December 13 (Renewables Now) - OPES Solutions GmbH, a Germany-based supplier of solar modules for off-grid power supply, on Thursday said it had started mass production of lead-free soldered solar panels.
Lead is a harmful substance commonly found in many solar production methods and when it is removed from the manufacturing process making solar panels becomes more environmentally friendly, the company said.
In addition, the working environment at the company's factory in Changzhou, China, has become healthier, CEO Robert Handel said.
The new modules are equipped with monocrystalline cells, with outputs in the 3.6 W-180 W range.
The company also announced a partnership with BioLite, a US firm that develops and manufactures off-grid energy products, which will use the new modules for the first time in their products next year. For BioLite, the use of the new panels is another step in the company's sustainable strategy, vice president of marketing Erica Rosen said.