SolarWorld and Enphase Energy Inc. have agreed to jointly develop a new generation of AC solar modules (ACMs) for the worldwide market.
The companies will collaborate on the development, commercialization and marketing of an AC module that will integrate SolarWorld's Sunmodule solar panels with Enphase's micro-inverter technology.
Enphase is SolarWorld's exclusive supplier of micro-inverter systems for the vertically integrated solar panel manufacturer's custom-engineered solar systems. The companies' AC module initiative will eliminate the need to install a centralized string inverter.
"There has been significant growth in demand from large solar distributors, installers and fleet owners for a reliable, cost-effective and high-performance AC module product," says Stefan Zschiegner, vice president of products for Enphase Energy.
"The ACM pairing of Enphase's next-generation S-series micro-inverters with SolarWorld's Sunmodules will address this demand by reducing capital and labor costs, as well as simplifying the supply chain and logistics. In the future, ACM architecture shall enable a seamless integration with Enphase's energy management system," he says.
Initial U.S. shipments of the SolarWorld AC modules are expected to begin in late 2016.