Xantrex Inverters are one of the most popular brands of solar inverters used in residential installations and come in a wide variety of models.Xantrex was one of the first companies to exclusively manufacture inverters for the photovoltaic market.The company was originaly based out of Canada and listed on the Toronta Stock Exchange.The company has offices in in the United States, Germany and Spain and China.The fortunes of the company changed when it was bought over by one of the biggest power equipment companies Schnieder Electric.However the solar inverters from Xantrex have retained their brand name even after the acquistion.Note Xantrex also manufactures solar inverter chargers and solar battery chargers .Xantrex focuses on the power electronics for boats, recreational vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, utility and automobiles.

Photovoltaic Inverter or Solar Inverters as they are better known as have become one of the fastest growing segment in power electronics. 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.Photovoltaic inverters are not being manufactured by hundreds of suppliers around the world though the top 5 solar inverter manufacturers control almost 75-80% of the market.The reason is that solar inverters have a high technology barrier when it comes to making highly efficient and reliable solar inverters.Till now Chinese manufacturers have not been able to significantly penetrate this solar inverter market because of this.In comparision Chinese solar module producers have captured more than 50% of the global solar market through cutthroat price and cost cutting leading Western solar panel producers like Solarworld to try and get dumping duties imposed on them.SMA Solar is the world’s biggest Photovoltaic Inverter manufacturer and is closely followed by US based Power One.

Fronius Solar Inverters are made by one of the oldest private companies in the solar inverter business.The firm is established by G√ľnter Fronius in Pettenbach, Austria, and commences production of battery chargers and welding transformers.ronius International has production bases in Austria,Czech and Ukraine and the company generated almost 500 million euros of revenue in 2010.Fronius manufactures 3 major product lines under three divisions Battery Chargers,Welding Products and Solar Electronics.Solar Inverters come under the Solar Electronics division.Fronius has been involved in photovoltaics since 1992.In 1995 it started selling the “Sunrise” grid-connected solar inverter for generating electricity from solar energy and feeding it into the power grid.

3 Phase Solar Inverters are another name for Grid Tied Solar Inverters which allow the DC Power generated by Solar Panels to be connected through the Grid.Note most of the Solar Inverters manufactured earlier used to be off grid solar inverters and did not have any grid connections.However the Feed in Tariff Laws in Germany and other European countries has made 3 phase solar inverters a massive growth industry.All major solar inverter manufacturers make 3 phase solar inverters in a wide variety of power ratings and voltages.The difference between a 3 Phase Solar Inverter and a normal Solar Inverter is that the Three Phase Solar Inverter has to match the frequency and voltage of the Grid before it supplies power.Normal Solar Inverters on the other hand are not restrained by the voltage and frequency of the power grid.The grid tie inverter must synchronize its frequency with that of the grid (e.g. 50 or 60 Hz) using a local oscillator and limit the voltage to no higher than the grid voltage.

Solar Inverter Efficiency is increasing every year with increasing scale of operations,greater competition and rising R&D dollars being poured into solar inverter development.PV inverter Efficiency is vital to decrease the costs of solar power which is currently more than that of fossil fuels.While the cost of solar panels has come down drastically by almost 75% in the last 3 years,solar inverter costs have gone down by only 10% every year at most.The reason is that competition is lower in the PV inverter market because of the higher entry barriers of technology.While Western solar inverter manufacturers routinely get above 95% efficiency,the Asian low cost players have not been able to cross the technology hurdle of high efficiency.Note the Power Electronics in a solar system can make a huge difference to the power yields with even a 1% change resulting in thousands of dollars in difference in large scale solar farms.This is the reason that high efficiency solar inverters from the West command a big price premium over the less reliable lower quality PV inverters.You should be careful of any lesser known inverter brand they are offered as part of a home solar power system before installing them. While some of these inverters may have certification this does not mean they can perform as well as the good brands.Skimping of a few dollars here and there may make you penny wise and pound foolish.