The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued Westinghouse Solar its newest, and fourth, US Patent for its Andalay technology. Patent 7,987,641 was granted to the company on August 2 and is counted amongst the 30 other patents the company has been issued or has pending in Australia, India, Korea and Mexico.
Westinghouse’s Andalay technology sees that the racking and mounting components are integrated into the solar panel itself. The Andalay feature is found in the company’s 235W AC panels and on its solar flat roof solar power systems.
“Our engineering team started developing this integrated solar panel technology in 2002, and we started filing for patents in 2004. At the time, solar panels were selling for US$4 per watt and nobody really cared about reducing installation costs. Now with solar panel pricing down in the US$1.50 per watt range, reducing installation costs are widely perceived as the biggest opportunity to reduce overall system costs and increase margins,” said Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Westinghouse Solar. “We expect that our growing portfolio of intellectual property related to solar panels with built-in racking, wiring and grounding will become increasingly valuable both to us and our licensees.”