Opel Solar, Inc. (Opel), recently announced that the US Patent Office has approved a patent for its latest high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) module. The new technology promises to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of solar PV installations. This most recent patent is the international company’s thirty-third, with seventeen others pending. Opel’s technology has penetrated the Ontario market and is central to renewable energy training in programs at universities in Ontario and Quebec.
Opel is an international company with offices in Sheldon, Connecticut, and Toronto, Ontario. It provides rooftop and ground-mounted solar energy solutions for the industrial and commercial sectors. The company recently became involved with the National Research Council’s (NRC) SUNRISE solar project, whose purpose is to study and push the limits of concentrating PV installations. The project uses Opel’s technology, alongside that of Ottawa’s Cyrium Technologies, who produces a line of solar cups that use a similar technology. Students training for renewable energy careers at Ottawa University and Québec’s L’Université de Sherbrooke will remotely gather and analyze data from a solar installation on NRC property in the capital.
Green Energy Act Drives Innovation
According to Opel’s President and CEO, Lee M. Pierhal, “Our current (HCPV) module is a high performance, reliable, cost-effective system developed for a wide array of grid connected solar systems.” The modules can generate up to 40% more solar energy than their competitors, and will be welcome additions to Ontario PV installers’ toolkits.
Ontario’s solar industry is booming, thanks largely to provisions of the province’s Green Energy Act. The Act, which was signed into law in May of 2009, laid the way for Ontario’s feed-in tariff (FIT) program, which pays above-market rates to owners of green energy installations who feed into the grid from solar, wind, and other renewable sources. The Act and the FIT have inspired a flourishing solar industry, complete with manufacturing facilities and PV installation training programs, and they have enticed several international companies into the region to do business.
“Because the high efficiency of the OPEL Solar HCPV panels result (sic) in significantly higher power generation per unit of area than competing technologies,” says Pierhal, “we are seeing great interest among numerous potential partners throughout the world.” Opel’s new HCPV modules and their international sales potential will produce more clean energy, more business for the company, and more investment in Ontario’s flourishing solar industry.
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