How to Run a Successful Solar Panel Installation Company?

According to the International Energy Agency, between 2015 to 2020, solar panels will be responsible for adding two-thirds of the power capacity in the globe. This makes it a very profitable business venture to tap from. Many companies have started to understand how profitable this venture is and have begun to tap from this massive venture. 

It is particularly profitable in sunny regions, as individuals who reside there are more likely to leverage solar technologies. However, this does not mean it can’t be used in almost any location considering solar panels are a more budget-friendly and efficient option. 

The great news is that anyone can tap from this massive opportunity, and what’s more, you don’t even need technical expertise to do so. If you are interested in starting and running a solar panel installation, MDB Solar has put together some vital information that can help you achieve this. 

But first, a look at what a solar panel installation company does. 

Activities of A Solar Panel Installation Company

To run a successful solar panel installation company, you need to first know what they do. Many people believe it has to do with the installation of solar panels similar to what the name states. This is not wrong, but it is not the whole truth either.  The activities of a solar panel company go way beyond this. 

For one, the company does on-site inspections of the location they have been tasked with installing the solar panel. Next, they put up a plan in place for that site, and collaborate with the owner as regards the finance and installation of the solar panels. 

However, their activities do not stop there, as solar panel companies also provide maintenance and repair services. This is to ensure clients get value for every penny they spend on fixing these solar panels. Furthermore, in the event of irreversible damages, solar panel companies can offer replacement services too. Now that you know this, why should you begin this business now? Let us find out below. 

Why You Should Begin a Solar Panel Installation Business

As we stated earlier, solar panels are going to be responsible for adding two-thirds of the global power capacity worldwide. Furthermore, many scholars predict that by the year 2050, around 11 percent of solar energy will be drawn from panels installed on commercial and residential structures. 

The solar panel market is growing and won’t stop anytime soon. Many businesses have started to adopt this form of energy because it is budget-friendly, easy to maintain, and ensures reduced cost of operation for any business or home. There is no better time than now to tap from this massive bucket of opportunity. 

Who Should Begin This Business? 

This business is ideal for anyone who understands a little about the business of construction and how electrical contract functions. It is also excellent for one who is highly motivated and has fantastic skills in business management and an urge to be successful. If this sounds like you, let us look into a few things to consider before you begin, which will ensure your success in the business. 

Tips to Start a Successful Solar Panel Installation Company 

If you aim to run a successful solar panel installation company, the following are a few tips that can be of help. 

Write A Business Plan 

Similar to other forms of businesses, the first thing you need to do is carry out comprehensive research. By failing to take this step, you may as well be flushing money down the drain, especially if you don’t know what to expect. 

By carrying out research, you will learn the following: 

  • Your Target Customers: Before you start your company, you will want to determine your target customers. Will you be paying attention to homeowners alone? Or would you focus on installing solar panels on commercial structures too? If you can determine the individuals, you will be serving, and it will be less complicated for you to develop an excellent customer base. Learn more about how to properly profile your ideal PV customers here.

Other things you will learn include:

  • The market requirement 
  • Where to get materials at the most affordable prices?
  • The ideal type of staff and a host of others

All of these make it crucial to put a business plan in place before you begin this venture. With a business plan, you will be more focused as regards the direction to take to ensure you are successful. 

Choose A Good Area to Service 

The location you decide to go with has a lot of influence on your earnings and your cost of operations. This is a decision you need to make during the early phases of the business. If you end up in the wrong location, it is expensive and almost impossible to correct. This is why you need to do your research correctly before you make a choice as regards your business location. 

If you have decided to service commercial structures, then choose locations with lots of businesses. Are you targeting homeowners? Then pick a residential area. 

Also, you need to choose a location that is budget-friendly and won’t dip excessively into your operating cost. This is particularly necessary as a start-up business as you don’t want to go bankrupt before you begin. 

Lastly, choose a location where installing solar panels is legal. You may find locations that suit your other requirements, but if they don’t support what you do, you may be setting yourself up for legal problems. If the zoning board of your chosen city does not support what you do and isn’t willing to compromise, then you need to look for somewhere else. 

Get The Proper Certification and Licensing 

This is an extension of the first step above. Before you decide to settle on a state, you need to find out the licenses and certifications you require. If you choose to settle for cities like Connecticut and Massachusetts, you will require an electrician’s license to get a solar installation permit. In addition to this, a construction license is required if you want to operate in Massachusetts. 

If you elect to settle for other states, you don’t need a license to work on 12-volt photovoltaic, until the moment it is connected into the inverter. The instant you connect it, you have started to wire 120-volt electricity, which will require that you have an electrician’s license. 

Some states will make it compulsory that you get a roofing contractor’s license if you are going to be carrying out installations on the rooftop. 

Some other helpful certifications you will require include: 

  • SEI Solar Professionals Certificate
  • North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners
  • Solar Business and Technical Sales Certificate
  • International and Developing World Applications Certificate
  • Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic Systems Certificate
  • Renewable Energy Applications Certificate
  • Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems Certificate

You can get the business licenses and certifications you require from your city or county. This will ensure you don’t fall into the wrong hands of the law or run the risk of your business being shut down. 

Register a Company Name

Having a business name is not mandatory. However, it can give your business a more professional look. You will use your business name to advertise and carry out your financial affairs. 

Establish a Legal Business Entity 

By developing a legal business entity like an entity, it will ensure that anytime your business gets into legal trouble, you are not personally liable. To ensure you stay safe, you can get the help of a registered agent. 

Get Your Finance in Order

All businesses require finance, and the same applies to solar panel installation companies. Without the right amount of funding, you will be unable to grow to your full potential. The business of installing solar panels is one that requires a lot of cash, so you need to get your finance in place. 

With finance, you will purchase the needed equipment, and also pay your employees. There are numerous ways to get funding for your business which consists of the following: 

  • Your savings 
  • Community schemes
  • Loans from banks and credit unions 
  • Investors 
  • Finding a partner 
  • Loans from family and friends 
  • Crowdfunding
  • Overdraft from banks 

Examine Tax Incentives 

There are numerous tax incentives that can ensure your prospective clients find it cost-effective when they choose to install solar panels. If you can learn about all of these incentives and familiarize yourself with them, you can use the information to draw in new clients for your business. 

To learn about these incentives, you can check out the website of the Solar Energy Industries Association in the region you are located in. You can also check out the DSIRE or Database for State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

Invest in Transportation

During your business operations, you will need a lot of equipment and a means to carry them around. This can quickly become expensive for you to deal with if you have to hire a vehicle each time there is a business. 

A great way to get around this is to invest in a means of transportation like a van as well as the tools you will require. If you don’t have the finance to do it by yourself, look for a means of getting funding from a credit union or local bank or other alternatives we discussed earlier. 

Get Insurance for Your Business 

For any business you want to start-up, insurance is a necessity. This is particularly more important in a business like this where you may be installing panels on rooftops and dealing with electricity. In the event of an accident or damage to the property you are working on, you can be sure of full coverage. 

Also, getting insurance for your employees may be deemed a legal necessity in the state you are working in. So do your research before you begin to avoid any legal hassles that may arise. 

Hire Excellent Employees

If you aim to begin a successful company, you will need to get help. It will be impossible to do everything by yourself, especially if you plan on doing the business on a large scale. The number of staff you will require will have a lot to do with your initial capital and the size you intend to start the business. 

You will have to hire individuals for numerous roles. You may want people for accounting and marketing, and others with excellent communication skills. Also, you will require experienced technicians and those experienced in construction. 

However, this does not mean you hire just anyone that comes your way. Before you hire an employee, you need to go through a proper selection and vetting process.  Take a look at the qualifications and experiences they have, especially when hiring technicians who will be doing electrical work. Also, make sure that you go with individuals who have goals similar to that of your business as attaining success will be less difficult if you and your employees are on the same page. 

Create a Relationship with Wholesale Suppliers

In the end, a business is still what it is; a business. This means you will have to find ways to make a profit while ensuring you provide high-quality materials. You will need a lot of batteries, solar panels, and many others when you fully start the business. If you can develop good relationships with wholesalers, you can get various materials at wholesale prices. 

Marketing and Advertising of Your Solar Business

There are multiple ways to generate solar leads

Find a way to get you included in your local chamber of commerce, and buy print and on-air ads, to increase your reach in the area your business is set-up. You also need to come up with innovative ways to advertise the services you render. A great way to do this is to use flyers, real estate magazines, and local newspapers. 

Lastly, don’t ignore digital marketing. Ensure your business has a good presence online. Create a website alongside pages on social media platforms that you keep regularly active to ensure your business growth. 

To get the most out of your website, you should consider taking SEO training specifically for solar installers. Also, make it mobile-friendly since most people visit sites on their mobile devices. This way, you will be taking advantage of every channel.  Remember to include your contact information, past jobs, and all of your services on your website to make it easier for potential clients to make a decision. 

Conclusion 

As you can see, starting a solar panel installation company does not have to be difficult. If you can effectively read and implement all of the tips and considerations listed above, in time, you will become a force to reckon with.

Top 10 Solar Energy Markets in the World

The solar energy market in the world is about to reach 137.5 GW capacity in 2019!

It is huge progress to notch up this capacity compared to over 102 GW capacity in 2018. 

This is great news for this industry. Also, the global solar energy market will keep diversifying and opening up new expansion opportunities. 

The best solar energy markets in the world will account for 83% of the energy demand until 2023. Some of the fastest-growing among these markets are concentrated solar energy in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Italy.

More than 24 countries all over the world have a cumulative PV capacity of over 1 GW capacity. Countries such as Austria, Chile, and South Africa, all had crossed the 1 GW landmark way back in 2016. 

Many countries have installed substantial solar power capacity to provide an alternative to traditional energy sources. 

In this post, we have listed the largest solar energy markets in the world. These are the top countries producing most solar energy or using most solar power. Here we go.

1) China

China has been investing heavily in solar power over the past two decades, and it is one of the top solar energy markets in the world. 

Currently, China is the undisputed leader in the global PV industry, holding the top spot since 2015 after surpassing Germany.

In 2018, the installed solar capacity in China was 44.1 GW. 

The photovoltaic (PV) installations in China is expected to reach 370 GW by 2024. See Solar Power Statistics in China 2019 for more data.

China is the largest market in the world for both photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal energy. In the last few years, more than 50% of the total PV installations came from the country. 

The accelerated growth of the solar energy industry has been mainly due to subsidies by the government, which have helped in reducing the cost of solar power. 

Three of the top four largest photovoltaic power stations are located in China, including the Tengger Desert Solar Park, one of the largest solar parks in the world. 

The country has set a target to reach 1,300 GW of Solar Capacity by 2050.

Solar energy-producing companies in China also have an ambitious goal in space. Scientists are exploring the possibility of installing a space-based solar power station in orbit, which is 22,370 miles above the earth. 

The space station would occupy will be covering 33 acres and could begin generating power before 2040.

2) The USA

The US has a rich history of producing solar energy that began as early as in 1983. 

Since the beginning, the country has produced a total of 17,468,342 Megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar energy. 

The US has some of the largest solar plants in the world. In 2018, the country installed 10.6 GW of solar PV capacity according to the solar power statistics in the USA.

The US has been witnessing significant growth in solar PV installations in the residential sector. 

Many US states have set high targets for 2019. In the first quarter, the country’s renewable sector has already produced more electricity than the coal power plants for the first time, according to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics.

Also, the American Solar Energy Industries Association estimates that the US is likely to install 3 million solar panels in 2021 and 4 million panels in 2023.

Solar power in the US includes utility-scale solar power plants and local distributed power generation through rooftop photovoltaics. 

The total solar PV installation capacity in the US is likely to increase by 14% in 2019. Subsequently, in 2021, the total yearly installations can reach 15.8 GW.

According to Wood Mackenzie, the top five states in the country that have been generating maximum solar energy from 2010 to 2019, are California, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

The US initiated much early research in photovoltaics and concentrated solar energy and is among the top countries in the world in implementing the technology.

The country is also home to 4 of the 10 largest utility-scale PV power plants in the world as of 2017.

3) Japan

Japan has been one of the leading solar energy-producing countries since the late 1990s. 

Besides being a global leader in solar power generation, Japan is also a leader in manufacturing the technologies required to build solar panels and are currently account for 45% of the PV cells in the world. 

As of 2018, Japan’s total installed solar capacity was 56 GW (since 1992), and the number of installations in the same year was 6,500.

The Japanese government has set revised targets of installing 28 GW solar capacity by 2020, and 53 GW capacity by 2030.  

Interestingly, Japan had already surpassed the target set for 2020 in 2014 and surpassed the target for 2030 in 2018.

Also, the country aims to meet 10% of the total domestic energy demand by 2050.

For the past decade, Japan has been giving solar power the top priority and revising and their policies to reflect this change. 

The government has also been providing support by offering subsidized installation costs, which have made solar panels more affordable and attractive to people. 

Japan has a total of 30 solar power stations across the country and currently holds the record for constructing one of the largest solar power buildings in the world, named the “Solar Ark.” 

