SMA Solar is the world’s biggest supplier and manufacturer of solar inverters with 40% marketshare of the world market of solar inverters.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.The company has been one of the few solar companies in the globe abe to maintain their margins despite a massive gut of solar panels which have brought down solar panel prices below cash costs.Over 3.5 GW of SMA solar inverters are installed globally and the company employs thousands of people Globally.SMA Solar is now facing still competition from Chinese companies who have a dominant presence in the growing domestic market of China and also from competitors like Power-One,Satcon and others who have entered the hugely profitable and growing market of solar inverters.Besides these pure play solar inverter companies,industrial giants like Schneider Electric (Xantrex solar inverters),GE Solar Inverters,ABB and Siemens too are biting at SMA’s heels.SMA Solar is facing competition from the growing presence of solar micro inverters led by companies such as Enphase which threaten to reduce the market for the normal solar inverters.However SMA is known as the best brand of solar inverter in the industry for its high quality and reliability.SMA Sunny Boy inverters are known for their high efficiency and good performance .Despite the higher prices charged by SMA Solar,the company has managed to keep its top dog spot in the solar inverter market.

Petra Solar Inc is a US Company that has an innovative marketing model to install solar panels.Like floating solar panels and solar carports,Petra Solar has taken a new unique approach to increase the penetration of solar panels.It deploys solar panels on utility poles instead of ground mounted free standing solar panels or rooftop installations.The company mainly signs deals with electric utilities instead of regular distribtution channels through solar integrators or installers who then put solar panel of the roofs of houses.This reduces the marketing costs for the company has let it carve out a niche in the super competitive solar market which has recently seen the exit of many solar companies.Petra Solar is now expanding into the Middle Eastern markets after the USA.The company recently bought Jordan-based EnergyFlow Consulting LLC

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.