updated 12/6/2010 8:16:09 AM ET 2010-12-06T13:16:09

CAMPBELL, Calif., Dec. 6, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Westinghouse Solar, (Nasdaq:WEST), a manufacturer and distributor of solar power systems, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted the company another patent for its unique solar panel technology.

The new patent (U.S. 7,832,157), issued November 16, 2010, provides additional protection for the Westinghouse Solar panel's design, and expands the company's intellectual property portfolio in the solar panel mounting area. The benefits of these innovations are not only faster and easier installation, but also safer and more reliable performance.

Important features of this latest patent include side electrical connections that eliminate the need to wire solar panels manually, a splice device that connects solar panels together in a secure and rigid fashion, grooves along the side of the solar panel to allow connection to rafters at any point along each solar panel, and a grounding path provided through these splice devices that eliminates the need to ground solar panels manually.

The Company's original patent covering a solar module with integrated racking, wiring and grounding was filed in 2004 and granted in 2008. In addition to patents already granted, the company has more than 25 patents in various stages of evaluation at the USPTO and foreign patent offices.

"This latest patent award further strengthens our intellectual property portfolio related to solar panel mounting and wiring systems, and gives us a significant competitive advantage in our continuing efforts to make solar power more mainstream," said Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Westinghouse Solar. "As solar cell and inverter costs continue to decline, installation costs become a greater percentage of total system cost – and we believe our integrated solution reduces these installation costs significantly."

"Westinghouse Solar will continue to develop and commercialize this technology, and will continue to work with distribution and licensing partners to help make these installation benefits more accessible to residential and commercial customers everywhere," Cinnamon said. "The engineering team at Westinghouse Solar pioneered the concept of integrating the racking, wiring and grounding into the frame of the solar panel itself, and will aggressively protect our patented technology."

About Westinghouse Solar:

Westinghouse Solar is a manufacturer and distributor of solar power systems. Award winning Westinghouse Solar Power Systems provide the best combination of safety, performance and reliability, while backed by the proven quality of the Westinghouse name. For more information on Westinghouse Solar, visit www.westinghousesolar.com.

The Westinghouse Solar logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7708

WEST: G

CONTACT:  Westinghouse Solar
          Barry Cinnamon, CEO
          (408) 402-9400
          bcinnamon@westinghousesolar.com

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