The “Solar Ark” facility is a solar PV power station, which is more than 300 meters wide and 37 meters tall. It has more than 5,000 solar panels that can produce 530,000 KWh on an annual basis. 

The country is one of the leading manufacturers of solar panels and is among the top four countries with the most solar PV installed. 

Japan’s total installed capacity is now said to be enough to supply 2.5% of the total domestic annual electricity demand. 

4) Germany

Germany has been among the top solar energy generating countries for several years.

In 2004, Germany was one of the first countries to have reached the landmark of 1GW of cumulative installed photovoltaics (PV) capacity. 

Earlier, the country was the leading solar energy producer before China surpassed it in 2015.

In 2018, Germany was the number one solar PV market in Europe by adding 2.95 GW of solar capacity, which was a growth of 67% year-on-year compared to 2017.   

The solar companies in Germany have more than 27 PV power stations that can generate over 20 MW of electricity. 

Also, the largest solar farms in the country can produce more than 100 MW.

Germany is also showing the way in producing and distributing residential solar power. More than 120,000 households in Germany is estimated to have solar units along with battery storage installed in their homes. 

The widespread use of solar energy is mainly due to the reduced costs of solar PV systems and feed-in-tariff programs in the country. 

Germany has set a target to source 80% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2050. 

Germany is among the top four nations in terms of installed PV solar capacity and number one in per capita installation of PV. The country installed 3 GW in 2018.

The government has rolled out policies to 40 to 45% of the total energy requirement from renewable energy by 2025 and 55 to 60% by 2035.

The largest solar PV plants in Germany include Finsterwalde Solar Park, Senftenberg Solarpark, Strasskirchen Solar Park, Lieberose Photovoltaic Park, Waldpolenz Solar Park, and Köthen Solar Park.

5) India

India has been one of the emerging countries in recent times when it comes to generating solar energy. 

The country has the third-fastest growing solar power program after China and the US. 

In 2018, India added the installed solar capacity of 3.3 GW, and the cumulative solar capacity of the country was 28 GW. 

A solar energy forecast by Bridge to India shows that new installations in the country are likely to reach nearly 14 gigawatts (GW) in 2019.

Under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, the country has set a target to produce 20 GW by 2022. India has already surpassed that target by producing more than 20 GW of installed solar capacity in January 2018. 

Earlier, on January 2015, the government announced an initiative to increase the solar capacity to 100 GW and total renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2022. 

To reach the target of 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022, the government has planned to auction a minimum of 77 GW of additional solar capacity by March 2020.

There have been several large grid-scale solar parks into operation, out of which some of them are among the world’s largest solar parks. For example, Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park has a capacity of 1,000 MW, 

Other big solar projects are Kamuthi Solar Power Project (648 MW), Charanka Solar Park (345 MW), the Gujarat solar parks (605 MW), and Bhadla Solar Park with a proposed capacity of 2,255 MW. 

As of November 30, 2017, more than 142,000 solar pumps have been installed to irrigate the agricultural fields. 

Schemes like this are helping farmers to move away from diesel-powered pumps and generating extra income by selling surplus power to the grid. It is one of the innovative ways to empower the rural population by addressing the water availability issue with solar energy. 

6) Italy

In the past, Italy had fulfilled most of its energy requirements by importing from foreign countries. However, over the past decade, solar power production in the country has increased substantially. 

At the end of 2010, Italy had 155,977 solar PV plants, with a total capacity of 3,469.9 MW.

Annual growth was fast in the past decade. It was 251% in 2009 and 182% in 2010. 

In December 2012, nearly 100,000 people were employed in the solar industry in Italy, particularly in design and installation.

Later the use of solar panels increased mainly due to a government scheme that encouraged domestic solar energy production through a personal income tax deduction. The deduction was equal to a maximum of 50% of incurred expenses.

Currently, there are nearly 730,000 solar panels installed in the country. 

In 2018, Italy’s solar power statistics shows that the installed capacity in the country went past the 20 GW milestone for the first time. 

Due to the increasing success in the solar industry, the Italian Government has revised its targets for solar energy generation from 72 to 74 Terawatt-hour (TWh). 

7) The United Kingdom

The UK has been another leading country in solar energy capacity in Europe. As of 2019, installed capacity was over 13GW.

Until 2010, solar power accounted for a small part of electricity production in the country,  and then it increased at a fast rate. 

At the end of 2011, the total solar power projects in the country were 230,000, with a total installed capacity of 750 (MW). 

In recent years, usage of solar energy has increased at a fast rate due to reductions in the cost of PV panels, and for the Feed-in tariff (FIT) subsidy, which was introduced in April 2010.  

In 2012, the government decided on a strategy to power 4 million homes across the UK by solar power within eight years. It will accumulate to 22,000 MW of installed solar power capacity by 2020. 

There have been discussions that in 2019, the UK is likely to be the only country that will free of subsidy. 

8) Australia

The installed PV capacity in Australia was more than 12,959 MW by June 2019.

In 2018, nearly 2 million households in Australia installed rooftop solar panels. It means that one in every five households in the country currently has solar power to reduce their electricity bills.

If this rate of solar installations continues, Australia will reach 50% renewable capacity in 2025.

According to the Australian Energy Market Operator, rooftop solar will produce 85% more power than the 2017-18 financial year. For more detailed data, check solar power statistics Australia 2019.

The Bungala solar plant is the largest solar power station in Australia with 220 MW capacity. Other major solar projects include Daydream Solar Farm (168 MW), Coleambally Solar Farm (150 MW), Sun Metals Solar Farm (124 MW),  and the Darling Downs Solar Farm (110 MW).

A report by Green Energy Markets shows that in the first three months of 2019, there have been a record number of solar installation in residential and commercial buildings. It is an increase of 46% during the same period in 2018.

Another report by the Clean Energy Regulator has revealed that Australia is about to install nearly 10,400MW of new renewable energy in 2019. It will comprise 7,200MW of large-scale renewables and 3,200MW of rooftop solar.

9) France

Solar energy capacity in France reached 9,466 MW by the end of 2018, producing 10,196 GWh of power. It means the country fell short of its 10 GW total solar target in 2018 by more than 1 GW. 

The solar power capacity is expected to continue expanding with a target of nearly 18-20 GW capacity to be installed by 2023. 

France rolled out a complex incentive scheme that requires solar systems with a minimum capacity of 100 kW to participate in tenders, which did not work out very well.

Also, regulatory changes and plans to tender more capacities in 2018 did not any positive impact so far.

Despite the mentioned setbacks, France will continue to thrive as one of the leading nations in Europe in solar power capacity.

A report by the European Commission states that by 2020, France is likely to install an estimated 1,484 MW of residential solar PV capacity with 458,000 residential solar PV consumers. The average size of residential solar PV systems is expected to be 3.24 kW by 2030.

10) South Korea

South Korea is one of the frontrunners in solar energy capacity in Asia. The country is also the eighth largest consumer of electricity in the world. 

The Korean government has set a target of expanding renewable energy production from the current rate of 7% to 20% by 2030. 

To achieve the renewable energy target, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) has been tasked to identify measures and also formulate Korea’s 5th Renewable Energy Master Plan by 2019.

The master plan aims to add 30.8 GW of solar power capacity, and 16.5 GW of wind power capacity.

The largest solar power plants in the country are Sinan solar power plant (24 MW) PV power station in Sinan, Jeollanam-do, South Korea. The German company Conergy developed the project, and it cost US$150 million. 

South Korea has also planned to build the largest solar park at Saemangeum, and transform it into the country’s renewable energy hub.

Closing Words

Currently, the world is still dependent heavily on oil, coal, and natural gas for energy needs.  However, many corners of the plant are investing in solar energy looking at the future. 

The top countries producing most solar energy that are listed in this post have realized early about the significance of sustainable energy. These countries have devised long-term strategies along with setting targets to produce solar energy.

These top countries based on their PV capacity not only have been generating and consuming substantial solar energy, but they are also consciously putting in the effort to reduce carbon emissions.

In addition, investing in solar energy and its components have created a large number of green jobs within the countries, thus paving the way for an even brighter future in the energy industry.

Top 10 Solar Monitoring Systems in the World

Are you a solar panel system installer or user and thinking about how you can monitor solar energy production and consumption? 

If the answer is “yes,” then you are at the right place. In this article, we will tell you about some of the best solar panel monitoring systems in the world.

A solar monitoring system or a solar monitoring website can help you get real-time data about various aspects of your solar systems operation, including energy production, consumption, any defect on the solar panels, energy optimization, and more.

Here we have listed the top 10 solar PV monitoring systems offered by leading solar monitoring companies that can make your solar operation a hassle-free task. Here is the list.

1) Enphase IQ7

Website: https://enphase.com/en-us/products-and-services/smart-solar

Enphase is one of the leading solar PV monitoring systems providers in the market. 

The company offers a complete range of solar panels along with built-in micro-inverters. 

Enphase offers a web application named “MyEnlighten” that enables users to track their total and each panel’s energy production data. 

Also, the application allows users to monitor their system’s health and share their data with third parties via a simple interface.

The Enphase IQ7 Series has various features, which are below: 

  • Built for ACM (AC Module) applications, this system is compatible to use with a smart grid.
  • It goes well with the frequency ride-through, advanced grid support, and voltage requirements
  • The system is suitable for 60-cell and 72-cell modules
  • Enphase IQ7 provides quick installation with upgraded, lighter double-wire cabling and more than a million testing hours.
  • The system is integrated with apps for Android, iOS, and web devices.

Also, Enphase offers one of the best solar monitoring mobile apps, which helps users to check their energy production, and the system’s performance at any time. 

If you are looking for a top-notch solar monitoring system for your clients, Enphase IQ7 Series is just perfect. 

2) SolarEdge

Website: www.solaredge.com/products/pv-monitoring

The SolarEdge monitoring platform offers comprehensive PV performance monitoring and output assurance through the feature of immediate fault detection and alerts. 

The monitoring sensors and transmitters are integrated into the SolarEdge power optimizer and solar inverter, and measurement data is sent through the regular power lines.

Benefits:

  • Complete visibility of the technical and financial performance through the system, including interactive charts and site layout 
  • Visual data of PV production, consumption of the building, and self-consumption.
  • Availability of complete data at the module-level, system-level and string-level. 
  • Comprehensive reporting and analysis with an option to schedule automatic reports and export reports.
  • Generating automatic alerts on system issues.
  • Remote troubleshooting and access to real-time system data. 
  • Easy data access from a computer, smartphone, or tablet
  • Social sharing options and public display to drive referrals and generate leads
  • Free for 25 years

The layout of the monitoring platform allows users to monitor systems at the module level, and identify issues to the exact location of each module on a virtual site map.

3) CURB Monitoring System 

Website: https://energycurb.com/

CURB is a home energy monitoring system that helps solar energy consumers to take control of their household energy usage. 

CURB plugs directly into the breaker panel and provides users with real-time data on their energy consumption and production.

The system can recognize abnormal patterns of energy use, identify potential problems of various appliances. It can estimate the energy bill, allowing users to see the impact of their energy use on their expenses. 

The CURB breaker panels can pack up to 200 amps of power, so it is better to have an electrician to do the installation work.  

The Curb system also sends tips on how to save energy and money and alerts users if they are going over budget.

4) TrueCapture by NEXTracker 

Website: https://www.nextracker.com/product-services/solar-storage/truecapture/

TrueCapture boosts the productivity of solar power plants from 2 to 6% by continually optimizing the tracking algorithm of each panel row according to site features and changing weather conditions. 

TrueCapture has integrated features such as advanced sensors, machine-learning technologies, and weather forecasting to maximize energy output. 

By using its smart data capture and predictive control software, TrueCapture enables customers to maximize the benefits, generating more revenues with higher energy output, better availability, and lower operating costs.

The proprietary smart panel sensors in the system provide real-time shading data on each tracker row. Subsequently, the data is processed by a machine-learning software to build a virtual 3D model. 

Also, TrueCapture can calculate return on investment (ROI) by the minute, hour, day, month, and year. 

In 2018, TrueCapture received the “PV Magazine Award” in the “Market Innovation” category.

5) simPRO IoT

Website: https://www.simpro.us/features/iot

simPRO is a leading job management software company and offers simPRO IoT software for tracking and monitoring purposes.   

simPRO IoT integrates with energy data through any other IoT device or protocols from third parties or existing installations.

simPRO IoT can reduce the number of onsite inspections, achieve quicker response times to failures in the field, lower reactive maintenance through alerts before any equipment failure and identification of equipment failure before an inspection.

simPRO IoT does cloud-based data management of more than 4,800 businesses and 120,000+ users worldwide.

The solution also helps in improving service delivery, reducing costs, and delivering improved customer experiences.

6) Tigo SMART 

Website: https://www.tigoenergy.com/

Tigo’s SMART module-level monitoring system tracks energy production, manages PV analytics, sends alerts, and notifies about maintenance requirements. 

Tigo SMART App provides solutions related to module design, layout, configure, commission, and monitor the PV system in five minutes from a mobile device. 

