Key takeaways


hroughout its 30-year history, SolarWorld went a long way, filled with successes and failures. However, SolarWorld solar modules have always been renowned for their high quality and excellent guarantee. Keep reading to discover more about SolarWorld panels.

The rise of SolarWorld: SolarWorld PV panel as Tier 1 brand on the solar market

Founded in 1988 by German engineer and chief executive officer Frank Asbeck, later known as the “Sun King” of the German solar industry, SolarWorld AG was one of the largest producers of high-quality mono- and  polycrystalline panels. From the raw material silicon to solar wafers, solar cells, and solar panels, SolarWorld managed all stages of SolarWorld solar modules production.

With its headquarters in Bonn and sales offices all over the world, particularly in Europe and the USA, the company employed thousands of people, mainly producing SolarWorld panels in Freiberg, Germany. SolarWorld also had a manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, USA, purchased in 2007 from Japan’s Komatsu and production in Arnstadt, Germany, which it took over from Bosch in 2013.

Insolvency of SolarWorld AG: the German solar panel producer faced bankruptcy

In 2017, SolarWorld announced that it’s forced to file for insolvency. The company couldn’t win a battle against rapidly sinking prices for solar panels on global markets especially caused by overcapacities in China. Later that year, all the company’s assets were acquired by Asbeck along with Qatar Solar Technologies to form a new and completely debt-free SolarWorld Industries GmbH.

However, the investment from Qatar didn’t manage to save the business. In 2018, the newly created unit filed for bankruptcy, citing a fall in revenues due to sinking prices in the solar industry. Several years later, the factory in Freiberg, where SolarWorld panels were mainly produced, was sold to Meyer Burger Technology, which now intends to produce photovoltaic cells based on Freiberg’s facility.

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A new U.S. page for a SolarWorld solar panel: SunPower’s acquisition of SolarWorld

SolarWorld Solar Panels
SolarWorld Solar Panels

While subsidiary SolarWorld America was not itself insolvent, it was decided to sell it to help resolve the debts of the German parent company. In October 2018, a renowned U.S. solar panel manufacturer SunPower completed its acquisition of SolarWorld Americas’ assets, including a SolarWorld solar panel factory in Hillsboro, Oregon, and became the U.S. biggest PV panel producer.

Going solar with SolarWorld panels – solar panels of high quality

The solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld always had high-quality standards for the production of a SolarWorld solar module. This was demonstrated by the step-by-step approach during the entire manufacturing process of a SolarWorld solar panel. Remarkably, a SolarWorld solar panel was one of the first panels to come with a 25-year linear performance guarantee. Solar World crystalline panels were guaranteed to continuously generate a minimum of 90% of the original cited power.

SolarWorld produced not only solar panels: other SolarWorld solar products

SolarWorld solar products were not limited to Solar World panels. For example, SolarWorld solar product line also included solar cars – the SolarWorld company was the main sponsor of the SolarWorld No. 1 solar car developed by the FH Bochum Solar Car Team.

Key takeaways

SolarWorld: Triumphs, Trials, Transition

Establishment of Excellence:

  • Founded in 1988, SolarWorld swiftly rose as a Tier 1 global brand renowned for high-quality panels.

Global Presence:

  • Headquarters in Bonn, manufacturing facilities in Germany and the USA, employed thousands.

Downfall and Insolvency:

  • Intense global competition led to insolvency in 2017 due to plummeting panel prices exacerbated by Chinese oversupply.

Rebirth Efforts:

  • Despite rebranding as SolarWorld Industries GmbH, financial woes persisted, leading to bankruptcy in 2018.

SunPower's Acquisition:

  • In 2018, SunPower acquired SolarWorld Americas, solidifying its position as the largest U.S. PV panel producer.

Legacy of Excellence:

  • SolarWorld modules boasted a 25-year performance guarantee, reflecting a commitment to quality.

Innovation Beyond Panels:

  • Sponsored projects like the SolarWorld No. 1 solar car, showcasing a commitment to solar technology innovation.

In Conclusion:

  • SolarWorld's journey reflects the dynamic solar industry landscape, blending success, insolvency, and acquisition, leaving a legacy of quality and innovation.
May 4, 2024
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