Oregon-based solar manufacturer SolarWorld introduced its Sunmodule Protect glass-glass solar panel.
SolarWorld substitutes a panel’s conventional polymer-based backsheet with lightweight glass to better shield energy-producing solar cells from the elements. This advance enables SolarWorld to extend its linear performance guarantee to 30 years, up from 25 years, offering only 0.35 percentage points in lower performance protection over each of the 30 years. Sunmodule Protect solar panels are guaranteed to provide 86.85 percent of their nameplate performance after 30 years of operation.
Sandwiched between glass on both front and back, solar cells are optimally protected against environmental factors such as water intrusion. Cells also are less susceptible to shear stress, thereby reducing cell breakage. Even with a second pane of glass, Sunmodule Protect solar panels remain lightweight – at about 46 pounds.
In addition, they include the same aluminum frame used in Sunmodule Plus glass-film panels, so the new product will work with all mounting systems approved for use with the Sunmodule Plus product line. Sunmodule Protect solar panels debut in the second half of 2013 through SolarWorld’s network of preferred distributors and authorized installers.