SolarWorld joins forces with Enphase to develop integrated AC modules
Microinverter-integrated solar panels will provide reliable, fast-to-install, high-efficiency technology breakthrough
HILLSBORO, Ore., and PETALUMA, Calif., Sept. 14, 2015 – SolarWorld, the largest U.S. crystalline-silicon solar manufacturer for 40 years, and Enphase Energy Inc., a global energy technology company, have agreed to jointly develop a new generation of AC solar modules (ACM) for the worldwide market. The companies will collaborate on development, commercialization and marketing of an AC module that will integrate SolarWorld’s high-performance Sunmodule solar panels with Enphase’s leading microinverter technology.
The joint SolarWorld-Enphase initiative builds on a global strategic partnership between the two solar industry leaders. Enphase is SolarWorld’s exclusive supplier of microinverter systems for the vertically integrated solar panel manufacturer’s custom-engineered solar systems. The AC module initiative will eliminate the need to install a centralized string inverter. It is another example of the companies’ close collaboration in solar and clean-energy technology development.
“Past attempts at AC modules, essentially power-electronic units bolted onto modules, have not delivered the full value that such an innovation should provide,” said Ardes Johnson, U.S. vice president of sales and marketing for SolarWorld. “With Enphase, we are developing a highly integrated module built in automated, high-reliability factory conditions that only SolarWorld can deliver. This AC module will not only save time and cost in labor and logistics in installation, but it also will be designed in a way that will still allow for streamlined operations and maintenance in the field.”
“There has been significant growth in demand from large solar distributors, installers and fleet owners for a reliable, cost-effective and high-performance AC module product,” said Stefan Zschiegner, vice president of products for Enphase Energy. “The ACM pairing of Enphase’s next-generation S-series microinverters with SolarWorld’s Sunmodules will address this demand by reducing capital and labor costs as well as simplifying the supply chain and logistics. In the future, ACM architecture shall enable a seamless integration with Enphase’s Energy Management System.”
SolarWorld has a long history of innovation in the PV industry. Most recently, the company is ramping production of five-bus-bar, high-efficiency, passivated-emitter rear contact (PERC) solar cells in its Hillsboro factory. SolarWorld has also aligned itself with the adoption of rail-free racking systems, which offer lower material costs, reduce installation time, occupy a much smaller warehouse footprint and cost significantly less to ship than the long rails traditionally used in solar system mounting.
Enphase has established itself as the leading U.S. residential inverter and module-level power-electronics company. The advanced, smart-grid-ready Enphase S-Series Microinverter is designed to meet current and future requirements for distributed solar on utility networks. The S-series Microinverter is part of the Enphase Energy Management System, which integrates solar energy generation, storage and load-management capabilities for the connected home as well as supports local utilities with advanced grid functions.
Initial U.S. shipments of the SolarWorld AC modules are expected to begin in late 2016.
SolarWorld (Expo Hall Booth 2526) and Enphase Energy (Grand Plaza Booth 3) will showcase their comprehensive solar and energy-management solutions at Solar Power International 2015 from Sept. 15 to 17 at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center.
About SolarWorld REAL VALUE: SolarWorld manufactures and sells high-tech solar power solutions and, in doing so, contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The group, headquartered in Bonn, Germany, employs about 3,500 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany; Arnstadt, Germany; and Hillsboro, Oregon, USA. From raw material silicon to solar wafers, cells and modules, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network with locations in the United States, Europe, Singapore, Japan and South Africa, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and it has committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld was founded in 1998 and has been publically traded on the stock market since 1999. Connect with SolarWorld on Facebook, Twitter and www.solarworld.com.
About Enphase: Enphase Energy, a global energy technology company, is leading the charge to bring smart, connected solar energy to every home, business and community. The company delivers simple, innovative and reliable energy management solutions that advance the worldwide potential of renewable energy. Enphase has shipped approximately 9 million microinverters, and over 340,000 Enphase residential and commercial systems have been deployed in more than 95 countries. Join Enphase on LinkedIn and Twitter and visit www.enphase.com for more information. Enphase Energy®, the Enphase logo and other trademarks or service names are the trademarks of Enphase Energy Inc., based in Petaluma, Calif.
Head of Corporate Communications
SolarWorld Americas Inc.
Impress Labs (for Enphase)