Materials

Solar Panels

We use solar modules (panels) manufactured by SolarWorld. SolarWorld started making solar panels in 1975 under the name of Solar Technology International. The founder of STI, Bill Yerkes, is considered the Henry Ford of the Solar Panel. He sold STI to Atlantic Richfield in 1977 and they manufactured the modules under the name of ARCO as he continued to work with them. Under Arco, they then opened the world’s largest PV factory in Camarillo, California in 1979. As large companies do, they went through 3 more acquisitions up through 2006. Meanwhile, in 1998, SolarWorld forms as a startup company in Germany (Germany has a higher percentage of homes with solar than the US) and in 2006, SolarWorld acquires what had become Shell Solar. In 2008, STI adopted their new name, SolarWorld, which began a new era with the opening of the plant in Hillsboro, Oregon. Now they could expand the manufacturing capabilities. In November of last year, they moved the balance of SolarWorld to Hillsboro where the manufacturing plant is located. Throughout it all, they have always adhered to Bill Yerkes ideas and standards through all the different owners.

 

Solar Installation

SolarWorld Plus Sorting

SolarWorld gives you more. They only use Plus Sorting. What is that you say? When panels are tested for wattage, only the higher panels qualify for a rating. For example, a 285 watt panel must be 285, 286, 287, 288 or 289 watts to be a 285 rated panel. But that 289 will never be a 290. Other solar companies do a plus/minus sort system, so their 289 or 288 could end up a 290.

We were invited as SolarWorld Authorized Installers to be at the Solar World Authorized Installer Summit and SolarWorld 40th Anniversary Party. We were given additional training in many aspects of our business and given a tour of the factory that took our breath away. We knew they did a lot of inspections of the panels; what we did not completely understand at the time was that every phase of production, of every panel manufactured, was inspected and any panel with the slightest flaw was discarded. They are the only solar panel factory in the world to do this and to manufacture the solar tiles from the growing of the crystals to the end product when it is shipped to distributors world wide. Robotics are used with humans at every station. Human hands that are gloved with the workers wearing hair nets, goggles and lab coats, check the backing with tweezers. (Hats off to the ladies providing this tedious necessary step.)

SolarWorld HeadquartersSolarWorld Headquarters in Hillsboro, Oregon.

SolarWorld's 40th BirthdaySolarWorld’s 40th Anniversary Cake appeared as a solar panel with a sun in the corner. Served up by the President of Solar World.

A Solar Cell IngotSolarWorld makes their own raw material using silica rocks. The end result looks like a silver rocket ship. From here it is sliced into four sections and each of those four sections is squared off to make solar cells.

We are honored and proud to be SolarWorld Authorized Installers

As a side note: The first system we installed in 1991, used Arco panels that had been in use by Southern California Edison at their solar farm near Indio, CA. They had been in service there for ten years. This installation was off-grid and was still working in 2005 when the owners moved 14 years later, for a total of 28 years of service.

Inverters

We only use SolarEdge inverters with optimizers. These inverters with optimizers allow for the maximum harvest of all usable electric under any and all conditions. This system also allows for individual module level monitoring. SolarEdge was the originator of the optimizer and many other companies are attempting to copy the optimizer. They have over 70% market share of inverters in the world’s marketplace.

The optimizers have a 25 year warranty and the inverters have the standard 12 year warranty that can be extended to 25 years. We purchase this extended inverter warranty for all the systems we install.

SolarEdge is an international corporation headquartered in Israel where this system was designed. Israel is now a world leader in cutting edge technologies of all types.