KYOCERA Solar Modules Prove Long-Term Reliability in Colorado Mountains

  KYOCERA Solar Modules Prove Long-Term Reliability in Colorado Mountains

 KYOCERA modules continue performing efficiently after 10 to 22 years in the
                                    field

Business Wire

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- July 31, 2013

Kyocera Solar Inc. today announced that its solar modules installed on three
individual sites in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains have demonstrated long-term
reliability and longevity despite extreme circumstances including a racking
failure, high irradiance, freezing temperatures and heavy snow for months each
winter.

A recent test by a certified North American Board of Certified Energy
Practitioners (NABCEP) PV installation professional indicates that 10-year-old
Kyocera modules are performing at more than 95 percent of their original
rating in spite of the extreme environment at 8,500 feet above sea level,
which involves the modules being buried under snow and enduring solar
irradiance levels of roughly twice those of laboratory test conditions.

At Colorado’s Big Mountain Ranch, an 8.2-kilowatt (kW) off-grid hillside
installation from 2003 was re-racked in 2011 due to a mounting failure in
which the post-piers migrated downhill, creating severe torque and stress on
the module frames. Despite the structural damage, and after 10 years of
operation, the Kyocera modules continue to perform well.

“We rebuilt the hillside and re-racked the system without needing to replace
even a single module, and all 52 of the Kyocera modules survived this extreme
racking stress in perfect condition,” said Steven Haines, Lead Solar
Consultant for Sunsense Solar. “The results of the testing indicate that the
modules are still producing above 95 percent of their originally rated short
circuit current, even after a decade of service in an extreme environment.
That’s significant, especially after the trauma they went through on the
previous rack where they were twisted and pinched as the old ground mount rack
settled down into the hillside.That could affect the modules’ waterproofing
and potentially cause internal water corrosion damage, but the Kyocera modules
are working great.”

Additionally, a duo of other installations using Kyocera solar modules in
Colorado have been hard at work since 1991 and 1995, respectively, and both
still power the loads they were designed for dependably and reliably. The 18-
and 22-year-old systems electrify two backcountry huts in Colorado’s mountains
as part of a network operated by the non-profit 10^th Mountain Division Hut
Association for outdoors enthusiasts. These off-grid huts are only accessible
by skis, snowmobile or, in summer, hiking, mountain biking or four-wheel drive
vehicles. The Betty Bear hut’s four Kyocera LA51 solar modules were installed
in 1991; a system of the same size was installed on the Skinner hut in 1995.
Both of the huts are located above 11,000 feet – where extreme heat, cold, and
irradiance are the norm.

“Kyocera panels have certainly proven durable, and 10^th Mountain Division hut
visitors have enjoyed their dependable power for over two decades now,” said
Ben Dodge, Executive Director of the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association.
“While the elevation of the huts puts them in an extreme environment and users
are sometimes not as gentle or informed as they should be, the panels have
withstood these challenges.”

These installations validate other globally recognized tests and quality
certifications that demonstrate the world-class reliability of Kyocera solar
modules. Kyocera’s modules were the world’s first to be certified in the
Long-term Sequential Test performed by TÜV Rheinland Japan. In addition,
high-voltage stress testing by the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics
(Germany) revealed that Kyocera’s solar modules did not show any decline in
output after being subjected to severe conditions.

“With nearly 40 years in the solar industry, Kyocera has proven time and again
that its modules are highly reliable even in the most extreme situations,”
said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar Inc. “We’re pleased that these
three installations in the beautiful mountains of Colorado are living up to
our goal of offering dependable solar power solutions while helping to
preserve the environment for future generations.”

To learn more about Kyocera Solar Solutions for both residential and
commercial projects in the U.S. and Mexico, please contact
infosolar@kyocera.com or 800-223-9580.

About KYOCERA
Kyocera is one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of solar
photovoltaic modules and systems. With a 38-year history of innovation in
solar technology, the company is recognized as an industry pioneer and has set
repeated world records in multicrystalline silicon cell efficiency. Kyocera
serves thousands of residential and industrial customers in both developed and
developing regions, with more than 3 gigawatts of solar collection equipment
installed since 1975.

Kyocera Solar, Inc. is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona with regional
sales affiliates in the Americas and Australia, and solar module manufacturing
facilities operated by Kyocera Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. of Tijuana, Mexico.

Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO) (TOKYO:6971), the parent and global
headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of fine
(or “advanced”) ceramics. Kyocera specializes in combining these engineered
materials with other technologies to create solar power generating systems,
printers, copiers, mobile phones, electronic components, semiconductor
packages, cutting tools and industrial components. During the year ended March
31, 2013, the company’s net sales totaled 1.28 trillion yen (approx. USD13.6
billion).

Note to editors: photos are available upon request.

Contact:

LPI Communications
Leasa Ireland, 310-750-7082
leasa@lpicommunications.com
or
Brad Shewmake, 858-735-8748
brad@lpicommunications.com
 
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