By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato, Reporter
AYALA-LED Merlin Solar Technologies, Inc. will start producing lightweight solar panels this year, as it targets both the domestic and Asian market.
Merlin Solar Technologies, Inc. President Olaf Gresens told reporters on Friday that full production of the solar panel kits at its Laguna facility is expected to begin by end-2018.
“[The] facility is complete. However in terms of facility [equipment] and the line, we are still in the process of putting in and qualifying equipment for mass production,” he said.
”We can run in smaller volume quantities [right now] so we expect to be in full production mode at the end of the year.”
Mr. Gresens said they are currently looking for local companies to help them install and sell the solar panel systems.
Last February, AC Industrial Technology Holdings, Inc. purchased a controlling stake in Merlin Solar where the group made a minority investment in 2016.
Mr. Gresens said the company will work with sister company Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc. (IMI) on projects related to mobility, Internet of Things (IoT) and energy in the Philippines.
Merlin Solar currently has three hubs producing solar panels — in California, India and the Philippines. Mr. Gresens said the Laguna facility will be its most automated facility. Merlin Solar has another facility in Thailand, which produces the wafers.
“We are not making a standard solar panel for ground mound or rooftop applications. We use a very flexible and light type of solar panels which are used for transportation applications, which will be used for IoT systems and so on,” Mr. Gresens said.
“These applications include, for example, buses, trucks, […] utility vehicles with cooling requirements. They can be used for specialty rooftop applications where you have weight restrictions in terms of putting heavy panels on there.”
The solar panels can also be used for household or commercial buildings with glass roofs.