BenQ Solar, the solar power division of Taiwan-based technology company AU Optronics, is preparing to launch a new lightweight module specifically aimed at the Japanese residential market.
The company is also partnering with French company IRFTS to provide a suitably light mounting system.
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The company claims that the new module, Aer PM060M01, has been engineered to be at lower risk of collapsing in case of an earthquake. Japan has been hit by several major natural disasters in recent decades, including the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and a quake in the city of Kobe in 1995, in which around 6,000 people died.
BenQ Solar claims that according to available market data as of 25 February, Aer PM060M01 is the lightest 60 cell crystalline-silicon module in the world and can even be safely fitted to sheet metal roofs. According to the company the module is around 45% lighter than “conventional counterparts”. The whole module weighs 10.5kg, equivalent to 5.3kg per square metre. Maximum power output of the module is 280W.
IRFTS, with whom BenQ Solar is partnering to provide a mounting system, Easy Roof Evolution, is a French company known for its work in building integrated PV (BIPV). BenQ Solar claims the mounting system weighs only 4.2kg.
BenQ Solar is also launching residential energy storage PowerLegato onto the Japanese market to coincide with PV Expo 2014, taking place in Tokyo this week. The storage system was launched in other markets last year, debuting at Intersolar Europe.