Solar Inverters are a crucial component of the overall solar system accounting for around 10% of the overall costs.Solar inverters connect the solar panels to the grid converting the DC to AC which is used by the grid.Solar inverters have become highly sophisticated with features like optimization and monitoring etc.The efficiency of solar inverters are a major factor in their purchase as well as the quality and reliability.Inverters comes in various sizes and can be as large as 1 MW for utility applications.Unlike Solar Panels,the Solar Inverter Market is much less crowded though competition is growing as the size of the market increases rapidly.The ~$2.1 billion market in 2009 with 7 GW of installations has increased by more than 130% to around $5 billion in 2010 as the solar panel demand globally increased to around 17 GW.
Note Solar Inverter Companies have done much better as competition is much lower and the annual price declines in solar inverters has been much lower at around 10% compared to the 50% decline in solar panel in the last 2-3 years.Here is a list of the major solar power inverter companies. Market with around 40% of the global marketshare and has become the most valued solar company in Europe as well.The company has managed to keep its margins despite price decreases.The company faces pressures from increasing competition and declining prices.
List of Top Solar Inverter Companies
1) SMA Solar – The Big Daddy of the Solar Inverter Market with a 40% Marketshare of the Global Market.This Germany company has become the most valued solar company in Germany beating out the old stalwarts like Q-Cells and Solarworld. SMA Solar has managed to maintain its marketshare and grow as fast with the global solar demand unlike some of its competitors.SMA Solar faces tough times ahead as the growing inverter industry attracts numerous competitors and it remains to be seen whether it can avoid the fate of Q-Cells.
2) Power-One – The US power management company has shown the fastest growth in 2010 and has increased its marketshare to around 13% to become the No.2 global player.Power-One is mainly concentrated in Europe and is now expanding to Asia and its home market of USA.
3) Kaco New Energy – Like SMA,this is also a German company though privately held.It too benefited from the strong growth in German solar market in 2009 and 2010 to become a large players.It is has not grown as fast as SMA but is still a big players
4) Fronius International – Very similar to Kaco in terms of its growth and being German.Fronius was a top 3 player in 2009 but has seen upstarts like Power-One take more marketshare
5) Satcon – Satcon is similar to Power-One but has not grown as fast nor does it have the high margins of its bigger competitor.It is strong in the US utility market and is growing its operations there.Like Power-One shifting its manufacturing
6) Schieder Electric – This European Electrical Equipment Giant got into the solar inverter market by buying up Canadian Producer Xantrex.
7) General Electric – GE is trying to become an integrated player in the solar PV market supplying everything from products to services.GE is a big producer of wind energy inverters so getting into this allied business is not too tough for this company.
8 ) Sputnik Engineering – Sputnik is a Swiss company that has used the European solar growth to become a reasonably big player in the solar inverter market
9) Advanced Energy – AEIS which is a US semiconductor company is also a big manufacturer of solar inverters.It stands to benefit from the future growth of the Solar Market in the US.
Other solar inverter producers are Siemens,Delta Electronics ( bought Solon solar inverter division),ABB and many other small players.The Solar inverter market has also seen a major shift with the entry of micro-inverters by companies like Enphase.The Solar Inverter Market is seeing increasing competition as its large growing size attracts numerous companies.While valuations of many companies have come to single digits,it may not be a good time to buy because of increasing oversupply and competition.
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