SolarWorld announced that it will release a 1,500-volt solar panel in time for this year's fourth-quarter peak selling season. The 1,500-volt technology, compared with standard 1,000-volt solar panels, enables installers to increase lengths of solar-panel strings by up to 50 percent, thereby requiring fewer combiner boxes, less wiring and trenching and lower labor costs. Analysts have estimated the cost savings at up to 5 cents per watt installed.
The technology's application is ideal for large commercial and utility-scale designs. Unlike competitors, SolarWorld has not needed to increase the size of its 72-cell solar panel to reach the 1500-volt standard. The new solar panel is certified to UL1703; it is free of potential induced degradation (PID), as per IEC 62804-1:2015.
"SolarWorld does whatever it can to help its installation partners lower their costs and increase profits," said Mukesh Dulani, U.S. president of SolarWorld. "This new product maximizes the benefits of our 72-cell solar panel design without having to alter its size. It represents just the latest development in our long track record of achieving innovations that serve the market. Our customers want this option, so therefore we are bringing it to market."
The company is taking orders for the 1,500-volt module for delivery starting in October 2016.