by bike

    Posted 11/14/2011 by Micha Ramsey, SolarWorld Americas, Crystal Growing Process Technology Manager
    Mischa Ramsey of SolarWorld holding the rescued All in all, it was a lovely morning for a bike ride. As I met my fellow SolarWorld employees, including President Gordon Brinser and VP of Operations Mukesh Dulani, at the front entrance, it wasn’t yet raining and was a balmy 48-degrees out -- much better than the forecast predicted the night before.
  • Glebe Elementary School celebrates SolarWorld’s first Solar2Schools initiative

    Posted 11/8/2011 by Amy Keiter, Community Relations Manager, SolarWorld Americas
    Glebe Elementary Principal, Jamie Borg, being interviewed at the SolarWorld Solar2Schools ceremony Glebe Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia is simply a happy place. From my first step into the building, with its flamingo-pink walls and pet turtles (“please wash your hands after touching the turtles” suggested a sign in lobby), the school hummed with peaceful purpose. And the sense of focused calm went beyond the reason for my visit -- celebrating the installation of a small, educational solar array. Even after the outdoor assembly had concluded, I felt a coordinated commitment to making learning joyful.
  • Solar trade case announcement: Try to keep complexity simple

    Posted 10/21/2011 by Ben Santarris, Head of corporate communications and sustainability, SolarWorld Americas
    Ben Santarris addressing the media at the announcement of the solar trade petitions against China When SolarWorld and a coalition of six U.S. solar cell and panel manufacturers revealed we’d filed a trade case against China’s state-sponsored solar industry this week in the U.S. Senate Energy Committee Hearing, more than 50 people, mostly reporters, filled the room.
  • Privileged to host top-ranking U.S. Senate Energy Committee members

    Posted 10/14/2011 by Marvin Talbert, Head of moduling, SolarWorld Industries America
    Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, visit SolarWorld's module assembly facility in Hillsboro, Oregon Having two top-ranking members of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee meeting in SolarWorld’s state-of-the-art module assembly building, known as "SA7" on campus, was a privilege that we looked forward to all week.
  • School in quiet Oregon logging town gets a big upgrade with 60 kW solar system

    Posted 10/6/2011 by Amy Keiter, Community Relations Manager, SolarWorld Americas
    Rendering of solar panels on Vernonia school You can compare what happened in the tiny Oregon logging town of Vernonia to some of the small communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
  • Solar HOPE Part 3: Letter from a student at Malangali secondary school

    Posted 9/22/2011 by John Grieser, Student Researcher, SolarWorld Americas
    Solar panels installed at school in Malangali Tanzania There is no better way to express the impact that electricity has on the lives of rural Tanzanian students than to hear it from a student himself. The following letter was written shortly after our installation at his school.
  • Part 3: High cool factor at Primetime Emmy Awards courtesy of SolarWorld solar panels

    Posted 9/18/2011 by Fred Joe, Professional Photographer
    Solar panels at Emmy Awards The entertainment media is out in force for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards today, and I've met entertainment journalists from all over the world.

    Considering the warm LA weather, even they were overdressed.

  • Part 2: Solarizing the red carpet at the Emmys

    Posted 9/17/2011 by Minnie Dimesa, Marketing Communications Manager, SolarWorld Americas
    SolarWorld solar panels over red carpet at 2011 Emmy Awards I’m having what you could call a quintessential Los Angeles experience today -- starting with dropping by LA Live to check on the Emmys red carpet and the final installation of our donated SolarWorld solar panels, then heading to the Los Angeles Coliseum with my husband and kids to cheer on the USC Trojans at their football game against Syracuse.
  • Part 1: Roll out the carpet: Behind the scenes with SolarWorld at the Emmys

    Posted 9/14/2011 by Devon Cichoski, Media relations manager, SolarWorld Americas
    SolarWorld solar panels over the red carpet at the 63rd annual Emmy awards As someone who has lived most of her life in Southern California, it is exactly the contrast between the sensational taking place right next to the everyday that I love about the iconic metropolis of LA.
  • Solar HOPE Part 2: Installation in Lupembe

    Posted 9/12/2011 by John Grieser, Student researcher, SolarWorld Americas
    Installing solar panels on medical center in Lupembe Africa Yesterday we arrived in Lupembe, a small village about 50 km from Iringa in south-central Tanzania. It has a beautiful rocky landscape and a cool and dry climate, a welcome change from the hot and humid coastal capitol of Dar es Salaam.
  • Solar HOPE Part 1: Bringing solar to Tanzania

    Posted 8/31/2011 by John Grieser, Student researcher, SolarWorld Americas
    Solar Hope organization This is the second year I have come to Tanzania, Africa as a member of the Solar-HOPE organization. Each year we design and install solar electric systems for schools and medical clinics. I will be here for a month and will be completing thirteen installations in addition to the twelve we completed last year.
  • Team Florida Part 5: Crunch time has officially arrived