This app enables users to interface directly with Tigo’s Cloud Connect Advanced (CCA) software through a Wi-Fi Bluetooth Connection. 

If you are a PV installer, you can fully configure Tigo systems, scan barcodes from a mobile device, and troubleshoot system issues on-site.

Also, Tigo’s SMART website can provide a module-level online monitoring system to manage utility for residential and commercial PV systems. 

In order to provide additional security, Tigo’s SMART website can remotely power-off each module and eliminate high voltage for maintenance or safety.

7) Smappee Solar

Website: https://www.smappee.com/us/homepage

Smappee app provides users with the control to set their energy priorities and increase efficiency, rather than just monitoring and reactively turning off certain electronic appliances.

Smappee’s differentiated functionality allows you to redirect energy from one appliance to another based on your priority. 

Users can also get accurate, real-time data regarding energy consumption. The user-friendly Smappee app and Smappee Dashboard provides a clear and detailed overview of energy flows. 

The energy data shows visual information that provides a clear breakdown by day, week, month, or year.

Another interesting feature of the Smappee app is that it can work as an “energy traffic controller.” 

The app makes sure that you do not overload your electrical panel and trip a circuit breaker while using appliances. 

8) Solar-Log WEB Enerest™

Website: www.solar-log-america.com

Solar-Log WEB Enerest™ is capable of monitoring an entire fleet of residential and commercial solar modules on one online platform. 

The system provides accurate plant data and reliable reporting to meet the needs of installers, solar plant owners, and portal operators. 

The Solar-Log™ WEB Enerest helps to serve plant owners according to their needs and wishes. Accurate classification of M, L, and XL within the function classes and plant sizes provides custom solutions at a balanced price-performance ratio.

By using the Solar-Log WEB Enerest™, the basic functions of PV plant monitoring can be done free of cost for plants up to 30 kW. 

The system is easy to operate, and plant owners can monitor their PV plants themselves. They evaluate errors independently, and there is an option to display, analyze, and compare output over a period of weeks, months, or years.

9) Sense Energy Monitor

Website: https://sense.com/

Sense is another leading solar monitoring system. It can be connected to a power panel by a certified electrician, and the installation process takes only around 30 minutes.

After connecting the monitor and it is on W-Fi, Sense collects data on the residential or commercial system’s solar production and compares it to the energy usage. It also identifies various appliances and their patterns of consumption. 

Using this solar monitor, you can easily measure solar production and power consumption in terms of money. It means it allows users to know exactly how much each device is costing and its impact on the energy bill. 

The system offers real-time monitoring through Android, iOS, and web applications. The system is easy to install and can help monitor your solar panel in 30 minutes or less. 

Also, Sense is compliant with the safety requirements, and it is suitable for households and businesses in the US and Canada.

10) TED Pro Home Solar Package 

Website: www.theenergydetective.com/

TED is another excellent solar monitoring system and is built to suit the monitoring needs of residential solar installation.

The system can monitor production, consumption, and provide net-usage data.

The benefits of the system include the following:

  • Offers a comprehensive package that is ideal for solar and wind.
  • Get all the necessary software and a free TED Commander feature.
  • The system also includes Android or iOS apps
  • It is suitable for households with up to two electric panels.
  • The system also monitors the energy that flows to the grid.

Related article: Top 10 Solar Asset Management Tools & Softwares

Closing Words

A solar monitoring system can help you track your solar PV system’s performance. It provides information about energy production, consumption, optimization of energy usage, and error detection to the solar system. 

Also, getting one of the listed monitoring systems can help you monitor and control environmental data such as module temperature, ambient temperature, solar radiation, and more for analysis.  

Related article: SEO Training Exclusive for Solar Companies


Top 10 Solar Farms in the USA

If you are in the solar industry, you may have already known that solar farms or plants can last 20 to 25 years! 

Even more important is, after becoming that old, these farms will never be abandoned; rather, they would be fully functional and productive.

Besides, the installed solar panels can last 40 or 50 years! It sounds like an eternity. That is the beauty of natural energy like solar power. 

Another interesting fact is that California, in the US, has brought about a revolution in the country’s solar industry. 

California ranked No.1 in solar installations with 3.3 GW installed in 2018, and it receives nearly 14% of its electricity from solar. 

The US has some of the largest, most beautiful, and productive solar farms in the world. In this post, we have made a list of the top 10 solar farms in the country that are driving the US solar industry forward.

Let’s take a look at the list of the largest solar farms in the United States here:

1. Solar Star, Kern, and Los Angeles Counties

Solar Star is the largest solar farm in the US. When the farm was set up on June 2015, it was the biggest solar farm in the world. 

Solar Start has 1.7 million solar panels spread out in more than 13 square kilometres in Kern and Los Angeles Counties, California. That is nearly the size of 142 football fields or 4 times the size of Central Park!

The project is divided based on two separate installations — Solar Star 1 and Solar Star 2. The first one has a capacity of 314MW and the second one has 265MW. 

Overall, Solar Star generates 579 MW of energy, which is enough to provide electricity to almost 255,000 households. 

Building this solar farm created nearly 650 jobs over three years. Also, as reported by “CleanTechnica,” Solar Star had created 40 maintenance jobs, including 15 full-time site positions, during its lifetime.

Here are a few more facts about the Solar Star project, collected from the California Energy Commission:

  • Solar Star was established on an altered land. It means that the land had already been altered or used by people.
  • The solar panels on the farm get cleaned up automatically by using minimal water.
  • The solar panels use a single-axis tracker to follow the sun’s movement throughout the day. This feature makes the panels nearly 25% more efficient than motionless panels.
  • The net environmental impact of this project is significant. The solar output of this farm is taking 108,000 cars off the road annually. 

The Solar Star project was started in 2013 and completed in 2015. After it was completed, the farm has more than 1.7 million solar panels, was already producing more than 170 MW to the California grid.

Solar Star has completed its fourth year in June 2019, and it is still the largest solar farm in the country in terms of power generated. Other solar farms that are closer to Solar Star do not have the same kind of efficiency per area, based on their location and technological prowess.

2. Topaz Solar Farm, Carrizo Plain of San Luis Obispo County, California

Topaz solar farm is located on the Carrizo Plain of San Luis Obispo County, California. 

The construction of the project started in November 2011, and on February 2015, all the construction activities were completed. 

The solar farm is spread out over the area of more than 15 square kilometres and provides enough power for 160,000 homes. 

The capacity of the Topaz solar farm is 580 MW, and when operating at full capacity, it produces enough electricity to power nearly 180,000 households. 

A study by the BHE shows that the production capacity of Topaz farm is enough to displace around 407,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent to taking 77,000 cars off the road.

The solar modules in the Topaz solar farm are mounted together on panels that are supported by steel columns. The structure holds the modules about 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the ground. 

Rows of panels are laid in a way that appears like large geometric shapes and is defined in part through access roads and stream beds. 

The northernmost part of the solar farm, which is nearby to a transmission line, was the first to have been built.

The economic benefits this farm provides include an estimated $417 million in positive impacts, such as property and sales tax revenues for the County, wages from direct/indirect employment, induced spending and supply chain revenues.

3. Ivanpah Solar, Clark Mountain in California

The Ivanpah Solar is a concentrated solar thermal plant in the Mojave Desert and stretches five square miles. It is located at the base of Clark Mountain in California. 

The $2.2 billion facilities were developed by BrightSource Energy and Bechtel. The largest investor in the project was NRG Energy which contributed $300 million. 

The solar farm has a total capacity of 392 MW. It has deployed 173,500 heliostats, each with two mirrors focusing solar energy on boilers placed on three centralized solar power towers. 

The first unit of the solar plant was connected to the electrical grid in September 2013 for an initial synchronization test. 

The facility officially opened on February 13, 2014, and in the same year, it became the largest solar thermal power station in the world. 

Many people, however, have also criticized this project for disrupting animal habitats and even “frying” birds that fly too close to the hot towers.

Nearly 300,000-plus mirrors that have been installed at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System capture sunshine almost 330 to 350 days per year. 

The steam generated from the heated water towers spins turbines that produce enough to provide electricity to 140,000 households in California.

4. Agua Caliente Solar Project, Arizona 

The Agua Caliente Solar Project has been set up in Yuma County, Arizona.

This solar farm is built on an earlier distributed agricultural land, 65 miles on the White Wing Ranch. That piece of land was chosen after a thorough search on the availability of solar resources.

The project required minimal new transmission infrastructure due to its strategic location. The construction of the project was completed in April 2014 and has a capacity of 290 MW.

The $1.8 billion solar projects were originally initiated by NextLight Renewable Power, which was acquired by First Solar in July 2010. In August 2011, NRG Energy took over the project from First Solar. 

In fact, First Solar provided 5.2 million cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules for this solar project. 

In the first phase of the project, 39 MW was online in December 2011, 100 MW was completed in April 2012, 200 MW was completed in July 2012, and 247 MW in August 2012. 

The 2,400-acre facility can produce enough electricity for 230,000 households at peak loads.

When the Agua Caliente farm went live, it claimed the title of the largest solar farm in the world. Also, the project was named ‘Project of the Year’ by Excellence in Renewable Energy Award in February 2012.

The farm will also reduce 5.5 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. 

5. The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, Nevada

The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is a concentrating solar power (CSP) farm that is constructed near Tonopah in Nye County, Nevada, US. 

The farm is spread over 1,600 acres of public land administered by the US Bureau of Land Management. It has been designed for an operational life duration of 30 years.

This solar farm, with the capacity of 110MW, is the first utility-scale solar power plant in the US, which is fully integrated with energy storage technology. It is also the largest solar power facility in the world with storage. The cost of the project was $1 billion. 

The Crescent Dunes Solar Project started in August 2011 with moderate construction activities. 

Later, on February 2012, the project reached a major construction milestone, when the deployment of the central receiver solar power tower was completed. The 540 ft-tall tower is the tallest solar power tower in the world.

The commissioning phase of the project began in February 2014 after the construction was completed in 2015. 

The plant is capable of generating nearly half a million megawatt-hours of emission-free electricity every year and can provide power to approximately 75,000 households. 

The generated solar energy will also eliminate 290,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. 

The investors in this project include SolarReserve, the Spanish engineering and construction company ACS Cobra, and the Spanish banking firm Santander.

6. Desert Sunlight Solar Farm – Desert Center, California 

The Desert Sunlight Solar Farm is located about six miles north of the community of Desert Center. The capacity of this solar farm is 550 MW.  

The co-owner of the solar farm are NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services, and Sumitomo Corporation of America. 

Construction on the project started in September 2011. The farm provides support to California in its efforts toward generating one-third of its energy from renewable resources.

There are 8.8 million cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules in the farm produced by the US thin-film manufacturer First Solar. 

Desert Sunlight provides enough electricity to meet the needs of nearly 160,000 average households in California and can displace approximately 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. 

The project also created around 440 construction jobs over a period of 26 months, providing wages and benefits to workers. 

Also, the project generated an estimated amount of $15 million in new sales tax revenues and $12 million in new property tax revenues for California.

7. Copper Mountain Solar Facility – Boulder City, Nevada 

The Copper Mountain Solar photovoltaic (PV) solar farm is located in Boulder City, Nevada, nearly 65 km south-east of Las Vegas. The capacity of this solar farm is 552 MW. 

Construction of this solar began in January 2010. It was completed in less than a year, and the plant went live in December 2010. The cost of building the project was $141million.

The solar farm started producing solar electricity after the installation of the first 8MW block of solar panels in 2010. The project achieved a major milestone by erecting 775,000 solar panels.

In March 2011, the solar farm was officially dedicated by the Nevada governor, Boulder City mayor, and the president and chief executive officer of Sempra Generation.

Copper Mountain Solar Facility produces emission-free electricity to power almost 14,000 households. It is owned and managed by Sempra Generation, which is a subsidiary of Sampa Energy, San Diego. 

The local, state and federal governments will receive $135 million in new revenue from this project during the lifetime of this project. 

Also, during the project, nearly 350 construction jobs and five full-time jobs were created.

The solar farm was named ‘Solar Project of the Year’ by Renewable Energy World in March 2011.

8. California Valley Solar Ranch, California Valley, California 

California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) is a solar photovoltaic (PV) power project located in San Luis Obispo County, California. The capacity of the solar farm is 292 MW.

Construction of the project began on September 2011, and full commercial operations started in October 2013. The total estimated cost of the project is nearly $1.6 billion.

The solar farm covers approximately 4,700 acres of grazing land in the Carrizo Plain. Overall, solar arrays, facility buildings, and substation comprise 30% of the project site. The remaining land is preserved and used for the conservation of species in the area.

The site of the farm also has an abandoned gypsum mine, which was cleaned up and restored for operations.

The reason for choosing this specific location was due to its flat topography, abundant solar resources, and proximity to existing transmission lines.

The electricity produced by the project is enough to fulfill the annual electricity requirements of almost 100,000 homes.

The CVSR facility requires minimal water for periodic cleanups and has a water recycling plant. It will reduce hazardous greenhouse gas emissions by almost 336,000 tonnes per year. 

