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Petra Solar – Review of Company Business Model,Panels (Sunwave AC Systems),When will the Stock be Listed

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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 was one of the first companies to sell AC solar panels which supplied AC current directly with an inbuilt module inverter.The company provides smart grid functionality helping the grid to manage intermittent power generation. It deploys solar panels on utility poles instead of ground mounted free standing solar panels or rooftop installations.At first listen, you may be thinking this is a company that needs heavy business insurance coverage, but this company is well established with strong funding.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

Petra Solar Business Model

Petra Solar is a supplier of microinverters integrated with Solar Modules which they source from external suppliers.Note a number of microinverter producers like Enphase Energy have taken the market by storm and established leading positions by selling micro inverters instead of the whole AC Module System.In this fast changing market it remains to be seen which Business Model wins out.The Company uses Suntech Modules for most of its Systems.

Petra Solar Gained Prominence when it first signed a deal with a NJ Utility to install 200,000 smart solar panels on the utilities electric poles.The $200  million contract issupposed to install SunWave™ pole-mounted, grid-connected PV generation system on 200,000 poles in 6 cities for PSE&G utility.Some of the solar installations have drawn complaints of aesthetic nature but there has been no widespread complaints against the utility solar panels.Petra Solar is said to be talking with around 50 utilities around the world.In the USA it has listed

  • Atlantic City Electric (ACE), New Jersey
  • Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), Hawaii
  • Northeast Utilities (NU), New Hampshire
  • Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), Florida
  • San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), California
  • Tampa Electric (TECO), Florida

Petra Solar Panels Review

SunWave Pole Mounted Solar Panels

Petra sells Solar Panels under the SunWave Brandname.Petra Solar’s SunWave solutions not only offers solar energy generation but also  smart grid communications and control, and electric grid reliability capabilities.The SunWave solution mounts quickly  to utility distribution and streetlight poles to deliver power directly to the electric grid. The SmartWave System consist of a high efficiency solar module and a Smart Energy Module (SEMTM) with smart grid communications capability, mounted to a utility-grade rack system.This turnkey “mount and play” solution is designed to be installed on utility poles in under 30 minutes.The Company claims that is individual module focus optimization lets it give 10% more power.The “smart energy modules” operate independently from a central control system and are able to react quickly to changing grid conditions. It sells this system directly to utilities for mounting on the distribution pole or streetlight pole

Petra Solar Panel Systems have a 10 year warranty and weight between 35-40 kgs.They have certifications from IEEE and UL.The output power is 120 kilowatts at 60 Hz which makes it compatible with the power grid.The CEC efficiency is 93% . SunWave systems using ZigBee wireless mesh networking sup-ported by cellular, Ethernet, or WiMax backhaul networks

SunWave Ground Mounted and Rooftop Solar Panels

Petra Solar has diversified from pole mounted solar panels to sell its AC Module to Ground Mounted  and Rooftop Solar Markets as well.The company sells a ground mounted solar systems which consists of

  • SunWave AC Module (solar module plus SEM)
  • SunWave Communicator
  • Energy Portal software
  • Rack and cable system Smart Energy Module

Petra Solar also sells Smart Lighting Products as well as Smart Grid Products under the GridWave and IllumiWave brandnames.

Petra Solar Investors

Petra Solar announced a $40 million venture-funding round in early 2010

  1. Espírito Santo Ventures is a venture capital firm of the Espírito Santo Group
  2. Craton Equity Partners
  3. OnPoint Technologies was created to address the needs of the U.S. Arm
  4. NTEC Kuwait
  5. BlueRun Ventures
  6. Element Partners

Petra Solar Stock Listing (Symbol)?

There has been no news yet of listing of Petra Solar in the Stock Market .Most of the solar IPOs have been deferred given the very tough conditions in the Solar industry.Some of the high flying solar startups in the US Solar Industry like Solyndra have gone bankrupt.Note Solyndra had filed for an IPO a year ago before abandoning the plans.Given the current conditions when solar panel prices have fallen by more than 50% it looks highly unlikely that Petra Solar will go for an IPO when most of the established solar stocks in the industry are trading at low single digit P/E ratios.Some of the other companies in the solar space which are speculated to be coming with IPOs like Brightsource Energy,Suniva and eSolar probably have given up on their plans as well.


Abhishek Shah

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