San Salvador, El Salvador - This is largely made possible by photovoltaics, a field in which Panasonic has shown itself to be a leader; it last year achieved a 25.6% conversion efficiency with practical sized solar cells - representing the world's highest conversion efficiency in silicon photovoltaics. Photovoltaic generation is environmentally friendly, helps to reduce CO2 emissions, and takes advantage of available space to generate electricity.
One of the major parties on board with this is Central America's Grupo Simán. Its industry division has shown its endorsement for clean energy, having won a governmental bidding process for the right to provide clean energy to the government's network of power companies. Grupo Simán's successful bid saw it secure three contracts, each one to inject 400kW into the network of Salvadorian power companies.
Yet there were still areas of concern: for a region like Central America, equipment and system management were considered to be potential issues that would follow the introduction of any solar power facility; dust-prone zones in particular make maintenance management essential. Of course, an essential condition for business partners is that Panasonic can guarantee the quality and performance of not only equipment such as panels but also that of its control systems.
After evaluating the reliability and quality of Panasonic's equipment and systems, Grupo Simán chose to partner with Panasonic for the installation of three 500kW systems on the roof of one of Grupo Simán's storehouse. While providing electricity to power companies, Grupo Simán has utilized the storehouse's remaining roof space by installing 1MW in solar panels for a direct PPA energy contract with one of its group companies. In total, these installed facilities have a generation capacity of approximately 11,000kW per day.
For 'El Angel' Project Manager Eng. David Calderon Jr., one of the biggest benefits of having Panasonic as a partner is the ability to carry out inspections almost instantly with online monitoring. 'The advantage of having it,' Calderon Jr. says, 'is that we can accurately see the failures that the system generates in any of the 99 inverters or in any of the 10,019 panels that have been installed on our roofs.'
According to vice B2B sales manager for Panasonic Eng. Sergio Arenas, Panasonic's guarantee of quality, reliability and suitability were key factors for Grupo Simán's decision to partner up. 'One of the main points that made Grupo Simán lean towards Panasonic's offer was the strong guarantee that we offer for what we are installing,' Arenas points out. 'From the beginning of this initiative, Panasonic has been not only a solution supplier but a strategic partner for meeting all its Grupo Simán's needs in this initiative.'
A core part of this initiative, Calderon Jr. points out, is a commitment to the environment. 'One of the virtues we can see with Panasonic is that they are an environmentally committed company and are always trying to innovate with more efficient panels and with skilled staff for their projects,' says Calderon Jr. 'That's one of the things that made us, as a company, put our trust in them.'
As global awareness about clean energy grows, Panasonic has continued to show good reason for the deepened trust in the quality of its photovoltaic generation systems, which it has been developing over 40 years. With optimal conversion efficiency and lower costs, Panasonic is challenging the global solar generation market with its unique heterojunction solar cells as it continues to rise to the challenge of improving service and technology in all areas - full service, design, surveying, monitoring, and maintenance.