Also, this solar ranch is likely to contribute nearly $315 million for the economic development of the region. It has created more than 700 jobs during the period of construction.

9. Antelope Valley Solar Ranch, California 

The Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One is a solar PV power project located in the Antelope Valley in northern Los Angeles County, California, USA. The total capacity of the farm is 230MW capacity. 

The construction of the solar ranch was completed on February 20, 2013, and the first 100 MW came online. The total investment on the project was approximately $1.36 billion. 

The Antelope Solar Ranch has nearly 3.8 million solar panels. The panels are attached to metal racks, and they do not rise above eight feet from the ground to resist the high wind speed. 

The plant has the capacity to provide electricity to almost 75,000 homes.

During the development phase of the project, it created 400 construction jobs and 15 operations and maintenance jobs.

The project will reduce 140,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, and will contribute to California’s goal of generating at least 33% of its electricity from renewable energy sources.

10. Mount Signal Solar, Calexico, California 

The Mount Signal Solar Project, which is also called “Imperial Valley Solar 1 (IVS1),” is a commercial-grade PV power plant, located in Imperial County, California, nearly 100 miles (160 km) east of San Diego.

The construction of the project has been in three phases, out of which two phases were completed in 2018. The total capacity of the farm is 594 MW. 

The solar farm is spread over 801 hectares of almost barren farmland and has more than 3 million solar modules that rotate on a north-south axis and track the path of the Sun.

During the construction of the project, a technology called “DuraTrack HZ,” has been implemented. It is a durable tracker, which is specifically designed for providing stability and support for frameless thin-film module applications. 

The DuraTrack HZ technology reduces unnecessary material and labour and increases installation speeds.

When fully operational, this solar farm will be one of the largest single-axis tracker solar power plants in the world.

The generated electricity by the farm is enough to power 72,000 homes in the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) service territory.

Also, the project will bring down nearly 356,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, which is equal to displacing almost 15 million trees per year. 

At the peak construction period, the project created more than 700 direct jobs in the area.

Related article: Top 10 Technological Breakthroughs in the Solar Industry 2019

Conclusion

Solar farms are capable of producing solar energy at large-scale. These projects are also ideal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a significant number of jobs.

Solar farms, however, need a lot of space, and the cost of constructing such huge is quite high. In addition, the maintenance of solar farms is another hassle. In China, an average of 30% of the solar output is wasted due to infrastructure issues.

One of the proposed solutions to deal with the issue is developing super grids that can take energy from solar farms and distribute it to larger metropolitan areas.

Despite some of the mentioned issues, the number of solar farms in the world will grow, and it is a positive sign.

Besides producing a substantial amount of solar energy, these farms will increase the “green zones” in different parts of the world from the environmental perspective by reducing carbon emission in this otherwise polluted planet.

Related article: SEO Training Workshop for Solar Companies

Global Frameless Solar Panels Market 2019

Frameless solar panels, also known as ‘glass-on-glass’ modules, are an aesthetically pleasing variant of the traditional solar panel. When installed, they appear to be “floating” as they do not require support frames to be erected. Solar cells are inserted between the two layers of glass, which makes the glass thick so as to provide structural support and strength. These panels and modules offer multiple advantages over traditional panels. For example, frameless solar panels are noticeably less expensive than regular panels.

Moreover, they reduce transportation costs owing to their higher density in terms of packaging and less weight. Since these panels do not have any aluminum frames, there is little to no debris build-up which enhances their performance. However, their biggest advantage lies in their aesthetic appeal, a feature that has been criticized as being absent from conventional solar modules.

Numerous installation methods and techniques have been developed to fit in frameless solar panels in different structures. For example, adhesive-based solutions have been devised to install these solar panels into ground-mounted and ballasted systems, such as in open fields or desert regions. Adhesives are a trustworthy option as they are heavily relied upon by the construction industry and can, thus, be confidently utilized for solar installations.

In a similar manner, downward-sloping or “pitched” roofs can have solar panels installed using frameless clamps armed with rubber guards to protect the glass. This enables a traditional installation procedure whilst eschewing the need for frames. These innovations have made possible the installation of solar panels in unconventional settings and made the adoption of solar energy devices feasible.

Demand for Energy Derived from Renewable Sources Aids Expansion of Frameless Solar Panels Market Growth

According to research by Fortune Business Insights, increasing demand for renewable energy for electricity generation will be the core driver of the global frameless solar panels market during the forecast period. This prediction is substantiated by the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The report finds that solar power saw the largest investment in 2018 at US$ 160.8 billion, an increase of 18% from the previous year. This is expected to boost the global frameless solar panels market revenue as frameless solar panels are seen as an incremental upgrade to the first generation solar panels.

The innovation will also see higher adoption in residential areas because they ensure energy efficiency whilst being aesthetically pleasing. However, it must be remembered that analyzing solar power as a form of renewable energy will be the best approach towards holistically comprehending the frameless solar panels market.

Monocrystalline Panels to Present the Most Profitable Business Opportunities

To establish a deeper understanding of the global frameless solar panels market, it will be useful to take a look at some of the segments in the market. To that end, market research firms have identified monocrystalline panels as the segment that holds the greatest business potential. Monocrystalline panels are made up of monocrystalline silicon and have the highest efficiency compared to other panels. This is mainly because of the purity of the silicon used in making these panels. They are also the most expensive variety due to their significantly higher output, long durability, and ergonomic designs.

In India, the most energy-efficient monocrystalline solar panels at 19% cost around ₹42 to ₹46 Watts Peak (WP) for a watt range of 200 to 300 W. The other two types in application segment are thin-film panels and polycrystalline panels. On account of cost-effectiveness, monocrystalline panels have found greater application and adoption in commercial spaces. Polycrystalline panels are cheaper and are, as a result, being increasingly installed in residential buildings. Similarly, the global frameless solar panels market has been segmented on the basis of application, with particular focus on the two most noteworthy segments – residential and commercial.     

Increasing Economic Benefits to Propel Growth in North America

According to the Fortune Business Insights, North America and Europe are expected to hold a commanding position in the global frameless solar panels market till 2026. One of the most prominent reasons for this is the rising investment in the renewable energy sector in the US, especially in solar power. According to a 2019 report by the US-based Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the solar industry, currently valued at US$ 17 billion, will double by 2024. The report points out the fact that increasing investments in the industry have made solar power more widespread in the US. For example, the SEIA projects that the number of solar installations will reach 4 million in 2023 from the current 2 million – a 100% increase in less than 4 years, leading to a significant expansion of the global frameless solar panels market size.

Furthermore, the transition to solar power has had a positive impact on certain socio-economic factors in the region. For instance, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy under the US Department of Energy estimates that jobs created by investment and growth in the solar energy industry have risen by 160% since 2010. Moreover, innovation and competition in the solar industry in the US have also brought down solar panel installation costs by almost 50% since 2014. Such developments are expected to contribute massively to the global frameless solar panels market growth in the foreseeable future.

Deep Commitment to Renewable Energy to Favor Expansion in Europe

Countries in the European Union (EU), such as Spain and Italy, are taking decisive steps toward making the continent independent of fossil fuels. Solar energy is playing a critical role here. According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, at 270 GW, solar PV will constitute the bulk of the capacity additions in Europe’s power sector by 2030. The report also highlights that solar power will be the key to increased cost savings in the near future. The global frameless solar panels market is well-positioned to gain as European countries rapidly reach their renewable energy targets. Additionally, the solar market in the EU is growing at 36% annually, as per the figures released by Solar Power Europe, a Belgium-based energy think-tank. Therefore, Europe is poised to offer plentiful lucrative business opportunities in the global frameless solar panels market until 2026.

Demand from China and India to Bolster the Market in Asia-Pacific

On account of the enormous solar energy potential held by India and China, both of whom receive sunlight for almost 8 months a year, the global frameless solar panels market size is slated for rapid expansion in the coming years. Government-led initiatives will play a central role in the growth trajectory of the market in Asia-Pacific. For example, India launched the International Solar Alliance in 2015 at the Paris Climate Summit. The Alliance comprises of countries that are located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn that will take active measures to promote the use of solar energy through the participation of the public and private sectors.

China, too, is making an all-out effort toward building a solid foundation for harnessing renewable energy sources, particularly solar energy. UNEP’s Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment Report states that China added 53 GW to its existing solar energy capacity and invested US$ 86 billion in 2018. In fact, the report underscores the fact that China has invested US$ 126.6 billion in its renewable energy sector, making it the world leader in renewable energy. As the movement for sustainable development gains more traction, Asia-Pacific will create more profitable opportunities for companies engaging in solar power and other renewable energy sources. The global frameless solar panels market potential will get enhanced as a result.

Rooftop Solar to Engineer Growth in Renewable Energy Sector in India

India has been at the forefront globally in terms of making commitments and taking a leading role in energizing the renewable energy sector. Besides taking the bold step of launching the International Solar Alliance, India is proactively trying to elevate the solar power capacity within the territorial boundaries. For instance, the Indian government launched the National Solar Mission under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in 2010 and has regularly revised its targets. Currently, the MNRE aims to attain installed renewable energy at 175 GW by 2022. Out of this, 100 GW is to be harnessed through solar power facilities.

The economic benefits of industrial and commercial spaces are tempting. For example, tariffs for rooftop solar are cheaper by 17% compared to industrial rates and 27% cheaper compared to commercial rates. More importantly, in many residential areas, rooftop solar installations are gaining grid parity in various regions in the country, making India a burgeoning market for solar power. Technological advancements will bring down installation costs which will ultimately benefit the global frameless solar panels market in the long-run.

Strategic Partnerships are the Preferred Routes for Leading Market Players

Solar energy is being seen as the most viable alternative energy source to conventional fuels such as coal and petrol. Companies are already increasing their investment in developing solar technologies. For example, in the US, Amazon has installed 50 rooftop solar structures across its sorting and fulfilment facilities which satisfy almost 80% of the energy requirements of the buildings. Furthermore, falling costs are augmenting the opportunities for innovations and collaborations. The differences in costs are there for everyone to see.

In 2009, the cost of a solar panel installation was around US$ 8.50 per watt. Ten years later the cost has fallen by more than 60% to around US$ 2.90 per watt. The recent record-breaking 300 MW tender in Saudi Arabia to produce electricity using solar power at just US$ 2.34 per watt only drives home the point.

Many companies all over the world are adopting different strategies to mark their presence and make their products visible in the solar industry. Some of the most notable developments in the global frameless solar panels market include:   

Canadian Solar is one of the world’s foremost solar power companies and it is looking to mark its presence in diverse and promising regions such as South America. For instance, in August 2019, Canadian Solar managed to secure a US$ 120 million financing from the Banco do Nordeste do Brasil. The aim is to develop the company’s solar projects in Francisco Sa and Jaiba regions in Brazil. These projects will be funded by Canadian Solar for 23 years with regard to construction and operation.

In a similar fashion, the company signed Operations and Maintenance agreements in August 2019 with Daydream Solar Farm Pty Ltd, Gannawarra Solar Farm Pty Ltd, and Hayman Solar Farm Pty Ltd in Australia. The contract includes three solar photovoltaic power plants with a combined capacity of 300 MWP and Canadian Solar will be responsible for their performance management, plant monitoring, and preventative and corrective maintenance.

In May 2019, China-based Trina Solar announced that its R&D labs had managed to developed the world’s most efficient bifacial solar cell, showcasing an energy-efficiency of 24.58%. The product is an n-type mono-crystalline silicon (c-Si) i-TOPCon (Industrial Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact) solar cell. It has a rear full-area passivating contact with a boron emitter at the front.

In early 2018, another China-based company, Seraphim Energy, signed an agreement with the Solar Centre of Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico which will give Seraphim rights to supply and distribute photovoltaic modules in the country. As per the terms of the contract, Seraphim will begin shipping dual-glass and high-efficiency glass modules to Solar Centre immediately. Together, the two companies will aim at increasing their market share in Mexico, with Seraphim also establishing itself in Latin America.

Adani Solar, in April 2019, announced its partnership with Risto Solar to launch a retail distribution network in Kerala. Risto Solar will function as the exclusive authorized partner of Adani and will be responsible to cater to the retail requirements of the company. Risto will also be charged with the responsibility to handle orders up to 150 kW of solar power as well as manage overall service, lead generation, and conversion.

US-based Sunpreme, a solar PV manufacturer, announced the completion of a solar installation at a shopping centre in California, which was accomplished in collaboration with Tigo Energy. The installation includes GxB380 SM Bifacial PV Panels, manufactured by Sunpreme itself, and Tigo’s TS4-L (Long Strings) Optimizers. Consisting of the rooftop solar and commercial carport, the total capacity of the system is totalled at 750 kW.

Take Away

In conclusion, it would be apt to say that as exhaustible resources deplete at a rate faster than they can be replenished, the world will experience an increasing need and dependency on renewable energy sources that are not only inexhaustible but also ensures sustainable economic development that benefits all indiscriminately.    

