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  • Writer's picturePacific Sun Technologies

SolarWorld Panels Review

Updated: Jan 21, 2019


SolarWorld is a German manufacturer of tier one solar panels. All Solarworld panels have a 20 year product warranty. They also have a 25 year performance warranty, except for their Bisun panel which has a performance warranty of 30 years. All Solarworld panels are certified as corrosion resistant and so are suitable for installation near the sea. They do not have an Australian office which means the company that imports the panels is responsible for their product and performance warranties.

Manufacturing Capacity

SolarWorld’s production capacity in 2016 was over 1 gigawatt. Their CEO has said production will be around 700 megawatts in 2017 and will return to over 1 gigwatt.

Manufacturing Location

SolarWorld manufactures in two locations in Germany. In Arnstadt in Thuringia they have the production capacity to produce 500 megawatts of silicon ingots, 700 megawatts of solar cells, and 200 megawatts of solar panels. The solar cells that aren't used to make panels there are presumably sent to their other panel manufacturing site in Fierberg.

Company History

SolarWorld used to claim to have had 40 years experience. That’s a neat trick considering its founder only started the company it was based on in 1988 and SolarWorld was not formed until 1998. Rather than claiming to have invented a solar powered time machine, they said they had assimilated the experience of the United States STI company founded in 1975. This seems like a bit of a stretch to me. It's also unnecessary, as they’ve been making solar panels for longer than the large majority of panel manufacturers.

SolarWorld has gone from success to failure more than once. Their share prices tanked in 2006, they almost went bust in 2013. In October 2016 they announced they would not meet their revenue forecast for that year and the month before they announced they would lay off 500 workers.

In May 2017, SolarWorld AG announced it would be filing for insolvency proceedings, then in In August, an agreement was signed for the purchase and transfer of SolarWorld AG, SolarWorld Industries Sachsen GmbH, SolarWorld Innovations GmbH and SolarWorld Industries Thüringen GmbH by SolarWorld Industries GmbH. The new company took on the warranty obligations of the old SolarWorld.

SolarWorld Refuses To Take Hemlock And Gets Sued

Back in around 2008, SolarWorld entered into an agreement with Hemlock, a poorly named American silicon producer, to buy silicon from them at a set price. After silicon prices fell, Solarworld decided they’d rather not do that and broke their agreement. So Hemlock is suing them for a billion dollars.

Back in March 2013 Hemlock wanted $83 million US in damages and at the time of writing in 2016 they want $793 million US or over one billion Australian. Part of the increase is on account of interest payments and I