Andalay Solar, Inc. (OP: WEST) announced it received its seventh patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Jan. 28 for the built-in electrical connectors inside the frames of its solar modules, according to company press release. No other solar product manufacturer has electrical connections inside the frames of their modules.
The main benefit of the integrated electrical connections is that the electrical components automatically connect during installation, reducing how much effort and time it takes contractors to assemble an array. The new patent is part of Andalay's Instant Connect® technology, which is a "plug and play" solar solution for mounted solar panel systems, the press release stated.
Andalay President and CEO Steven Chan said there are even more benefits to the plug and play technology. The built-in electrical has minimized wire maintenance issues and improved safety because there is less of a risk for exposed wires or wires touching roofs.
New manufacturer for Andalay
After the U.S. imposed duties on Chinese- and Taiwanese-made solar panels, Andalay sought out new manufacturers for its products. The company announced in January it is partnering with Hyundai Heavy Industries to produce their solar modules and grow their business.
"The addition of Hyundai as an Andalay frame technology partner will help us expand our sales in the rapidly growing U.S. residential solar market," commented Andalay Solar's President & CEO, Steven Chan. "The Hyundai brand is well known to end-consumers and the company's financial strength as an over $50 billion revenue company is also acknowledged by solar leasing companies."
Not long after announcing its new partnership with Hyundai, Andalay revealed it had recieved its largest-ever commercial solar system mounting hardware purchase order. The unnamed buyer, is said to be one of the five largest commercial solar installation companies in the U.S. The order, placed through Hyundai, calls for over 1 MW of the upcoming Hyundai TG-Series modules which feature the Andalay Instant Connect frame.
"I'm pleased to see early demand for the new Hyundai TG-Series module. It's a great vote of confidence coming from a top installer in the industry to take the first modules manufactured by our new partner, Hyundai Heavy Industries," commented Chan.
The new Hyundai-branded TG-series solar modules are currently being certified by UL and will be ready to ship in the first quarter 2015.