Bifacial Solar Panels: One Big Increase of Solar Technology Efficiency

The solar industry resents stasis. It is represented by the industry giants’ persistent struggle and competition to take a ride on the ‘solar coaster.’ Solar conferences, trade shows, and exhibitions are jam-packed with startups as well as prominent key players looking to offer the industry with their next ‘big thing.’ It seems as if the solar industry has come across its knight in shining armour!

Bifacial solar panels are the latest innovation in the solar module industry. It has been a trending topic at trade shows, news channels, and conferences since the past few decades. But, very recently, bifacial solar panels have begun transforming into reality from theory due to the presence of numerous planned projects across the globe. In the U.S., several mammoth projects particularize bifacial solar panels, plan their financing, and begin construction work.

As per a study by Fortune Business Insights, titled, “Bifacial Solar Panels Market Size, Share and Global Trend By Type (Monocrystalline Solar Panels, Polycrystalline Solar Panels, Thin-film Solar Panels), By Application (Residential, Commercial) and By Geography Forecast till 2026,” the global bifacial solar panels market is likely to rise at a high compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the forecast period. Fortune Business Insights further states in the report that the overall bifacial solar panels market growth will be stoked by a rise in the demand for electricity from industrial and commercial sectors, especially during peak hours.

How Does a Bifacial Solar Panel Work?

Bifacial solar panels soak in light that comes from the front and rear side, thus enabling the usage of diffused light as well as albedo light. Albedo light is that part of the light that is reflected by a surface. The efficiency can reach approximately 30% and it depends on various factors, namely, the reflectivity of the ground surface, height above ground, and tilt angle. The scattered light that enters through any direction is called diffused light. The bifacial solar panel can directly absorb radiation from the sun, reflected radiation from surfaces nearby solar modules, and indirect diffused radiation caused by clouds or air particles.

Moreover, bifacial solar panels are equipped with a glass-to-glass structure. They further offer to enhance long-term durability as compared to the glass-to-back sheet mono facial module that was used in earlier days. Multiple thin-film photovoltaic technologies are available today. They mainly include dye-sensitized solar cells and copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS). Various current thin-film photovoltaic technologies such as CIGS and dye-sensitized can be easily converted into bifacial solar panels.

Bifacial solar panels contain rear cover glass and bifacial solar cells. The unabsorbed photon located in the front layer is later absorbed slowly when it recoils from its adjacent surface. It, in turn, raises the efficiency of the bifacial solar cell. The glass-to-glass structure provides the solar panels with numerous benefits, namely, reduction in moisture corrosion, microcracking, and delamination. They possess low cell temperature and degradation rate. Additionally, bifacial solar panels have less flexing, high mechanical strength, and flameproof rating.

A Rat Race to Develop Bifacial Solar Panels: Are They Really Worth It?

Along with to develop innovative methods to use solar energy, companies operating in the solar industry often look forward to improving the existing technology to provide efficient services to their consumers. When a company is capable of enhancing the outputs of a particular technology, it plans to take that product on to the next level of efficiency for the consumers. They often try to do so by reducing their prices. Sol-Up U.S.A., a prominent solar power company, based in Las Vegas, for instance, develops and sells bifacial solar panels that are capable of producing approximately 20% more electricity than the traditional average solar panels. Here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of bifacial solar panels.

Advantages of Bifacial Solar Panels

  • Unique ability to generate electricity from direct sunlight.
  • Ability to produce electricity from reflective light that passes through those panels
  • Bifacial solar panels are made of either dual tampered glass or transparent back sheet, unlike the traditional opaque back sheet.
  • Bifacial panels do not contain potential induced degradation.
  • Most of the bifacial panels possess a warranty of almost 30 years, unlike the usual 25-year warranty that comes with the traditional solar panels.
  • Glass in the bifacial panels aid in preventing threats associated with UV exposure and moisture permeability.
  • Due to the high strength of glass, the modules are safe from chemical corrosion.
  • Strong glass makes the panels resistant to crack.
  • The bifacial solar panels lack aluminum frames. Therefore, they don’t need grounding. It aids in saving material as well as time during the installation process.

Disadvantages of Bifacial Solar Panels

  • Huge installation cost.
  • Expensive nature of bifacial solar panels due to the possession of double glass.
  • Heavyweight because of the glass.
  • Bifacial solar panels cannot be employed during the night, a cloudy day, or during a storm.  

Type: Polycrystalline Solar Panels to Exhibit Huge Demand Stoked by Cost-Effectiveness

In terms of type, the global bifacial solar panels market is grouped into various cell types, namely, thin-film solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels, and monocrystalline solar panels. Amongst these, the monocrystalline panel offers more energy-efficiency than its compeer and so, they are preferred the most during commercial projects. It is also expensive in nature. Polycrystalline solar panels, on the other hand, are cheaper than their counterparts. Hence, they are used more in residential projects.

Application: Increasing Demand for Electricity to Fuel Commercial and Industrial Sectors

By application, the global bifacial solar panels market is categorized by commercial, residential, and others. Out of these, the commercial sector is projected to lead the global market due to the ever-increasing demand for electricity. Moreover, the industrial sector will also grow rapidly during the forecast period owing to the demand for solar-based electricity, especially during peak hours. Hence, numerous prominent market players are developing bifacial solar modules infused with the latest technological advancement. They are currently aiming to boost the design and efficiency of the bifacial solar panels while making them cost-effective at the same time.

Geography: Growing Investments in Solar Energy to Favor Growth in the Asia Pacific  

In terms of type, the global bifacial solar panels market is divided by the Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, and Europe. Amongst these regions, Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the global bifacial solar panels in the coming years. It would occur as the emerging nations, such as India, China, and Japan are persistently investing huge sums for the research and development of solar energy. These nations also have huge potential for holding the largest number of installed solar panels.

Europe and North America are anticipated to follow the footsteps of Asia Pacific and exhibit notably high CAGR during the forecast period of 2019-2026. Several key market players are investing in the planned solar projects in both regions. It would aid in the bifacial solar panels market growth in these regions. The Middle East and Africa and Latin America are projected to acquire moderate bifacial solar panels market share by 2026.

Key Industry Developments of Bifacial Solar Panels

The increasing adoption and usage of the latest technologies have aided the renowned market players in acquiring a lucrative bifacial solar market revenue for the past few years. The use of bifacial solar panels has supported several market players on a global scale and they also aid them in acquiring wide end-user coverage. The players operating in the bifacial solar panels market have begun signing agreements and bagging contracts to supply bifacial solar panels on a large scale to gain a competitive edge. Few of the notable company developments are as follows:

LONGi Solar, a leading mono-crystalline solar module manufacturer, headquartered in China, announced that it bagged a contract to supply the bifacial advanced passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) modules to a project in Mitchell County, Georgia on February 2019. It is considered to be one of the largest solar projects in the U.S. with a capacity of 224 MW. The modules will be supplied to the Southern Oak Solar Project of Invenergy LLC. The construction work for the project began in September 2018 and it is anticipated to be done by the end of 2019. The completion of this project would aid in supplying clean electricity to approximately 30,000 houses. With a capacity of 224 MW, the Southern Oak Solar project will produce LONGi modules on TrueCapture control system of NEXTracker as well as single-axis trackers.

In February 2019, Sunpreme, Inc., a solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer, based in California, announced the completion of a commercial carport and rooftop solar system installation at a shopping center in California Bay Area. The company was assisted by Tigo Energy, Inc., a photovoltaics company, based in the U.S. The system consists of Tigo TS4-L (Long Strings) Optimizers integrated with Sunpreme’s award-winning GxB380 SM Bifacial PV Panels. Sunpreme’s panels were chosen for robust product relatability as well as for generating maximum energy in the shopping center. The DC-to-DC integration with Tigo enables UL-certified rapid safety shutdown, panel-level monitoring, and longer photovoltaic string designs.

In January 2017, Suntech Power, a producer of solar panels, based in China, announced that it signed a strategic agreement with Jolywood Solar Technology, a renowned producer of photovoltaics, bifacial solar cell, solar module, and more, based in Taizhou. The main aim of the agreement was to provide highly efficient N-type bifacial panels in the global bifacial solar panels market. Suntech officials declared that the homogenization of the photovoltaic market is on the rise. It, in turn, resulted in the technological advancements and product development that were a must for a sustainable environment. Apart from that, N-type bifacial solar cells are infused with various benefits, such as impressive weak light performance, low LID, high efficiency, and double side power generation.

Do Bifacial Solar Panels Have a Bright Future?

You will often get to see the term ‘bifacial’ in the field of photovoltaics and solar power industry. It is a trend that is still in the process of development. Bifacial means a solar module or solar cell that is sensitive to light from both sides. But have you ever thought that this technology is not new, but it has been applied for tasks, such as creating noise barriers, since time 1994? In today’s world, renowned market players are more interested in the same age-old technology due to several factors. In other words, manufacturers and organizations are planning to gain profit by enhancing the performance of the modules.

However, bifacial solar panels require a distinctive and unique installation process. Right from the mounting and fitting of the panels, the tilting procedure also matters. According to several key market players, they were recently able to reach commercially competitive prices. Bifacial panels take up to only 3% of the total cost of solar trackers.

At the end of the day, it always comes down to money. The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) is a very common term that is used for this purpose. Companies are now seeking for an optimal point of LCOE. They are not paying much attention to the high power point. There are plenty of tradeoffs involved in the bifacial solar panels market. But, the companies are trying to battle all the difficulties to provide the consumers with top-quality products.

The bifacial solar panels industry is still in the initial phase of development. Key market players, such as Soltec, NEXTracker, and Array Technologies(ATI), for instance, are slowly developing test field. These test fields consist of more than half a dozen bifacial panels. They would aid in generating data sets from a period of three to six months. The companies mentioned above focus on gathering data up to 7 years to strengthen production, efficiency, and reliability in the bifacial solar panels. Such an initiative is projected to set a benchmark in the solar power industry.

Pros and Cons of Off-Grid Solar Systems

When it comes to solar installations, there are actually so many things one has to consider before making a decision. Some of the most common things are “what brand of solar panels is the best?”, “which solar mounting system is ideal for this particular location?”, and “is it even worth it to invest in additional solar components like solar trackers?” 

Basically, there are so many questions to ask, and even when it seems like all of the questions have been answered, there will always come another that begs attention. And an example of that kind of question is: what type of solar power systems is ideal — on-grid, off-grid, or hybrid? Or, to be more specific, if one is considering off-grid, what exactly are its advantages and disadvantages?

Related article: Digital Marketing Strategy to Generate Solar Leads

What Is An Off-Grid Solar System?

Generally speaking, an off-the-grid (OTG) system is a system and lifestyle that is designed to help people function without the support of remote infrastructures, such as an electrical grid. In electricity, off-grid can be a stand-alone power system or microgrids typically to provide a smaller community with electricity. 

With that definition, it is clear how this kind of power system differs from others, particularly grid-tied and hybrid. Grid-tied, sometimes known as on-grid, utility-interactive, or grid back feeding, is a solar system that is connected to the utility power grid while hybrid, as the name suggests, combines the best from both grid-tied and off-grid solar systems.

Basically, with all that said, homes that opt to go for off-grid solar systems aim to achieve autonomy. They do not want to rely on a local utility company to provide power to them. This whole premise of the off-grid system is actually why so many people have considered choosing this type of power system. After all, the idea of being independent — of having to rely on nobody — just seems particularly tempting and practical for some people. 

What Are the Components of an Off-Grid Solar System?

In order to have an off-grid solar system that is actually efficient and competent, one has to make sure that they have all the important components. The following solar components are some of the ones that are a must-have in an off-grid solar system. 

Solar Panels

This one should not be a surprise — solar panels will always be an integral part of a solar system, no matter what type it is. After all, solar panels are the devices that convert light into electricity. Most modern solar panels are made up of many silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, and these cells are linked together within the solar panel and connected to adjacent panels using DC cables.

It should be noted that the amount of solar energy that is generated from the solar panels will depend on a number of factors, such as the orientation and tilt angle of the solar panels, efficiency of the solar panel, as well as any losses because of shading, dirt, and even ambient temperature. 

Solar Inverters

Most of the common household appliances and electronics make use of an alternating current (AC), which is something that solar panels don’t generate since their output is actually a direct current (DC). Because of this, off-grid solar systems would need a solar inverter, sometimes known as a solar converter or a PV inverter, since a solar inverter converts DC into AC. To be more specific, off-grid solar systems would need a standalone inverter.

Related article: Top 18 Solar Inverter Manufacturers in China

Solar Batteries

Because of the fact that an off-grid system is not connected to the electricity grid, it requires battery storage. As the name suggests, solar batteries work by storing energy that is produced by the solar panels and storing it for later use. Solar batteries are particularly beneficial when a home needs electricity during night-time or days where there is little to no sun. And they can also be helpful when there is a power outage in the area. 

Related article: Top 15 Solar Battery Manufacturers in China

Solar Charge Controllers

Since an off-grid system has solar batteries, it just makes sense that they will also have solar charge controllers. This is because solar charge controllers regulate the energy flowing from the PV array and transfer it directly to the batteries. In other words, the primary function of solar charge controllers is to give solar batteries as long of a life as possible. And when the solar batteries have a long and healthy life, the off-grid solar system as a whole will be maximized.

