The Future Of Inverters: Promoting Grid Parity

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 What is the status of the current inverter market?

There has been a continuous expansion of the global market for solar inverters across 2018 and 2019, and the industry has also seen increases in shipments. Yet, according to data analysis of the solar inverter sector, there has not been a significant increase in revenue thanks to the continuous decline in inverter prices.

It is likely the energy storage and single-phase inverter will be the fastest-growing product by 2024. However, three-phase inverters are still set to dominate the industry, and this market domination links closely to the decline of the market value of China’s public utilities between 2017 and 2018. Across these two years, the market value decreased by roughly 35% as a result of the country’s market contradiction. This decrease is also owing to lower prices of the three-phase inverters. GTM predicts the market for global, utility-scale inverters will rebound into other parts of the world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific area. At present, China has the lowest prices for these commercial-use inverters in the world

However, the demand for China’s photovoltaic market as well as actual installed capacity has decreased with the implementation of the country’s new policy issued in May 2019. These trends urge enterprises not only to focus on reducing costs and increasing efficiency of products but also to accelerate the intelligent upgrading of products further. This progression should help to achieve heightened grid parity by saving additional costs for smarter operation and maintenance.

Grid parity takes place when the population’s use of alternative energies – like solar – costs less than, or equal to, the price of using power from conventional sources such as fossil fuels.

Solis’ fifth generation is the future

The power of the commercial three-phase series inverter has now stepped over the threshold and entered the era of 100kW+. Such advances will bring down the cost of investment in power stations and utility projects, thereby quickening return on these investments simultaneously.

After more than 10 years of rapid product development and market precipitation, the global refinement and intensification of PV products are becoming increasingly apparent. The focus of the industry is shifting towards higher levels of technical skill to lower costs of power generation.

Solis’ upcoming new 100kW + string inverters are new tools for achieving grid price averaging and have provided effective solutions for many countries around the world to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of photovoltaic power plants. Solis is making full use of its fifth-generation technology platform to do just this, as well as creating PV plants that are both digitised and intelligent. While adhering to the current technology standards, the company is sure to maintain the advantage of guaranteeing the stability of its products. Moreover, the products’ high cost-performance ratio pushes China’s photovoltaic market to achieve grid parity.

Benefits of the all-new Solis range

Efficient:

  • Solis inverters comprise internationally renowned components. Additionally, the products incorporate the application of new technologies such as adaptive parallel technology and wave-by-wave current limiting protection. The switching devices are protected while inverter conversion efficiency and continuous power are improved, too.
  • The brand-new range boasts a staggering efficiency of 99%, making the product line one of the most efficient on the market. This exceptional figure means more energy from the PV module can be converted into usable AC power for the household or business.
  • What’s more: the new range has the highest MPPTdensity degree of any other series previously released. A high MPPT density degree means each two-way string corresponds to one MPPT and, as a result, each 1MW of power benefits from 112.5 MPPT — a figure far higher than that of competing products. An MPPT, or ‘maximum power point’ tracker is an electronic DC-to-DC converter that optimises the match between the PV panels, and a battery or the grid. Similarly, the maximum DC input current of a single-string inverter supports 13A, which perfectly matches the current requirements of double-sided solar panels.  

System friendly:

  • Solis’ 5G range supports a 150% capacity ratio as well as a 110% overload operation for prolonged periods. 18 DC inputs allow for more than a 150% DC/AC tolerance ratio, which puts higher requirements on the device quality and overall design of the inverter. This feature also means more electricity can be generated during periods of low irradiance levels such as morning/evening or cloudy days.
  • The 100kW+ inverter communication mode supports optional PLC, meaning the communication cable is not required, thereby saving both time and money for customers.
  • The range also supports DC “Y” type access, as well as a large diameter AC aluminium alloy cable. The DC side of the inverter uses a 6mm2 DC cable to support the “Y” type access, saving 40% of the DC cable cost. The product is compatible with aluminium alloy cable access, reducing costs further as this product is substantially cheaper than the standard cable.
  • The product’s power factor is adjustable from 0.8 and above, providing customers with a wide range of fine-tuning space and a tremendous, reactive power compensation capability. This flexibility solves the problem of power factor failure and saves the cost of reactive power equipment for customers.
  • Solis’ 5G platform supports remote system upgrades and grid-point power control functions. This feature is useful in areas of unstable grid operation or where coordination of PV systems is required to improve the efficiency of service and maintenance.

Reliable:

  • In the PV industry, fire is one of the most considerable yet also least discussed risks, particularly for rooftop applications. Solis is one of the first inverter manufacturers to promote an AFCI Application case with more than 10,000 inverters. The 5G inverter has an optional, integrated AFCI function, which can identify faults in the arc current while monitoring the PV model to inverse the fire at the input of the transformer. In the event of an arc fire, the inverter will cut off the circuit immediately to avoid 99% of the fire risk.
  • The fifth-generation inverter technology platform has a replaceable AC/DC secondary SPD. This feature provides a Level 1 lightning protection design for surge-prone areas to protect the inverter from the impact of lightning strikes.
  • Each two-way string, single-channel MPPT does not incorporate a fuse, reducing the maintenance of DC-side fuse replacement and the risk of fire from the source. Solis adopts intelligent redundant air cooling, too. Even if there is an external fan failure, the inverter can operate normally and is replaceable when the inverter is on standby to ensure consistent power generation.
  • Each DC input of the inverter is equipped with sensors. The current, voltage and power of each string can be observed from the monitoring system or the inverter display. In turn, group string data can be used to identify cluster installation failures quickly. The inverter simultaneously integrates the string cascade monitoring and intelligent IV curve scanning function to identify any string faults with scanning. The inverter can also provide corresponding solutions to ensure the system operates at its maximum performance.

What do the coming years have in store for solar inverters?

In 2020, the PV market will gradually enter the era of grid parity. Based on data analysis from GTM Research, the price of inverters will be unchanging from 2020 to 2024. Solis will, as always, continue to be customer-centric and committed to creating products and solutions which are both reliable and highly intelligent.

Solis endeavours to create excellent value for customers and accelerate the process of achieving grid parity. The company’s dedication to improving customer revenue and providing optimal power cost solutions sets it in good stead to ultimately become the world’s leading green, smart energy service provider. About Ginlong Technologies
Established in 2005, Ginlong Technologies (Stock Code: 300763.SZ) is one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of PV string inverters. With 1,000+ employees worldwide, and 200+ technicians in the company. Presented under the Solis brand, the company’s portfolio uses innovative string inverter technology to deliver first-class reliability that has been validated under the most stringent international certifications. Armed with a global supply chain as well as world-class R&D and manufacturing capabilities, Ginlong optimizes its Solis inverters for each regional market, servicing and supporting customers with its team of local experts.

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