Microinverters & DC-DC optimisers to shake up solar PV market, confirms Navigant Consulting

Echoing the findings of GTM Research in a report released not long ago, the market for microinverters and DC-DC power optimisers is set to take off dramatically, predicts a new report from Navigant Research. These technologies, collectively referred to as ‘Module-Level Power Electronics’ (MLPE), are “two of the most disruptive technologies in the solar PV sector today” and will be sending ripples through the residential, commercial and utility solar PV sectors in the next few years, with an over 52GW of solar capacity expected to be equipped with MLPE technology by 2020.

Navigant notes that well-established inverter manufacturers have already given up market share to startups in the relatively short amount of time that they have been available. They credit the recent dramatic growth in the MLPE market to the falling costs, advancements in technologies and strategic partnerships between MLPE and solar module manufacturers to manufacture ‘smart modules’, which in turn promise to reduce overall solar system installation costs. Greater uptake of smart modules will even benefit the electricity grid as well by increasing “functionality by providing grid support and ancillary services while also improving safety and reliability”, according to Navigant.

Until now the USA has been the primary market for the MLPE technologies, but they will begin to become more commonplace in the rest of the world in the coming years. A variety of MLPE technologies are already available in Australia. Australia’s own Tindo Solar has teamed up with SolarBridge Technologies to produce its signature Karra 250 smart modules. Meanwhile, Cairns-based AC Solar Warehouse, already predicting the shift towards MLPE technology & smart modules in the Australian market a few years back, has been a dedicated supplier of MLPE technologies for years.

Top image: Enphase microinverter, via Enphase.

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