Related article: Top 16 Solar Charge Controller Manufacturers in China

Backup Generator 

This is actually an optional part of an off-grid solar system. It has already been established that solar batteries can provide storage for solar energy. However, it takes a lot of money to invest in some big and quality batteries. So, with that problem, a good alternative is to have a backup generator for now. That way, when the sun isn’t shining, there is still a way to generate electricity.

That said, even though backup generators are helpful, it should still be noted not to rely heavily on them. This is because generators usually run on propane, petroleum, gasoline, and many other fuel types, and these fuels are dangerous to the environment. 

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of an Off-Grid Solar System?

Disconnecting from a local utility company and going off-grid definitely poses appealing benefits to the homeowners. However, it can also provide a few setbacks that will make them question if an off-grid solar system is the right choice for them. In order to balance all the good things and bad things about this kind of system, here are its most common advantages and disadvantages. 

Pro #1: Independence

Once you choose to go for an off-grid solar system, you would no longer be subjected to the terms and policies of the utility company. And even better, you won’t have electricity bills ever again. You don’t have to pay for electricity costs anymore, and you’re also 100% insured against rising energy prices. Having that kind of independence can feel really good for a lot of people.

Con #1: Higher Initial Cost

Considering that your system is now independent, you’re going to have to invest quite a lot to get an off-grid system that will actually work. This means buying additional components such as solar batteries, solar inverters, and solar charge controllers. Because of this, the initial cost of installing an off-grid is really high, and that alone is enough to make people turn away from this type of power system. 

Pro #2: Big Monthly Savings

However, even though the initial costs are high, having a larger supply of renewable energy, such as an off-grid solar system, will save you money in the long run. Of course, the amount of money that you will save will vary, depending on where you live and what kind of solar system you own. That said, a safe estimate is that the typical off-grid homeowner saves around $20,000 a month, for over 20 years in most states.

Con #2: Limited Solar Energy Storage

Solar batteries cost a lot of money, and you will also need huge ones so as to properly store energy for future use. Because of this, your off-grid system will have limited solar energy storage. Even if you have a backup generator, the energy storage is still limited, and you may run out of stored electricity, especially when the days are not as sunny as usual. 

Pro #3: No Blackouts

One great disadvantage of grid-tied power systems is that when your neighbourhood has no power, you also will have no power. But when you’re off-grid, you won’t have to face that problem anymore. When you have an off-grid solar system, you will still have power even when the other houses don’t have. 

Con #3: Energy Efficiency Is A Must

When you choose to go off-grid, you need to bear in mind that you have now an added responsibility of making sure your system is still efficient. It is up to you to maintain the efficiency of the energy system, and the maintenance might cost you some extra money. Basically, you have to be careful and mindful when you’re off-grid. This is because when it fails, it will entirely be your problem, not the local utility company’s. 

Takeaway: Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

When it comes to the discussions of solar system installations, there is always a question of whether one should go off-grid or not. On the one hand, this type of power system does offer so many benefits, particularly independence and no more blackouts. But on the other hand, it also has a lot of disadvantages, particularly the expensive costs and limited energy storage. With all these pros and cons, it does seem impossible to actually make a definitive decision.

That said, one way to actually determine if an off-grid solar system is right for you is by examining your motivation for wanting to go off-grid. Is it because of your want for independence, for an end to blackouts or eliminating electricity bills? Or is it because you just want to save money by creating your own electricity? If it’s the former, then an off-grid may be a good fit for you. But if it’s the latter, you might want to consider a grid-tied photovoltaic system instead.

Long story short, homeowners have a lot to consider when it comes to the question of going off-grid. But when the motivation and goals are being examined, it will be easier to find an answer to that question. 

Sources:


2019 Renewable Energy Tax Credits in the U.S.

It is a well-known fact that using renewable energy sources for electricity production is an ideal thing to do. There are a lot of benefits to doing this, but the biggest advantage is the fact that it will tremendously help save our deteriorating environment. Because of this, installing a renewable energy system, such as wind turbines or solar arrays, into a house or a commercial building is highly encouraged. 

However, on the flip side, installing a renewable energy system also has its own big disadvantage — the cost. It is not cheap to try and install a renewable energy system, and this problem is the primary setback for many people. With that said, the government of the United States may have actually offered a solution to this problem. That solution is the tax credit, and for renewable energy, there are two tax credits to choose from. These are the renewable electricity production tax credit and the solar investment tax credit

Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit

What Is It?

Essentially speaking, the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) is a per-kilowatt (kWh) tax credit for electricity that is generated using qualified energy resources. A few examples of qualified energy resources include solar hot water heaters, solar electric equipment, wind turbines, and fuel cell property, although this tax credit is almost exclusive to wind facilities. 

This tax credit does not have a dollar limit, but it is also not refundable. That said, if there is an unused portion of this credit, it can be credited to the following year’s tax return, especially if the credit is more than any tax that is owed.

Under current law, non-wind facilities, that had their construction begin before January 1, 2018, may qualify for the PTC. Beyond that time, they are not qualified any longer. On the other hand, for wind facilities, the credit is available for facilities for which construction begins before January 1, 2020. For those wind facilities that have begun construction during 2017, the credit is reduced by 20%. The credit is reduced by 40% for facilities that begin construction in 2018 and reduced by 60% for facilities that begin construction in 2019.

Achievements under the PTC

The PTC has been significant to the growth and development of renewable electricity resources, particularly wind. In fact, this policy has been so successful that it spurred the investment and the establishment of a U.S. manufacturing base that helped drive U.S. wind power costs down by 69% over the last decade. What this means is that investing in U.S. wind farms has spurred over $143 billion in private investment in the U.S. economy over the last 10 years. 

Moreover, because of the PTC, the wind energy industry has been able to support more than 114,000 well-paying jobs, including many manufacturing, construction, and technical jobs, all over the country. The industry also employs veterans at a 67% higher rate than the national average, and rural landowners have received over a quarter of a billion dollars in lease payments every year for hosting wind turbines.

Long story short, the growth in the wind industry is expected to remain strong when the PTC is fully phased-out. Additionally, because the PTC has been successful in helping establish a reliable, competitive domestic wind industry, the wind will continue to expand capacity and deliver economic benefits for Americans. 

Solar Investment Tax Credit

What Is It?

The solar investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, is a tax credit that allows a taxpayer to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes. This tax credit can be applied to both residential (under Section 25D) and commercial (under Section 48) systems, and there is no cap on its value. As for eligibility, the ITC is based on a “commence construction” standard. In fact, the IRS issued guidance (Notice 2018-59) on June 22, 2018, that explains the requirements that a taxpayer must meet to establish that construction of a solar facility has begun for purposes of claiming the ITC.

The ITC was originally established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and was supposed to expire at the end of 2007. However, the ITC had grown extremely popular, and its success in supporting the United States’ transition to a new renewable energy economy, Congress has extended its expiration date numerous times. As of right now, the solar investment tax credit is available to homeowners in some form through 2021. 

To be more specific, for 2016–2019, the tax credit remains at 30% of the cost of the system. But in 2020, owners of new residential and commercial solar can deduct 26% of the cost of the system from their taxes. This percentage gets lowered to 22% in 2021, and from 2022 onwards, owners of new commercial solar energy systems can deduct 10% of the cost of the system from their taxes. Additionally, by this time, there will be no federal credit for residential solar energy systems. 

Furthermore, commercial and utility-scale projects, which have been commenced construction before December 31, 2021, may still qualify for the 30%, 26%, or 22% ITC if they are placed in service before December 31, 2023. 

How Does the Solar Tax Credit Work?

So long as the homeowner owns their solar energy system, they are eligible for the solar investment tax credit. Even if they don’t have enough tax liability to claim the entire credit in one year, they can still roll over the remaining credits into future years for as long as the tax credit is in effect. The following are some of the expenses that are allowed to be claimed:

  • Solar equipment
  • Freight shipping costs
  • Solar consulting fees
  • Professional installer fees
  • Electrician fees
  • Engineer fees
  • Tools bought or rented
  • Wiring, screws, bolts, nails, etc.
  • Equipment purchased or rented (e.g. scaffolding or a man-lift)
  • Permitting fees
  • Permitting service costs

However, one thing that should be noted is that a person is only allowed to claim the credit if they own the system. So, if a person signs a lease or PPA with a solar installer, they are not the owner of the system anymore, thus making them ineligible from receiving the tax credit. Because of this, it is commonly recommended to avoid solar leasing, if at all possible.

How Has ITC Impacted the United States?

The solar investment tax credit is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the growth of solar energy in the United States. In fact, ever since it was enacted, the U.S. solar industry has grown by more than 10,000%, with an average annual growth of 50% over the last decade alone. 

What this means is that because of ITC, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created and billions of dollars have been invested in the U.S. economy. In 2015, SEIA successfully advocated for a multi-year extension for the credit. And this extension has provided market certainty for companies to develop long-term investments that drive competition and technological innovation, which, in turn, lowers energy costs for consumers.

However, even though the success and popularity of the ITC have been overwhelming, the value of the credit will, unfortunately, begin to decrease after 2019. 

Takeaway

Our world right now is facing a critical environmental crisis, and as citizens, it is natural that we are looking for possible ways to stop this crisis before it completely destroys the planet. One of the surefire and proven ways to achieve this goal is by utilizing renewable energy sources in generating electricity. This is a recommended solution because it encourages us to stop using fossil fuels for energy generation. Thus, lowering the carbon footprint as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Aside from that, renewable energy sources are abundant everywhere, so accessing them will not be a problem at all. 

However, even though turning to renewable energy seems like an ideal thing to do, it should be noted that the process is not necessarily cheap. Investing in a renewable energy system definitely costs money, and the cost is undoubtedly one of the reasons why some people choose not to install a renewable energy system instead. Luckily, the U.S. government has provided two tax credits that are aimed to help these people. 

These two tax credits are the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) and the solar investment tax credit (ITC). Both the PTC and the ITC have proven to be incredibly beneficial to the industry of renewable energy. For one thing, they have created thousands of well-paying jobs, and for another, they have made renewable energy sources affordable for people. In fact, these two tax credits are so monumental and beneficial that they have provided critical stability for businesses and investors. Long story short, because of the PTC and ITC, the renewable energy industry has grown significantly

However, even though both the ITC and the PTC have proven to be influential, it is still not enough to make a dent in energy production in the United States. To be more specific, solar energy still only represents 2.5% of energy production despite the ITC’s massive progress. Meanwhile, wind energy will still only account for 6%. Basically, there is still so much to do in order to make better progress in the renewable energy industry. 

That is why, moving forward, a tax policy that continues to provide stability and investment opportunity for renewable energy should be a part of any national discussions about tax, infrastructure, or decarbonization.

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An In-depth Comparison: Tidal Energy vs Solar Energy

With the rise in awareness about environmental degradation and the way that fossil fuels are contributing to it, renewable energy is becoming more and more popular. With numerous debates on mainstream media and different news outlets talking about the respective problem masses are now aware of available alternative energy sources. While the use of tidal energy can be traced to at least a thousand years ago, when people used it to operate mills, new machinery has now revolutionized the preexisting ways. With further improvements in renewable energy sources, the public is becoming more aware of what is yet to happen.

Different environmental plans are showing people the effects of using fossil fuels and nuclear plants. The fact that fossil fuels are limited means when we run out of them, there will be severe consequences for energy production. Using such fuels for energy has destroyed the environment and is mainly responsible for the environmental problems that we now face. For example, the hurricane durian, hurricane Irma, the rainforest wildfires, the desecration of the coral reefs are all side effects of the environmental problems that we have contributed to.

Exclusion from the Paris environmental deal and denial of the US president to acknowledge the ecological deterioration has led to a widespread sense of false security. With Mother Nature giving us indicators of the problems we have caused, it is now up to us to make well-informed decisions. Solar and tidal energy is more efficient than fossil fuels and nuclear energy. The high rate of efficiency alone is a solid reason to look into it. However, if it is not done on time; the damage may be irreversible. The depletion of the ozone layer can lead to various skin related problems that can prove to be fatal. It has somewhat already opened the doors to health problems that we previously did not face.

In order to understand the pros and cons of tidal and solar energy, one needs to have a detailed comparison. Here mentioned below are a few features you should keep in mind while trying to come to a final decision. Know that the debate is extensive, and as scientists work on these problems as we speak, solutions to the issues are not far. The points discussed below aim to clarify the limitations and advancements on solar and tidal energy. The reason for doing so is to bring to common knowledge the grey areas that still need to be worked upon and clarify simple queries that may come to mind.

Tidal Energy

Tidal energy is a form of renewable energy which harnesses the power of the tides. They occur due to the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon both acting on the earth’s surface as it rotates. Due to the fact that it is a continuous process that has been around since the beginning of the world as we know it, it is highly unlikely that it will end any time soon. The continuity of the process as compared to solar energy makes it one of the most favoured renewable energy sources. While fossil fuels are limited and nuclear power is exceptionally harmful with low levels of efficiency, tidal energy is free of such limitations and reservations. However, the variation in the high and low tide needs to be of a required level in order to harness energy.

