SolarWorld and Enphase Energy have agreed to jointly develop a new generation of AC solar modules 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.
Enphase is SolarWorld’s exclusive supplier of microinverter systems for the manufacturer’s custom-engineered solar systems. The AC module initiative will eliminate the need to install a centralized string inverter.
“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.”
Initial U.S. shipments of the SolarWorld AC modules are expected to begin in late 2016.