Solar Inverters Like solar panels, solar inverters is also a huge market with stiff competition. The Solar inverter industry has undergone major consolidation. Top solar inverter companies used to be European, as almost 80% of the global solar demand used to come from Europe. However, with the rise of the Japanese and Chinese markets the solar inverter industry […]

The Solar Inverter Industry The Solar Inverter Industry has remained relatively stable compared to the solar panel industry due to fewer number of players and higher barriers of entry. The top solar inverter companies are mostly European though Asian companies particularly from China are making aggressive expansion plans. The solar inverter industry is expected to […]

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 Günter 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.

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.