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SolarWorld solar panels earn top grade in revamped PV+ durability test

Sunmodule Plus excels against Europe-based laboratory’s new, more stringent quality criteria

HILLSBORO, Ore., July 1, 2013 – Solar panels from SolarWorld, the largest solar manufacturer in Europe and the United States, have earned the highest ranking in the PV+Test, a rigorous testing regimen that evaluates solar panels according to broad technical and financial criteria. The company’s Sunmodule Plus SW 245 polycrystalline silicon solar panel achieved the top grade of “very good” under this year’s more stringent assessment standards known as PV+Test 2.0.

Administered by independent testing laboratory TÜV Rheinland and Solarpraxis AG, the publisher of PV Magazine, PV+Test measures and compares how successfully solar panels fulfill their claims of quality, power production and return on investment. Historically, it has evaluated factors such as electrical safety, production quality, durability and performance guarantee. This year, the revamped testing regimen adds stricter measures of temperature-fluctuation and low-light performance, light-induced degradation (LID) and potential-induced degradation (PID). SolarWorld’s panel far outperformed a unit from a Chinese producer that did not want its name used in publicity about the test results, according to study authors.

“In light of mounting concerns about the poor quality of Chinese-made solar panels, such as those documented recently in the The New York Times, solar consumers can put their faith in the results of rigorous, independent module evaluations like the PV+Test,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas. “These test results prove what our customers have long known: SolarWorld quality pays off in terms of financial return and peace of mind.”

Solar panels that undergo PV+ testing are discreetly purchased by TÜV Rheinland and Solarpraxis through normal sales channels and tested over a period of several months at TÜV Rheinland's lab in Cologne, Germany. Testers conduct numerous performance measurements, both before testing begins as well as after each testing phase, to simulate mechanical demands over the life of the panel, an important indicator of long-term performance.

PV Magazine called SolarWorld’s performance decisive. An article in the magazine’s June issue summarized, “As far as quality is concerned … [the] photovoltaics manufacturer stands out compared with all of the Chinese modules evaluated in the PV+Test thus far.”

PV+ is just one of many independent tests to document the outstanding quality and performance of SolarWorld solar panels. These include:

  • North American independent testing firm PV Evolution Lab’s PID-Free certification.
  • TÜV Rheinland’s Power Controlled and Ammonia Corrosion Resistance certifications.
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61701 Salt Mist Corrosion Resistance certification.
  • Global testing and certification provider SGS’s Blowing Sand Resistance certification.
  • Third-party validated PAN files.

SolarWorld Real Value

SolarWorld manufactures and sells solar power solutions and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. As the largest solar producer in the United States and Europe, SolarWorld employs about 3,200 people and carries out production in Hillsboro, Ore., and Freiberg and Arnstadt, Germany. From the raw material silicon to solar wafers, cells and panels, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe and is committed to resource- and energy-efficient production. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, SolarWorld was founded in 1998 and has been publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. For more information, visit www.solarworld-usa.com.

Media Contact

Devon Cichoski
Media relations manager
SolarWorld Industries America
4650 Adohr Lane
Camarillo, CA 93012
Mobile: 805-377-2905
Office: 805-388-6388
devon.cichoski(at)solarworld-usa.com