Photovoltaic panels (PV) containing solar cells that convert the sun’s energy into electricity are the heart of a rooftop solar system. But all PV panels are not created equal. So which is best?

“The answer is simple: CIS thin-film, next generation PV panels,” said Darren Furumoto, president of Risource Energy, a Hawaii solar company that is the exclusive provider of top-quality Solar Frontier CIS panels from Japan. CIS stands for the key ingredients of the panels — copper, indium and selenium.

CIS panels are considered the next generation in the solar PV industry. They surpass the crystalline silicon panels, which have long been the industry standard, for many compelling reasons,” Furumoto said. “CIS panels outperform competitor panels by creating more electricity per kilowatt (kW) installed, due to CIS thin-film technology and design, including superior low light performance and built-in shade mitigation.”

Why CIS is a superior panel


CIS PV panels deliver up to 14 percent more electricity per kW of installed capacity than crystalline silicon panels. They also perform better than other PV panels in low light conditions.

The panels are made in Japan by Solar Frontier, the world’s largest manufacturer of CIS panels, and are built under superior quality control conditions and include a 25-year warranty. Solar Frontier CIS panels deliver long-term reliability and durability, and are thinner and smaller than conventional PV panels, making them easier to install and maintain. This also allows for flexibility of roof layout to avoid shaded areas. Third-party verified for salt mist and ammonia corrosion resistance, the panels are ideal for Hawaii’s coastal environment.

They are also free of toxic heavy metals and take 60 percent less energy to manufacture than other panels, giving them a smaller carbon footprint. They even come in recyclable packaging. CIS PV panels typically cost less than competing panels, and Risource Energy achieves savings for its customers by bulk purchasing panels in large containers.


Maintenance, warranties and customer care

Risource Energy is the only company in Hawaii to offer a free 10-year annual inspection, maintenance and cleaning program. Also offered is a 10-year warranty on installation, and the CIS panel manufacturer, Solar Frontier, offers a 25-year warranty.


“Acting in the customers’ best interest always drives our company — it’s our primary core value,” said John Yeh, Risource Energy’s director. “We aim to take the mystery and confusion out of the PV sales process with our customers, as we help them understand the CIS panel advantage and the Risource Energy competitive difference.”

What about the state of HECO and permit approvals?

“Our customers are always asking us about HECO and the permit process status,” said Yeh. “Folks know that HECO really slowed the PV system permit approval process after September 2013, citing some concerns over grid capacity.”

But there’s good news, because HECO has started approving more permits and is requiring fewer delaying grid studies. “There is a large backlog of permit applicants, so consider starting the permit process by calling us, and we can help you get started,” Yeh said. “The sooner you are in line for your permit, the sooner you will be saving.”

Risource Energy, Hawaii’s only source of next generation Solar Frontier CIS PV panels, is available to discuss your needs and questions. Give the company a call today.

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