A comprehensive analysis on the first standardization steps in the PV inverter industry, evaluation of the market forecasts and positioning of the different business players
This updated version of Yole' s PV inverter trends report presents a comparison between what we had previously anticipated and what really happened; and also the new integration that will take place in an inverter.
Last year, we described the evolution of the 4 main parameters of an inverter (size, efficiency, cost and reliability). We will see in this report, that the inverter - as important as it is - is more than ever considered as the sub-system of a more important one: the PV plant.
We have also reviewed our position on some aspects, especially the micro-inverters, which we anticipated more promising than what has really appeared in 2010
In addition, technolocy development is being investigated (advanced cooling system for large size inverters, gallium nitride-based devices for conversion, laminated Busbars for conduction,...).
This year we also included details on the integration of new functionalities, because it is what we have seen all along 2010.
Functionalities tend to improve the global return on investment (ROI) of the PV plant, as well as efficiency and reliability or reducing cost:
We had anticipated that monitoring at cell-level would appear early 2011, but actually, it will not appear until 2 or 3 years from now. The main reason for this delay is that it does not rely on inverters-like manufacturers, but on cell manufacturers, who are not ready yet to provide such technical solutions.
At the plant level (PV inverter environment), architectures are slowly getting standardized, especially on the European market where feed-in tariffs (FIT), although less interesting, define a typical size of installation (3kW in France and Italy, about 5kW in Germany,...).
Last year, it was difficult to establish an exact architecture of the industrial buildings-based PV plants: this year, we have seen mainly two “types” of architectures:
The main consequence is a decrease of 20 to 50kW power range from inverter manufacturers and newcomers on the market, who do not target this value as a priority.
SMA, Fronius, SEPSA, Ingeteam, Enphase, Enecsys, Kaco, MasterVolt, Schneider Electric, Xantrex, SolarMax, SolarMagic, Siemens, PowerOne, AEG, Danfoss, GreenPower IC Lab, ISET, Fraunhoffer ISE, Mitsubishi Electric, ABB, Semikron, MicroSemi, Ixys, Vincotech, Infineon, PetraSolar, Sunsil, Yamaichi Electronics, Ferraz Shawmut, Socomec, PVPowered, Tepco, Comverge, SemiSouth, Siba, SolarBridge, Schneider Electric, Conergy, Sunpower, Firstsolar, PhotoWatt, Siliken, etc...
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