It is also known to be environmentally friendly as it has zero greenhouse gas emissions which can affect the already deteriorating ozone layer. While other sources have high levels of carbon emissions, tidal energy does not have any.  

Predictability and Efficiency

Due to the fact that it is a natural phenomenon that is highly predictable, it increases the rate of reliability. Since winds and the sun aren’t as predictable as the tides, harnessing energy can prove to be more difficult as compared to tidal energy. 

The high rates of predictability result in inefficient and more accurate machinery. The fact the machinery is more efficient and precise leaves little to no room for constant checks and maintenance expenditures which results in a cost-competitive source of energy. This can be proved by the massive amounts of energy that are still produced by the La Rance power plant (1996).

The high levels of predictability also yield high levels of efficiency. Due to the fact that water is denser than air, it can generate twice the amount of energy at the same time. However, tidal energy is intermittent, and the energy can only be generated if certain factors are present, in this case, the tides. The tide rises and falls at a specific time of the day resulting in limited hours of the day it can generate electricity. Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States a report presented in 2011 suggested by 2050 tidal energy can produce as much energy as 45% of fossil fuels.

Technology and Undetermined Environmental Impacts

As the technology that is currently used to generate tidal energy is relatively new, it is still very expensive and will take a few years to be more profitable. While the technology is much like windmills but is installed underwater, it can have some drastic impacts on sea life. The lack of research on the effects that it may have on the other animals makes it harder for people to invest in technology that might have a harmful impact. While people are reluctant to do so, they fail to realize that installing such plants and studying the effects is the only way to move forward.  

Solar Energy

Solar energy, just like tidal, is also renewable. However, while the latter needs the tides to work solar energy harnesses energy from the sun. As long as the sun remains, we can harness as much energy as we want. The earth’s surface receives an immense amount of sunlight and if properly harnessed, can lead to the production of more energy than needed. Due to the abundance of solar energy, it is also very sustainable and doesn’t compromise on future needs being met.

It is also an environmentally friendly way to gain energy as it has no carbon emission that can contribute to pollution and destroy our atmosphere. Not only is it good for the environment, but it is also available all around the world. This means that landlocked countries don’t have to depend on other countries. While it can be done with regard to solar energy, tidal energy cannot be created all around the world.

Predictability

While there are many ways we can predict how the weather is going to be, there isn’t much that we can do if sunlight isn’t in the forecast. In case if you have rain forecasted for a month, you won’t be able to harness enough energy to meet your daily needs. This low level of predictability can cause a lot of problems as one may be at a significant loss if the panels don’t work after such an investment.

Efficiency

While the efficiency was significantly less in the past, recently an Australian scientist and his team have made the most effective solar panels that can harness up to 47% of the sun’s energy. While it still may seem less a lot of fossil fuel plants in the county are working on the efficiency of 30-36%. Such innovations have made solar energy the second most appreciated renewable energy source in the world.

While the efficiency of tidal energy turbines is significantly more than that of solar energy, the fact that solar energy is available all around the globe is a significant marketing factor. While it may have various implications for everyday use, solar farms are another story. They need massive places that get regular sunlight in order to be installed. While the question arises that whether or not we can construct solar farms in the deserts, the answer seems highly unlikely. While it may not have environmental implications on a personal level, it can lead to drastic changes in a desert ecosystem.

As research proves that only covering 1.2 % of the Sahara desert in solar panels can lead to the production of enough energy to meet the requirements of the whole world. It can lead to serious environmental changes, which goes against the reason why it is preferred in the first place. If solar farms are made in deserts, it can lead to increased rainfall and therefore increased vegetation. Even if the said amount of energy was produced, it would be impossible to report sustainable energy to the world as not every country has sustainable sources.

Cost-effectiveness

While solar power used to be extremely expensive, the prices have fallen drastically in the past few years. The decrease in the price range has now become a major contributing factor to a great number of people switching towards solar energy. The monetary concern is one of the reasons why many people prefer to invest in solar options rather than tidal. However, I recommend that one shouldn’t go completely off the grid. As predictability levels are less as compared to tidal energy, one should have a backup in case of emergencies.

People who want to switch to solar energy now have the facility to sell the excess energy that is produced by their solar panels and gain a significant cut in their bills. They have the opportunity to acquire solar panels without any down payment on installments that are customized to the needs of the customer. For example, all you need to do is type solar power Illinois, and you will get all the necessary information from solar panel purchasing to installation and other installment options that are available to the people in your locality. Before installation, it is integral to determine the condition of your roof and fix it before installation as it will not be as effective later on.

Switching to solar power does not only benefit the environment; it can also contribute to benefiting you personally by increasing the price of your house by an estimate of $25,000.If you do plan on switching to solar try to not hold back while spending on installation as it is just as necessary. If it isn’t done properly, it can reduce the level of energy harnessed by your panels and in return, not meet your daily energy needs. Hence if you serve Mother Nature, it is sure to do you a favour as well.

Take Away

If you’ve read the above-mentioned points, you now have a comprehensive understanding as to what is happening in the renewable energy market all around the world and what kind of implications does it have for different climatic regions. With drastic changes in our environment, it is necessary for all of us to rise above our petty differences and look at the problem that may engulf our future generation. We need increased awareness about the repercussions of our delayed actions and indifferent attitudes towards the environment. While both tidal and solar energy has pros and cons, it is now up to the people to decide what they’re willing to do for their environment and how further studies are going to affect power consumption and production in the coming years. While many people in the West are switching to solar energy every day, the trend is somewhat limited in the East.

With two main world leaders of the west cleaning their hands of the responsibility of the environmental crisis that we are facing, the intellectuals of each nation now must contribute towards better energy sources. I hope the above-mentioned information aids your understanding of the matter at hand and further contributes to positive steps taken to counter the damage that has been done. While it may seem depressing seeing our leaders ridicule important matters of national security, our only hope is to make better personal choices that lead to the betterment of the environmental conditions. If you have any additional information, feel free to mention it in the comments below.

Related article: Solar Power Statistics in the USA 2019

Top 12 Solar Microinverter Manufacturers in China

Did you know that solar microinverters last significantly longer compared to central inverters?. 

That is the reason why microinverters typically come with a warranty of 20-25 years and remain functional 10-15 years longer than central inverters.

A microinverter is an electronic equipment used in photovoltaic cells for changing the waveform of current. It converts power from a single solar module from DC electricity to 240v AC electricity and is attached to each panel in a solar system. 

A microinverter is also known as a solar microinverter.

As a solar installer, providing microinverters to customers besides the traditional string inverters is likely to diversify your business. Microinverters are more efficient and easy to handle; thus, many customers prefer buying them.

In this post, we have listed the top 12 leading microinverter manufacturers in China, and you can buy microinverters from these companies at wholesale pricing. Check out the list, and decide for yourself.

Related article: Top 10 Solar Reflector Manufacturers in China

ReneSola 

Website: www.renesola.com

Renesola was established in 2005 and has been a leading international manufacturer of microinverters.

Since its inception, the company has supplied over 14GW of solar products to thousands of clients all over the world. 

Renesola’s China operates from its office in Putuo District, Shanghai. 

The company also has its offices and warehouses in more than 16 countries, including Australia, Malaysia, Canada, Brazil, and India.

Besides microinverter, the company also produces solar panels, solar cells, energy storage systems, and solar tracking systems. 

The company has its own R&D team, advanced manufacturing equipment, and vast production experience. 

In 2008, Renesola got itself listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

APsystems 

Website: https://apsystems.com/

APsystems is another leading manufacturer of solar microinverters. The company ranks No.2 in terms of global market share as one of the independent microinverter suppliers.

The company offers powerful and advanced solar microinverter technology for both residential and commercial consumers systems. 

This technology enables maximum power generation for each module in the PV array and boosts system efficiency by up to 20 percent compared to traditional “string” systems.

With the microinverter solution, the company blends highly efficient power inversion along with user-friendly monitoring to provide sustainable energy solutions. 

The proprietary system architecture of APsystems increases solar harvest and yields maximum output for PV arrays. 

One of the APsystems microinverter models YC500 handles two PV modules, and can significantly lower installation and balance-of-system costs. 

In addition, the fourth-generation microinverter YC1000 handles 3 or 4 modules per unit, which enables large-scale, 3-phase commercial solar at a reasonable price point.

APsystems microinverters tie directly to the low-voltage DC module, enhancing household safety and eliminating the possibility of high-voltage “arc” fires. 

All APsystems products go through stringent factory testing, evaluation, and field tracking, and are built to 25-year design life.

Apart from its offices in China, APsystems has a well spread-out business across the world, including the USA, Australia, France, the Netherlands, and Mexico.

Lead solar

Website: http://leadsolarenergy.com/

LeadSolar provides an advanced, versatile, effective, and easy-to-install microinverter solution for residential as well as commercial customers.

The microinverters that the company offers has a flexible design and can maximize solar production and minimize system maintenance. These inverters have both dual and quad input and fulfill the needs of consumers. 

For residential customers, the company offers LS600 microinverters that support 60, 72 or 96 cell panels from most of the major solar panel manufacturers.

These inverters can efficiently convert powers that exceed 350 Watts on longer branch circuits. It results in an overall lower cost/watt solution for customers.

For commercial applications, LeadSolar offers both LS600 (duo) and LS1400 (quad) single-phase microinverters that are available in 208 V, 240V, and 277V. LS600 is for rail-mount applications, whereas LS1400 is for ground-mount. 

LeadSolar operates from Wuxi, Jiangsu province in China. The company also has its offices in North America, Latin America, and the Iberian region.

B&B Power Co. LTD

Website: www.bbpower.cn / www.mosoec.com 

B&B Power is based out of China and has been developing and manufacturing high-end inverter products for 20 years. The company has two production bases — one in Shenzhen, Guangdong and another in Taizhou, Zhejiang. 

The registered capital of B&B is $5 million. The headquarters in Zhejiang covers more than 20,000 square meters of production area and has various automatic manufacturing lines of international standards.

B&B is one of the largest manufacturers of high-end solar inverters in Asia. The company has its own research and development (R&D) team comprising industry experts, and always complies with the international standards in terms of technology and quality. 

The company has the capacity of manufacturing 200,000 units of low-voltage inverters and more than 200 units of high-power inverters per year.

Besides solar microinverters, the company also produces DC power converters, photovoltaic systems, and solar roofing systems.

Decen technology Co., LTD

Website: http://www.decengroup.com/

Decen technology Co., LTD. is located in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China, and produces a comprehensive range of products in solar energy, and wind power generation systems.

Decen offers off-grid and grid-tied microinverters to the solar tracker and has a strong global presence. The company has numerous patents and provides advanced design and automation technology for system integration. 

The solar grid-tie microinverters (300W-2000W) are useful for building solar home/ residential system 1kw, 3kw, 5kw, 10kw, and also commercial power systems in the range of 20kw-500kw.

Besides microinverters, Decen also manufactures DC to AC power inverters, photovoltaic systems residential, and photovoltaic module mounting systems.

The company has a strong independent research and development design team that carries out in-depth research in cooperation with the related expert at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. 

Samil Power 

Website: www.samilpower.com

Samil Power Co., Ltd is an international technology-based corporation, which was founded by the Samil Group in 2008. The parent company, Samil Group, was set in 1992 and has been a leading manufacturer of variable speed drivers and lift controllers.

Samil Power has world-class production equipment and more than 200 engineers in the R&D team. Its core business is to offer a range of high-quality and reliable grid-tied solar Inverters and energy system solutions to meet the increasing needs of global energy.

Overall, Samil Power has a broad product portfolio, starting from microinverters up to MW station, which helps customers to get maximum energy output and reduce the investment payback period of their photovoltaic systems. 

The company provides microinverters for small residential rooftop, midsize commercial rooftop/ground-mounted to large utility-scale PV plants.

The inverters produced by Samil Power has been installed in more than 20 countries, including Australia, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Spain, and the Netherlands.

The company currently owns nine subsidiaries in Beijing, Shenzhen, Lyon, Munich, Milan, Reading, San Francisco, Sydney, and Suqian. 

Dongguan Kaideng Energy Technology Co., Ltd

Website: www.kaidengdg.com

Dongguan Kaideng Energy Technology Co., Ltd. is a solar and wind energy grid-tie microinverter manufacturer.

Kaideng energy offers a range of products and services with experience in building solar residential system with 1kw, 3kw, 5kw, 10kw capacity, and more commercial power systems with 20kw-500kw capacity. 

Kaideng microinverter technology allows its customers to tap the full potential of a residential and commercial solar project. 

The overall product lines of the company include microinverters, photovoltaic systems, solar modules system, solar for homes, DC to AC power inverters sine wave, DC to AC power inverters, grid-connected inverters, grid-tie inverter, and power inverters.

Particularly, the microinverters produced by Kaideng offer lower installation cost, reduced design costs, higher output, and convenient maintenance. 