    Posted 8/30/2011 by Hunter Taylor, Team Florida Communications
    Installing solar panels on the FleX House Tropical storms have passed through the construction site every week this month, but Florida’s rainy season has not stopped Team Florida. With the competition and FLeX House’s slated delivery less than a month away, we can’t afford to get even one day behind schedule. Crunch time has officially arrived.
  • Oshkosh Part 7: Elektra One Finally Takes Flight

    Posted 8/1/2011 by Amy Keiter, Community Relations Manager
    Elektra One solar electric plane sponsored by SolarWorld I had to leave AirVenture before Elektra One finally got cleared for take-off, so the description of her flight on Saturday afternoon comes from my colleague, Mike Mularski, SolarWorld’s account manager based in Milwaukee, WI, who joined me at Oshkosh for the week.
  • Oshkosh Part 6: Transforming frowns into grins

    Posted 7/29/2011 by Amy Keiter, Community Relations Manager
    Calin Gologan, CEO of PC-Aero and designer of Elektra One What a difference a few hours makes. I posted earlier that the Elektra One team was feeling pretty low when they learned that their demo flight was scratched for today. But it’s all smiles now with the announcement that PC-Aero was awarded the prestigious Lindbergh Prize for Electric Aircraft Vision Award at the World Electric Aircraft Symposium.
  • Oshkosh Part 5: Curse you, Red Baron!

    Posted 7/29/2011 by Amy Keiter, Community Relations Manager
    Boeing Dreamliner over Wisconsin cornfield. In the few days since I met him here at Oshkosh, it's become abundantly clear that Calin Gologan, designer of Elektra One, is not a man who gives up easily. Every time there's been an obstacle here at AirVenture (and there have been many), he has responded with a German-accented, "Oh, zat's easy!" But Calin may not be able to overcome a decision by show organizers this morning that Elektra One will not fly today. He still hasn't given up; I saw him pressing his case to an official...
  • Oshkosh Part 4: Burning dinosaurs at Oshkosh

    Posted 7/28/2011 by Amy Keiter, Community Relations Manager
    Airforce jet at AirVenture airshow Being here at Oshkosh promoting solar electric-powered flight with the PC-Aero team, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 aircraft here, of which 9,994 are powered by burning dinosaurs…I mean, fossil fuels.
  • Oshkosh Part 3: Witness to the birth of a new industry

    Posted 7/28/2011 by Amy Keiter, Community Relations Manager
    Sergei Sikorsky speaking at AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh about the future of aviation I came to Oshkosh this week with a simple story to tell: SolarWorld is helping to transform aviation through the development of electric aircraft, in partnership with PC-Aero. Until last night, I did not understand how serious – and how immediate – this transformation is.
  • Oshkosh Part 2: Innovation Hangar at Oshkosh AirVenture is a dry and busy place on Wednesday

    Posted 7/27/2011 by Amy Keiter, Community Relations Manager
    FAA pre-flight inspection of the Elektra One solar plane sponsored by SolarWorld Torrential rains on the AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisc., are making the Innovation Hangar at the show a very popular spot. The hangar is filled with spectators all clad in plastic rain slickers of every hue, trying to stay out of the pounding downpour.
  • Oshkosh Part 1: SolarWorld Promoting the Future of Aviation

    Posted 7/26/2011 by Amy Keiter, Community Relations Manager
    Elektra One solar plane sponsored by SolarWorld Say “Oshkosh” to any pilot – my husband, for example – and you get the same reaction as saying “Sturgis” to a Harley rider or “Vegas” to a blackjack player. Oshkosh, Wisconsin is the home of the largest aviation show in the U.S: AirVenture, and Oshkosh is the number one “bucket list” destination for aviation enthusiasts.
  • Team Florida Part 4: FLeX House Construction in Full Swing

    Posted 7/25/2011 by Rebecca Hagen, Communications Faculty Advisor to Team Florida
    SolarWorld sponsored FLeX house constructionWe’re now into the second month of construction on FLeX House. And like every construction project, we’ve experienced a few hiccups–supplies arriving later than expected, parts not fitting quite as designed–but nothing serious. It’s amazing to see how quickly the house is taking shape.
  • Kohl Christensen Takes 4th Place in Punta de Lobos Big Wave Surf Event

    Posted 7/18/2011 by Kohl Christensen, SolarWorld authorized installer
    SolarWorld authorized installer Kohl Christensen The first event on the Big Wave World Tour went down in some very big, cold and scary surf in the south of Chile. I stuck to my game plan and headed down a couple weeks before the end of the holding period of the contest to practice and loosen up the injured shoulder.
  • Team Florida Part 3: Construction begins and the team hits the news

    Posted 6/20/2011 by Hunter Taylor, Team Florida communications member
    Solar Decathlon FLeX house powered with SolarWorld solar panels With only three months before FLeX House is shipped to D.C. for the Solar Decathlon competition, Team Florida has ramped up construction at the Beck site. This past month, we built the floor frames on top of FLeX’s movable foundation and installed steel support beams as well as framed and sheathed the walls—and the more we build, the more people are taking notice.
  • Patagonia Sin Represas!

