SunPower, Kyocera To Partner on Microinverters With SolarBridge, Tigo Energy

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Two more major solar panel manufacturers–SunPower and Kyocera–announced development agreements with microinverter companies this week.

SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) has formed a special interest group (SIG) with distributed power control systems (DPCS) manufacturers SolarBridge Technologies and Tigo Energy, to set protocols within the solar industry.

Members of this new SIG aim to create and drive standards between the rapidly evolving DPCS field, which includes DC/AC microinverters and DC/DC system optimizers, and module manufacturers.

In addition, the group will establish a common industry platform for advanced electronics integration, including a plug and play criterion for mechanical connections and communications protocols between the solar panels and distributed control systems. A compatibility roadmap and implementation plan that addresses existing complexities, such as lowering costs and ease of field serviceability, will also be developed.

Earlier this week, Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP) announced that it will work with four DPCS companies to explore the potential for "smart" panels. Those companies include Tigo Energy, Enphase Energy, National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM) and Azuray Technologies.

SolarBridge’s 25-year warranty

SolarBridge announced today the launch of a complete microinverter solution that is backed by the industry’s first full, 25-year warranty.

The company is partnering with Kyocera Solar, Inc. (NYSE:KYO; 6971.T) and SunPower Corporation (SunPower) (NASDAQ:SPWRA and SPWRB) for joint product development.

Microinverter-enabled modules increase PV system reliability and energy harvest, while reducing installation costs as compared to traditional, DC-based systems with central inverters. The SolarBridge Pantheon™ microinverter and PV-DockTM replace central junction boxes and are integrated directly onto the back of a solar module during module manufacturing.

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