SolarBridge Technologies (SolarBridge), the leading developer of panel-integrated microinverters for the solar industry, announced a strategic relationship with SunPower Corp., to supply the company with SolarBridge PantheonTM microinverters for the SunPower E18 & E19 AC Solar Panel series. The AC Solar Panel provides an ultra high-efficiency, easy-to-install rooftop PV solution. The all-black, aesthetically pleasing E18/225 watt AC solar panels and the maximum-efficiency E19/240 watt AC solar panels will be available in the U.S. in early 2012. The factory-integrated AC panels are certified to UL standards and backed by SunPower’s industry-leading 25-year warranty.
“AC solar panels powered by SolarBridge are the simplest, most reliable rooftop PV solution on the market today,” said Ron Van Dell, president and CEO of SolarBridge. “As the share leader in the U.S. residential market, SunPower can dramatically accelerate the adoption of solar with this differentiated AC panel solution.
Benefits of the integrated SunPower AC solar panels with SolarBridge microinverters include:
- Highest Energy Production – With a reduced voltage-temperature coefficient and superior low-light performance, the SunPower E18 and E19 panels provide 18.1 percent and 19.1 percent efficiency, respectively. The SolarBridge Pantheon offers 95.5 percent efficiency and performs maximum power point tracking at the panel level, further enhancing energy harvest particularly on shaded roofs or suboptimal roof orientations. The combined AC panel provides an increase in energy production up to 25 percent over string/central inverter-based system.
- Highest Reliability – SunPower’s AC solar panels are backed by a single, end-to-end 25-year warranty. Designed for reliability, the SolarBridge Pantheon microinverter contains no electrolytic capacitors or failure-prone components common in other microinverter designs. Matching the lifetime of SunPower’s panels, the Pantheon eliminates planned inverter replacements – dramatically reducing overall PV system costs.
- Lowest Installation Cost – SunPower’s AC solar panels eliminate the need to install inverters in the field. In addition, there are no grounding electrode conductors, no separate AC trunk cables, no DC components, and no DC cables to manage. Combined, these labor-reducing advantages save up to $0.25/W in installation costs over string/central inverters or standalone microinverters.
- Fast, Flexible System Design – SunPower’s AC solar panels make system design easy by eliminating the need for string sizing. Because of their energy harvest benefits, the panels can be installed at many sites that were previously unsuitable for solar due to shading or roof obstruction
- Safest Solution – SunPower’s AC solar panels eliminate high voltage (up to 600V DC) strings. In emergency situations, first responders are able to turn off power at the AC panel so there is no live wiring anywhere in the building.
The SunPower E18 & E19 AC Solar Panel series will be on display at Solar Power International in Dallas from October 18 to 20 in both the SunPower booth (#2309) and the SolarBridge booth (#4316).