Solar Inverter Manufacturers Get Busy

Sungrow, Fronius, SMA solar inverters

It appears brighter days are ahead for the world’s leading manufacturers of solar inverters.

Sungrow Power Supply Co., Ltd. says just in the first quarter of 2015 the company exported 230 MW of inverters to overseas markets, compared to a total of international sales of 293 MW in 2013 and 430 MW in 2014.

“These sales figures and our continued growth over the last few years, show that we have been able to meet our aim of providing high quality products, with excellent efficiency and reliability,” commented Cao Renxian, founder and CEO of Sungrow.

Germany’s SMA Solar Technology AG also experienced a good start to 2015, with sales from January to March 2015 jumping 28% to €226.3 million; driven by supplying inverters for large-scale PV power plants. During the reporting period, SMA sold 1.7GW of PV inverters.

“With the sales generated and the order backlog at the end of the first quarter, we have already achieved more than 60% of our sales target for the year as a whole,” said SMA CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon.

Austria’s Fronius has also been busy; having recently launched two new inverter models – the Primo and the Eco.

The compact three-phase, transformerless Eco inverter is now available in 25.0 and 27.0 kW capacities. A “future-proof” inverter, it features plug-in card technology.

The single-phase counterpart to the three-phase Fronius Symo, the Fronius Primo series offers inverters from 3.0 to 8.2 kW capacity. Among its many features,  the Primo’s Dynamic Peak Manager MPP tracking algorithm enables the inverter to operate at maximum output at all times. The Fronius Primo also features a comprehensive data communication package, energy management features and several interfaces. The Fronius Primo is currently featuring in solar packages offered by local provider Energy Matters.

Fronius also recently announced it was developing communication compatibility between the Fronius Symo Hybrid inverter and Powerwall, Tesla’s home energy storage battery system.

Sungrow, SMA and Fronius inverters have all proven to be popular choices for Australian residential solar power installations.

Demand for solar inverters generally is looking stronger globally, particularly for inverters with advanced features. Research firm IHS has forecast double digit sales growth for solar inverter chips over the next 3 years.

“The PV inverter semiconductor market is on track for strong long-term growth of 12 percent in 2015, 20 percent in 2016, 14 percent in 2017 and 16 percent in 2018,”  says IHS.


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