    Posted 6/10/2011 by Kohl Christensen, SolarWorld Authorized Installer
    Kohl Christensen SolarWorld authorized installer Patagonia Sin Represas! (Patagonia without dams) spray painted above bus stops all around the capital of Santiago gives you an idea of where most Chileans stand on the proposed construction of the 5 hydroelectric dams that will destroy certain areas of Patagonia.
  • Pearl Harbor Naval Base Installation

    Posted 6/2/2011 by Ben Santarris, Head of corporate communications and sustainability
    Pearl Harbor SolarWorld solar panel installation It took me about four months to get onto five Pearl Harbor rooftops to photograph new SolarWorld arrays there. I wanted our photographer, Fred Joe, to document the installations, partly because I count them among a series of iconic solar projects this year that, to me, herald a dawning solar prime time.
  • Team Florida Part 2: The four-month countdown to final competition begins!

    Posted 5/19/2011 by Katie Nelson, Communications for Team Florida
    FLeX House by Team Florida getting ready for the Solar Decathlon in just 4 months The last few months were a whirlwind for Team Florida! Two years of preparing for the Solar Decathlon comes down to just four months to construct FLeX House and travel to Washington D.C., where we will be competing against teams from across the globe. Our focus has been on refining the FLeX House design while maintaining the original vision, as well as completing competition documents.
  • Solar canopy systems turn parking lots into electric power plants

    Posted 5/9/2011 by Ben Santarris, Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability
    Cincinatti Zoo solar panel canopy Urban planners long have searched for better ways of handling that eyesore of car-based living, the sprawling parking lot. But so far, their most workable ideas have amounted to burying them under or sticking them behind buildings. Today’s dedication of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden may be the most prominent and mainstream example of a long-awaited approach that serves several purposes.
  • SolarWorld sponsors solar installer and big-wave surfer Kohl Christensen

    Posted 4/29/2011 by Kohl Christensen, SolarWorld Authorized Installer
    SolarWorld Authorized Installer Kohl Christensen Kohl Christensen, a SolarWorld Authorized Installer working with Bonterra Solar on the island of Oahu, Hawaii will promote the benefits of solar during his travels for the Big Wave World Tour 2011-2012. Kohl will post monthly blogs updating his surf-and-solar adventures including this first post.  SolarWorld is proud to sponsor individual’s like Kohl who aspire to better the world through solar.
  • Team Florida Part 1: More than a year in the planning, FLeX House approaches construction phase

    Posted 4/27/2011 by Rebecca Hagen, Communications Faculty Advisor to Team Florida
    Solar Decathlon model house using SolarWorld solar panels Just like residents of many cities around the U.S., people in Florida believe in working toward a greener, more sustainable way of life. To this end, four major Florida research universities have joined together to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011.
  • Small Community in Hawaii Puts the Sun to Work with SolarWorld Solar Panels

    Posted 4/21/2011 by Ben Santarris, Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability

    Hawaii Homelands Project This morning, I came down with a case of Kaupuni-itis.

    As I learned from an event to dedicate a Department of Hawaiian Home Lands project in Oahu’s Wai‘anae Valley, the main symptom is an unexpected twinge of hope for human habitation of Earth. The emotion was in full bloom among many impassioned speakers in the sun-washed ceremony.

  • Avidan Management Commissions Nation’s Largest Rooftop Solar System in New Jersey

    Posted 4/20/2011 by Ben Santarris, Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability

    Rooftop Solar System in New Jersey – Avidan ManagementAs a boy, I may have imagined that in Thomas Edison’s day, some storybook lightning marked his technological breakthroughs. Now 50, I figure that a raw drizzle on an ordinary weekday morning was the more likely response. Maybe a morning just like today’s in Edison, N.J., the namesake of the late great inventor, whose 1,093 patents included ideas for electrical lighting and generation.

    Then as now, most people would be sure to grasp the potential impact of Edison’s perseverance, foresight and courage only in hindsight.

    But as someone who keeps watch for signs that solar energy’s inroads are swelling into avenues, I was glad to join a celebration of bold renewable-energy progress that has unfolded in an unlikely corner of Edison.

  • Building a Solar World

    Posted 4/15/2011 by Kevin Kilkelly, President, SolarWorld Americas

    I’m Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, and I’d like to personally welcome you to the first installment of our new blog.

    We’re starting it in a year when solar – and SolarWorld – are going prime time.

    SolarWorld Americas has built a U.S. work force of 1,250-plus people, everyone from Ph.D.s to forklift drivers. We are involved in every step of the manufacturing process so the end customer is assured that the quality of each panel is higher than the industry standard.

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