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SolarWorld’s mono-PERC bifacial modules on way to University of Richmond test bed

Array is first American commercial system using Bisun solar panels 

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HILLSBORO, Ore., March 7, 2016 SolarWorld, the largest U.S. crystalline-silicon solar manufacturer for more than 40 years, announced today that the company’s U.S. manufacturing hub has produced its first bifacial Bisun modules for installation as part of a 205-kilowatt system at the University of Richmond (Virginia).

The system will be the first commercial installation in the Americas to employ SolarWorld’s latest technology, which can generate up to 25 percent more energy, compared with standard mono-facial modules of the same nominal wattages.  

Set atop the university’s Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness, the new system will compare performance of standard modules using advanced p-type mono-PERC (passivated emitter rear contact) cell architecture and Bisun modules using the same cell architecture.  Bisun technology generates electricity both from direct exposure to solar radiation on the front side as well as reflected sunlight on the backside.  

In addition, both types of modules will be installed on top of both a gravel roof and a roof of vinyl-like white material TPO (thermoplastic olefin) to produce further performance data comparisons.  Actual power generation from bifacial modules depends on both the distance they are installed from a surface beneath them as well as the composition and therefore reflectivity of that surface.

SolarWorld will co-own the array with Secure Futures, based in Staunton, Va., which is developing the project.  Under the first power purchase agreement within the service territory of utility Dominion Power Virginia, the University of Richmond will purchase power generated by the array.   Installation is expected to conclude this spring.

“Thanks to the university, we will provide a system that produces clean power while also demonstrating the in-field capabilities of technological innovation,” said Mukesh Dulani, U.S. president of SolarWorld.  “Aside from making the university greener, this installation will provide a strong set of performance data in a real-world application.  Bifacial PERC modules represent a significant technological advancement in photovoltaics, and SolarWorld is once again leading the deployment of cutting-edge solar technologies.  We look forward to showing customers the finished system.”

About SolarWorld REAL VALUE

SolarWorld Americas Inc., the largest U.S. crystalline-silicon solar manufacturer for more than 42 years, produces and sells high-tech solar power solutions and, in doing so, contributes to a cleaner energy supply throughout the Americas. The company maintains 430 megawatts of annual capacity to produce solar cells and 550 MW of capacity to manufacture solar modules.  The company’s brand stands for a proven track record of quality and reliability, and SolarWorld is the only producer whose industrial lineage has outlived its products’ 25- and 30-year performance guarantees. SolarWorld upholds high social standards and commits itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. With its program Solar2World, the company supports the expansion of solar power in developing countries in Latin America. Connect with SolarWorld on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and www.solarworld.com.

Media Contact

Ben Santarris
Head of Corporate Communications
SolarWorld Americas Inc.
4050 NE Evergreen Road
Portland, OR 97124
Mobile: 503-927-9858
Office: 503-693-5189
ben.santarris(at)solarworldusa.com