Tindo Solar builds Australia’s first utility-scale solar panel

Australia’s only manufacturer of solar panels, Tindo Solar has revealed its first utility-scale solar PV panel with claims of unrivalled energy efficiency and longevity.

The company, which is commissioning a new production line at Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, had its utility-scale solar PV panel tested by independent tester of electrical equipment TUV SUD Korea.

They found found Tindo Solar’s new utility-scale panel to be the most efficient ever made in Australia, and one of the most efficient panels available in the world.

TUV SUD Korea found the new utility-scale panel as developed almost 5w more than its rating in recent testing, produced 549w of power at around 21 per cent module efficiency and 23.1 per cent cell efficiency, and recorded 0.07 per cent CTM loss.

The industry average energy efficiency of a solar module is between 17 and 19 per cent, according to Tindo, and the average CTM loss is 2-3 per cent.

Tindo Solar Chief Executive Officer, Shayne Jaenisch, said the testing results from Tindo Solar’s first foray into the utility-scale market reinforced the company’s quality proposition.

Jaenisch, said: “Over the next decade there will be a steeper increase in demand for panels in large-scale projects than from our core market of rooftop retail and commercial.

“Owners of solar projects want a high-quality Australia-made option, and we now have a market-leading product we can sell them, made right here in Adelaide.”

The 545w Tindo Karra panel is considerably larger than Tindo’s largest residential rooftop module and is designed to be used in utility-scale arrays, either in rooftop or ground-mounted applications.

At 2283mm x 1149mm in size and 29kg in weight, the 545w Karra is the largest solar module ever made in Australia.

Jaenisch said there was strong interest in Australia-made panels built for utility applications, which reflected concerns about performance but was also linked to waste going to landfill and forced labour in foreign supply chains.

“Many corporate owners of solar projects have internal policies about forced labour and they want some assurance about their supply chain.

“Our cells do not come from Uyghur Province and our suppliers were not named in the damming report on forced labour, In Broad Daylight. The modules are made at Mawson Lakes and we have an open-door policy – customers and regulators can come down and watch the panels being made.”

He said the issue of disused panels going to landfill is also against many organisations’ sustainability policies, and the issue could be partly addressed with quality modules.

“Large solar arrays use hundreds – even thousands – of panels, which don’t have to be registered with the CEC.

“They are low-cost and low-quality and they have a typical life of less than seven years.

“We’ve built a utility-scale panel to last 25 years and it will be listed by the CEC. We believe our approach aligns much better with sustainability policies and the broader goals of renewable energy.”

The 545w Karra panel will be available in commercial qualities from March 2022.

Picture: Tindo Solar

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