Satcon the US solar inverter producer has been 0ne of the worst hit solar inverter manufacturers and has seen massive reduction in revenues and profits.With the solar industry in massive oversupply,the photovoltaic inverter market has also seen a big hit.While the bigger solar inverter producers like SMA Solar and Power-One too have seen job reductions and revenue hits,Satcon has been worse hit due to its small scale.The company has now decided to slash 35% of its workforce consisting of 140 solar jobs due to the ongoing solar crisis.Note other solar companies in the USA such as Solyndra,Spectrawatt have completely closed down while the smaller ones are on the verge of closing as well.
Satcon at its current price may be a good buyout target for bigger industrial conglomerates like GE and Siemens which don’t have a strong presence in the solar inverter market.GE like other electrical and power conglomerates like Siemens has decided to invest billions of dollars into Green Energy.Till recently Solar Energy had gotten scant attention from GE just like Siemens too has not invested a lot.However the 50% CAGR rates of Solar Energy,the fast declining costs have made it imperative for GE to have a presence in this market.GE had bought a thin film solar company Prime Solar a few years ago to acquire the Cadmium Tellerium Technology which First Solar uses in its Solar Panels.
Note Satcon makes mostly 3 Phase Solar Inverters which are used in large solar farms and it does not have a big presence in the residential and commercial rooftop solar market.
Features of the 3 Phase Solar Inverters
- 3 Phase solar inverters have to synch with the grid and cannot be used in off grid applications where the electricity transmission infrastructure is absent. In the USA 3 phase solar inverter have to follow the specifications of the National Electric Code (NEC).
- Grid-tie inverters are designed to disconnect from the grid if there is a blackout
- 3 Phase Solar Inverters frequently have MPTT systems which is called maximum power point tracker that enables the inverter to extract a maximum amount of power
- Efficiency of 3 Phase Solar Inverters can range from 90-98% with most of the top German inverter producers having the highest efficiency rating
- Output voltage is usually 240 Volts used in domestic electrical appliances. Inverters that target commercial applications are rated for 208, 240, ,400, or 480 VAC
- Communication is inbuilt in the top of the line solar inverters which can allow the solar panel systems to be monitored remotely.They can use a wide variety of protocols like RS 232,Wifi,Zigbee etc.
- The Warranty for 3 Phase Solar Inverters can range from 5-12 years depending on the manufacturer.