OPEL Solar Inc. and OPEL Technologies Inc. (TSX VENTURE:OPL) (collectively "OPEL" or "the Company"), a leading global supplier of high concentration photovoltaic ("HCPV") solar panels and solar tracker systems and a semiconductor device and process developer, announced today that it has secured a warranty agreement with Energi Insurance Services and has completed an independent tracker technology assessment conducted by BEW Engineering, together with a complete professional engineering validated structural analysis and wind tunnel testing with both Lauren Engineers and Constructors, Inc. and Rowan Williams Davies and Irwin Inc. Together, these achievements provide OPEL Solar customers and partners with complete independent certification and warranty insurance for OPEL’s hallmark TF-800 solar tracking systems as the product of choice in the growing utility scale solar energy industry.
The signing of the agreement with Energi Insurance Services, Inc. ("Energi") is to purchase Energi’s Manufacturer’s Product Warranty ("MPW") Insurance. This coverage will provide an insurance backstop to OPEL’s warranty on the TF-800 solar tracking systems. OPEL’s solar trackers have a five-year limited warranty with an optional extension to ten years of coverage. With Energi’s warranty insurance coverage, OPEL Solar customers gain additional protection against materials and equipment and get the added confidence of a rapid and complete system fix, if needed.
Significant validations for market and financing attractiveness of the TF-800 tracker series came in the form of two assessments of the tracker’s endurance in high winds of 90 mph. Both Lauren Engineers and Constructors, Inc. ("Lauren") and Rowan Williams Davies and Irwin, Inc. ("RWDI") performed the stringent wind testing. Lauren did an independent structural wind analysis via computer modeling. RWDI did live wind tunnel tests to validate the design against actual wind forces. In both company test procedures, the TF-800 met and exceeded the requirements according to applicable standards of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Steel Construction. OPEL further sought and received a technology assessment for its TF-800 single axis tracker, as well as the underlying engineering fundamentals of the TF-800 solar tracker, from BEW Engineering.
Testimony to live experience with the TF-800 tracker withstanding high winds came with the recent Hurricane Irene, a large and powerful Atlantic hurricane that left extensive flood and wind damage along its path through the Caribbean, the United States East Coast and as far north as Atlantic Canada. Two of OPEL Solar’s tracker installations withstood the brunt of Irene’s winds with no damage. The installations were at a solar farm for Greenlight Power located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and at Toray Plastics U.S. in Rhode Island.
"Product warranty and structural validations of the OPEL’s TF-800 tracker add another level of comfort and security for consumers and end purchasers of our advanced solar products. Particularly, with Energi’s MPW insurance coverage, purchasers can be confident that the warranties supplied with the OPEL trackers will be supported and backed-up," said Leon M. Pierhal, CEO of OPEL Technologies.
The TF-800 tracker series of ground-mounted single axis trackers have proven to be very attractive commercially because of the ease of installation and their reverse tracking ability to avoid shadowing from adjacent trackers. The versatility of the solar trackers allows the use of any solar panels, flat panel or concentrated panels, currently being deployed on commercial and utility scale projects, making it solar panel indifferent and an ideal selection of most solar generation installations. The features of the TF-800 tracker products also favorably impact the installation as well as the operation and maintenance system ("O&M") of a solar power plant. The TF-800 tracker can be assembled by two people using just basic hand tools. The wireless tracker network control technology incorporated into OPEL’s TF-800 solar tracker product line helps lower the upfront construction costs while allowing tracker level monitoring. A solar generation plant owner is able to monitor the solar field remotely, including modifying the position of any one or all of the trackers in an installation. This capability reduces installation costs, O&M expenses, increases efficiency and helps maintain optimal performance.
About Energi Holdings Inc. and Energi Insurance Services Inc.
Energi Holdings, Inc. is a Delaware based holding company that provides specialized insurance and risk management solutions to energy firms engaged in targeted market segments, through a wholly owned subsidiary Energi Insurance Services, Inc., (a Massachusetts Insurance Brokerage & Program Administration Company). Founded in 2005 by leading insurance professionals and energy industry leaders, Energi is licensed in all 50 states. Please visit the website at www.energi.com.
Lauren Engineers & Constructors, under its parent company The Lauren Corporation, is a leading EPC contractor serving power and industrial clients. Lauren is an ENR Top 400 Contractor with offices throughout the United States and Canada.
Lauren represents a work-in-progress aimed at continually becoming a better, more competitive Contractor of Choice in our target markets. Since its beginnings over 25 years ago, the company has grown from a small, single-office specialty contractor to become a Top 400 Contractor. This growth process has brought ample change, but the cornerstone commitments have remained the same: Integrity, Safety, Quality, and Performance. These commitments, along with a focus on customers and employees, have allowed Lauren to secure projects and develop strong relationships with key customers, such as: Lauren Engineers & Constructors has over 1,000 employees and is licensed in 39 states. With offices in Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, and throughout Canada (KSI, Inc.), Lauren is equipped to provide customers with a full range of high-quality, cost-effective, in-house engineering and construction services.
RWDI is a unique consulting firm that uses an array of engineering, computer and scientific capabilities to help designers create comfortable environments and high performance buildings and structures for all of the world’s climates.
Our experts collaborate effectively with architects, engineers, planners and developers on integrating design issues such as sustainability, wind, sun, snow, sand, ventilation and cooling, air quality, noise, acoustics, vibration, energy, daylighting, renewables, structural dynamics, motion control, and other unique and demanding design issues.
Our involvement helps clients save money, save time, reduce risk and achieve designs with higher levels of performance overall.
With substantial resources in seven countries, we are accessible and responsive – using our experience, four wind tunnels, computer clusters and advanced building-science software – to help our clients achieve greater success.
With operations in Shelton, CT and head office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Company, through OPEL, Inc., designs, manufactures and markets high-concentration photovoltaic panels and dual- and single-axis trackers for related CPV and PV systems for energy applications worldwide. The Company, through ODIS Inc., a U.S. company, designs III-V semiconductor devices for military, industrial and commercial applications, including infrared sensor arrays and ultra-low-power random access memory.
The Company has 35 patents issued and 12 patents pending in PV systems technologies and for its semiconductor POET process, which enables the monolithic fabrication of integrated circuits containing both electronic and optical elements, with potential high-speed and power-efficient applications in devices such as servers, tablet computers and smartphones. OPEL’s common shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "OPL".