As part of its push to increase North American marketshare, China-based Trina Solar announced a “three-pronged service solution,” consisting of three new offerings. Two are on the installation side, and the third is the introduction to the North American market of its more efficient Honey cell PV module.
The new module is among the most efficient multicrystalline modules out there. Last year, TUV Rheinland certified one of the modules, at 274 watts, as the most-efficient multicrystalline modules in the world.
“That was the best panel we can make,” said Mike Grunow, Trina Solar’s marketing director in the U.S. “We’re actively shipping 255-watt and 260-watt modules, which do represent some of the most efficient multicrystlline modules on the market today. We’re using better cells glass and surfacing techniques to capture more light, and that’s really the secret sauce.”
The other two products introduced today include new racking equipment, the Trinamount racking system, and a new value-added service that helps solar installers evaluate commercial sites for installations.
Both the Trinamount system and design services are geared toward the commercial market, which includes large rooftops on office buildings, box stores and strip malls, according to Grunow. The racking system is designed to minimize installation time and can be installed with little training.
According to Trina, the design service helps installers by creating site plans for the project developer.
“We basically take care of all that for the customer now. All the customer really needs to tell us is the address. We can, in little to no time, get them a system design,” Grunow said. “We’re essentially becoming a technical arm of an installing company’s sales department.”
The service supports sales teams and bid and proposal efforts.
“It’s important that we provide these value-added services,” Grunow said. “We have a team of engineers that we’ve trained to do this work. They essentially take the information from the customer, and the target is [to return results] within 48 hours.”
The offerings will help Trina as it works to expand marketshare in the U.S. In 2010 it had a market share in the U.S. between 13 percent and 15 percent, according to Grunow.
“We’re investing in sales and marketing and building out our product portfolio,” he said. “We’re confident that we’re making the right moves to grow.”