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.

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.

Solar Panels have decreased dramatically in cost from about $800 in 2008 for a standard 200 Watt Solar Panel to about $300 which means more than a 50% decrease in costs.In these days when the price of electricity and energy is constantly increasing this is an amazing fact and the decreasing cost of Solar Energy has made it the biggest Advantage of using Energy from the Sun.Cheap Chinese Solar Panels can be now be bought as low as $250 in bulk which implies that you can easily buy a Solar Array of 10 Solar Panels for your home at a cost of as low as $2500 .While the initial investment may look high you can look at electricity savings for 25 years as Solar Energy requires NO FUEL and very little maintenance as well.Solar Panels are already ubiquitous in places like Germany and Italy which have strong government support programs called Feed in Tariffs.With prices of energy increasing and Global Warming,its a matter of time when Solar Panels become as common as Lights in your home and offices.Solar Panels Installation is normally done by a Solar Integrator or Installer who decides on which Solar Panels to Buy and Designs the Systems.But as an owner of a Solar Panel System you must have a good idea otherwise you might get cheated upon.

Micro inverters in Solar Energy is a recent phenomenon which has started replacing solar string inverters in residential small solar installations in a small way in USA.Enphase Energy has been instrumental in making this niche technology popular which increases solar panel efficiency by 5-25% and has a number of other advantages over central inverter as well.This has made the major solar inverter companies sit up and even introduce microinverters even on their own.Though the Costs of the Solar System are increased as microinverters cost more per watt,however the reduce the lifecycle costs in small installations through increased reliability,life and productivity.As the Solar Industry has matured,focus has shifted more towards the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) from Solar Panels Electricty generation rather than just on the Solar Capital Investment costs.Solar Mic

Solar Microinverters have opened an entire new category in the traditional Solar Inverter Industry threatening the business model of the incumbent companies which have seen spectacular growth in recent years.Solar Inverter Manufacturers have enjoyed enviable growth of more than 50% CAGR to become a $5 billion industry in 2010.However this industry faces competition from a host of new tiny competitors led by Enphase Energy who claim to reduce costs,increase reliability and add monitory plus flexibility as compared to String Inverters.The threat is the most in residential and commercial solar installations where the advantages of solar micro inverters are more pronounced than in utility applications.Solar EPC Companies in the USA have started adopting this new product though the growing size of the Solar Inverter Industry has managed to temporarily lower the thread.SMA Solar,the biggest solar inverter company in the world recently bought a couple of firms like OKE Services to increase its presence in distributed electronics for the solar panel industry.Here is a list of advantages and disadvantages of Central Inverters and Microinverters.