May 12, 2011 | Scottsale, AZ USA

Saint-Gobain Solar Brings Avancis PowerMax® Solar Module to North America

Combines Copper-Indium-Selenide (CIS) solar power technology with sophisticated slim design providing ultra-efficient, cost-effective energy solutions.

Saint-Gobain Solar is expanding its product offering in North America through the introduction of Avancis PowerMax® premium class photovoltaic (PV) modules.

Showcasing Avancis' industry-leading research and development product experience, PowerMax® combines Copper-Indium-Selenide (CIS) solar power technology with a sophisticated slim design, providing an ultra-efficient, cost-effective energy solution.

"In keeping with our commitment to help protect our global natural environment, we are thrilled to now be able to offer the Avancis PV modules to a new audience of architects, home builders and contractors," said Alain Garnier, general manager of Saint-Gobain Solar in North America. "PowerMax® combines sleek aesthetics with straightforward installation and sustainable functionality, making it much easier to incorporate a low cost design solution while reducing reliance on expensive traditional utility power."

The stylishly uniform PowerMax® black panels are extremely durable, easy to install and suitable for use on roofs, curtain walls, and canopies. Avancis' pioneering use of CIS technology incorporates thin layers (less than one micron) deposited on glass substrate, enabling the highest electricity conversion efficiency for thin film solar modules - particularly in low light - as verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). PowerMax® demonstrates the broadest spectral sensitivity in the entire field of photovoltaic, making the panels ideal for both single-dwelling and commercial roof installations. The modules are covered by 20-year performance and 10-year product warranties.

In terms of performance, PowerMax® offers significant energy savings and reduces the carbon emissions of buildings, as evidenced by the recent installation at Saint-Gobain Solar's headquarters in Phoenix, Ariz. The system will offset 20 percent of annual electricity consumption and reduce carbon emissions by 224,000 pounds over 20 years - the equivalent of a 23-acre forest.

"Installing PowerMax® at our facility not only helps Saint-Gobain Solar reduce its environmental impact, it offers a real-world application we can share with our customers," adds Garnier.

About Saint-Gobain Solar

Saint-Gobain Solar, a member of the Saint-Gobain family of companies, is a worldwide leader in solar energy products and services. For nearly 350 years, Saint-Gobain, the world's largest building products manufacturer, has offered solutions to architects. Today, Saint-Gobain is combining its know-how in construction products with its solar technology expertise to provide sustainable materials, engineered renewable energy solutions, and photovoltaic solutions for the architectural market.

Saint-Gobain develops solutions to help architects create a new generation of buildings that are safe, comfortable, economical and energy efficient. Saint-Gobain's family of companies offer: exterior and interior building products; architectural membranes and fabrics; paintable wall coverings; solar products; fire-rated, intelligent and electrochromic glass, and more. Saint-Gobain recently earned the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award for ongoing and outstanding leadership in energy management.

About Avancis

AVANCIS develops and produces photovoltaic modules based on CIS (copper indium selenide) technology. The innovative manufacturing process relies on the second-generation CIS technology that has been developed by the AVANCIS R&D department in Munich. The first plant at the company's business location in Torgau has a production capacity of 20 megawatt peak per year (MWp/a). Two additional production facilities are currently under construction in Germany and Korea that will add 200 MWp/a by 2012. The plant in Korea is a partnership with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.(HHI).

Siemens, Shell and Saint-Gobain are some of the big names that helped cultivate the technology now available from AVANCIS while it was still in its infancy. The successes achieved in the field of photovoltaics are largely due to their efforts. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain since autumn 2009, AVANCIS benefits from Saint-Gobain's many years of expertise in glass coating and heat treatment, both core competencies of this leading global construction and automotive glass supplier.


Dina Silver Pokedoff, APR
External Communications Manager, Saint-Gobain North America