The Kadeng Energy Group received the “National High-Tech Enterprise” award by the government of China in 2013. The award was for being a leading company in the research and development of basic technologies for photovoltaic power generation.

Yangtze Solar

Website: https://www.yangtze-power.com

Yangtze Solar was established in 1994, and it is located in Yongkang, Zhejiang, China.

The solar PV module factory of Yangtze covers 90,000 square meters and has more than 750 employees. With a strong emphasis on research and development, the company is constantly pushing the limits when it comes to cutting-edge manufacturing products.

The company offers a wide range of products including microinverters, Mono-crystalline PV panels, poly-crystalline PV panels, lithium battery, valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery, solar charge controller, and turn-key completed off-grid and on-grid solar systems.

Among this broad product line, Yangtze particularly specializes in producing high-quality microinverters, which are available in the capacity of 250W, 600W, and 1200W

Also, the company’s solar modules range from 5W~500Watt and are approved by TUV, UL, CE, IEC61215, IEC61730, CSA, CEC, JET. The production capacity of the solar panel reached 600MW in 2017.

Till date, the Yangtze has supplied over 1.5GW photovoltaic solar panels and millions of units of batteries, solar charger controllers and solar inverters.

Omnik Solar

Website: https://www.omnik-solar.com/

Omnik New Energy CO., Ltd. is a result of the Sino-German joint venture. The company specializes in designing and manufacturing microinverters and various other high-technology products.  

Omnik Solar also has a deep focus on the research and development and marketing software/Saas. 

Combined with technical innovation and scientific management from Germany, Omnik has set up world-class product development and test centers qualified and expert professionals. In addition, the company has a long-term business association with prestigious academic institutions around the world.

The microinverters offered by Omnik are Intisol-SMP300 (300W), Intisol-SMP600 (600W), Omniksol-SMP300 (300W), and Omniksol-SMP600 (600W).

Other than microinverters, the company also offers single-phase inverters, three-phase inverters, hybrid inverters, Wi-Fi kit, GPS kit, and others.

Omnik is certified by AS4777 (Australia), ENEL(Italy), G83/1(UK), VED (Europe), RD1663 (Spain) and other international organizations. 

Omnik has exported its solar inverters Australia, Italy, Germany, UK, Spain and other countries in the world. 

The inverters offered by the company have received high appreciation from home and abroad for their distinguished configuration, consistent performance, and end-to-end after-sale service. 

Frequency Inverters

Website: www.frequencyinverters.org

Frequency Inverter produces various microinverters, energy-efficient appliances, backup power systems, and frequency inverters or frequency converters. 

A solar microinverter converts DC power from a single solar module to AC. 

On the other hand, a frequency inverter is a type of inverter, which works as a device to convert normal power supply (50Hz or 60Hz) to another frequency power. 

The inverter does this function by inner power semiconductor on/off behaviours, to control electric motors in variable speed operations. The variable frequency control is changing the frequency supply to the motor stator windings to achieve the purpose of variable speed control.

Frequency inverters mainly comprise rectifier (AC to DC), inverter (DC to AC), braking unit, drive unit, filter, a detection unit, and the microprocessing unit. 

Frequency Inverters operates from its office located in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

Sensol Solar Technology Ltd.

Website: www.sensolgroup.com

Sensol is a leading company in producing technical service solar power systems for residential and commercial usage.

Sensol specializes in manufacturing solar modules and storage inverters. In China, the company/s factories are located in Shenzhen and Ningbo. 

The company’s broad product line includes microinverters, photovoltaic systems residential, photovoltaic systems commercial, DC to AC power inverters, and photovoltaic modules.

The series of microinverters that Sensol offers are Sensol Solar Inverter 100KW-250KW and Sensol Solar Inverter 500KW.

The company has received certifications for inverters, which are DIN EN ISO 9001: 2008 and CE Certification. 

Its Photovoltaic Products have received IEC61215 IEC61730, Class II, TUV, IEC 62109-1 IEC 62109-2 VDE0126-1-1, and North American UL1703, UL1741 certification.

Sensol offers a competitive warranty on all of its solar products, besides the regular warranty. 

Wuxi Thinkpower New Energy Technology Co., Ltd.

Website: www.thinkpower.com.cn

Wuxi Thinkpower New Energy Co., Ltd. was established in 2011 and located in Wuxi, China. 

Wuxi Thinkpower is a high-tech company, which specializes in manufacturing sales and post-sales service of residential PV grid-connected inverters.

The company offers products including microinverters, DC to AC power inverters, PV grid-tied inverters, DC to DC power converters, solar electric power systems, photovoltaic systems residential, photovoltaic roof-mount systems.

The single-phase T & S series inverter that the company manufactures has 98.6%, which can be used for the more residential and commercial solar roof project. 

Thinkpower’s small grid-connected inverters are leading products in this category with the conversion efficiency of 97.8%. The company received CE, IEC62109, VDE-AR-N4105 certificates. 

Currently, Thinkpower exports its inverters to more than 20 countries all over the world to countries, including Australia, Germany, Italy, and Spain. 

Related article: Solar Power Statistics in China 2019

Closing Words

Microinverters and power optimizers are more suitable for installing on roofs that have shading or oriented in different directions.

Because microinverters are more efficient than traditional inverters, as a solar installer, you can have a strong customer base. 

You can check with the listed manufacturers to buy microinverters in bulk in an attractive price range. Any of these companies will ensure consistent supply and a steady profit margin for your business.

Related article: Top Solar Carport Manufacturers & Solar Canopy Suppliers in China

Top 10 Solar Microinverter Manufacturers in India

Just like every other machinery out there, a solar energy system is made up of various important components. One of these important components is the solar micro-inverter, or simply as known as the microinverter. 

Simply put, a solar microinverter is a plug-and-play device that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). Microinverters are actually really different from conventional string and central solar inverters. The biggest difference is the fact that a single inverter is connected to multiple solar panels while a microinverter electrically isolates the panels from each other. As a result, the output from several microinverters can be combined and often fed to the electrical grid.

This characteristic of microinverters actually offers a lot of advantages over conventional inverters. For one thing, since microinverters electrically isolate the panels from each other, small amounts of shading, debris, or snow lines on any of the solar modules will not disproportionately reduce the output of the entire array. In addition to that, microinverters offer other benefits, such as simplicity in system design, lower amperage wires, simplified stock management, and added safety. 

Because of the fact that microinverters have proven to be beneficial, it’s understandable that solar installers would want to have them in their solar systems. Thankfully, manufacturers and wholesalers of microinverters exist, and they can help you in your time of need. In particular, a lot of these manufacturers and wholesalers can be found in India. So, if your solar installation business is located in India and you need microinverters, here are some companies that manufacture and sell microinverters that you can start looking up. 

Related article: Top 10 Solar Equipment Manufacturers in India

Top Manufacturers or Wholesalers of Solar Microinverters in India

Crystal Solar Energy

Website: http://crystalsolarenergy.com/

Crystal Solar Energy was established in order to supply alternative energy solutions to its customers. In particular, the company focuses on solutions that will increase the economic returns of solar energy. That is why their professional workforce focuses on the design and construction of each individual project. Some of their popular products include solar panels, solar inverters, microinverters, module mounting structures, solar street lights, and solar irrigation pumps. In addition to that, they also develop, plan, build and operate utility-scale, commercial, and industrial plants. 

Crystal Solar Energy places a special emphasis on the On-Time and On-Budget construction and delivery. They also have marked a strong presence in the growing infrastructure market by successfully executing numerous EPC projects into the solar sector with a specialization in solar rooftop solutions. As a result, with all their contributions, the company is considered a leading name in renewable energy, particularly solar energy systems. 

F Choice Solar Tech India

Website: https://www.fchoicesolar.org/

F Choice Solar Tech India Pvt. Ltd. is a multinational energy solution company that was established in 2008. Since the company’s establishment, they have cultured modern ventures to solve the power requirements and harvested free energy from nature to substitute the needs of the world. 

The company is operated in five departments. These departments are research and development, formation and assembling, testing and monitoring, sales and service, and marketing and project handling. Each of the departments is powered by its team leaders together with over 50 electronics engineers and 100 skilled and semi-skilled technicians who are all determined to make sure of the quality of the design, manufacturing, and sales and service activities. 

With F Choice’s dedication to their service, the company already has about 500 countrywide networks where they offer the best quality energy solutions for domestics, industries, commercial, agriculture, and government sectors. 

Nordic (India) Solutions

Website: http://www.nordicindia.com/

Founded in 2010, Nordic (India) Solutions Pvt. Ltd. is a privately owned firm that focuses on the manufacturing, exporting, trading, and supplying of a wide assortment of solar products. Some of their popular products are PV BOV components, panel junction boxes, solar inverters, solar batteries, and many more. In addition to providing these products, the company also offers consulting services.

The products that Nordic (India) offers are manufactured as per set quality guiding principles of the industry. As a result, the company has achieved a respectable status in the market for its outstanding features. Additionally, they manufacture their products using advanced technology and superior quality raw material just to improve the efficiency of the products. 

SmartTrak Solar Systems

Website: http://smarttrak.in/

SmartTrack Solar Systems Pvt. Ltd. is a pioneer and a leading manufacturing company that independently deals and designs innovative solar tracking solutions. The company’s expertise in the design, engineering, monitoring, and control has made them a respected name in the world of renewable energy.

SmartTrack’s most well-known product is a solar tracker, but the company offers other products as well. Some of their other popular products are string combiner boxes, solar water pump systems, weather monitoring systems, and their SmartTrack microinverter. In addition to that, the company also offers integrated solutions at one stop, easier and quicker configuration of solar tracker on calls, and online monitoring and control system with customized wireless networking platform.

UR Energy India

Website: https://www.urenergysolar.com/

Established in 2009, UR Energy India Pvt. Ltd. has become a well-renowned manufacturer and exporter of solar products within a short span of time. The company offers a wide variety of products, and some of their popular ones are solar power plants, solar grid-tied inverters, solar panels, solar water pumps, and solar street lights. UR Energy’s solar mega-scale project, EPC service, AMC service, and solar power plant maintenance service are known for their reliability and competitive prices. 

As the company’s success continues to grow, it has decided to expand globally. As a result, they have now procured, developed, and installed solar power systems at economic prices for residential, commercial, and utility-scale customers all over the world, particularly in countries like the United States, Dubai, Africa, and the United Kingdom. 

HH Energy 

Website: https://www.hhindia.in/

Established in 2010, Achintya Projects and Services, or commonly known as HH Energy, is a leading manufacturer, trader, service provider, importer, and exporter of a wide array of electronic and solar products. Some of their well-known products are electrical fuses and contractors, rechargeable battery packs, solar PV based systems, instrumentation and control, LED lights, and many more. 

All of their products are manufactured using supreme raw materials as well as in compliance with the guidelines defined by the market. Additionally, they are tested on a set of norms before the final delivery of the order. 

Three Sixty Power Products 

Website: https://www.threesixtypower.com/

Established in 2007, Three Sixty Power Products Pvt. Ltd. is an ISO9001:2008 certified company that manufactures, supplies, distributes, wholesales, and exports the finest array of power backup products. Their product line is made up of products like SMF batteries, tubular batteries, home power back UPS, and many more. All of the products are manufactured under the industry-set guidelines, and they are made of the finest raw materials, thus making them incredibly sturdy, durable, and reliable.

Three Sixty Power Products is headquartered in Gurgaon, India, but the company also has branch offices in U.A.E. and U.S.A. As a result, their presence is spread across the geographies through their 2000+ authorized sales and distribution networks all over the world. 

Ved Prakash Energy Solution

Website: http://www.vpenergies.com/

Established in 2016, Ved Prakash Energy Solution Pvt. Ltd. is a well-renowned trader, supplier, and service provider of solar products. The company has a wide variety of products that they offer, some of these being solar street lights, solar water heaters, solar inverters, and many more. 

The company is located in Khanna, Punjab, India, and they operate their business and fulfill the needs of their clients all over the country. Even though the company is still relatively young, Ved Prakash Energy Solution has already earned much respect in the industry, and they aim to grow further in the future. 

Vivetto Systems

Website: https://www.indiamart.com/vivettosystems/

Founded in 2012, Vivetto Systems is a sole proprietorship based organization that holds skills in the manufacturing and supplying of a wide array of LED light bulbs, solar charge controllers, solar combiner boxes, solar array junction boxes, and many more. These products are designed by the company’s capable professionals by using quality-proven material and contemporary technology in line with the set industrial norms. 

Aside from that, the products of Vivetto Systems serve a broad range of sectors, and so, they are available in varied specifications. Because of this, the company has dealt with some of the renowned brands such as COMET, HMI, Dowells, and PROTEC.

Triple Yes Battery Depot

Website: https://www.indiamart.com/tripleyesbatterydepot/

Founded in 1998, Triple Yes Battery Depot started out as a sole proprietorship based company. Since the company’s establishment, they have dedicated their whole endeavours towards wholesale trading of automotive batteries, inverter trolleys, tubular batteries, online UPS and battery combo, power inverters, and many more. To make sure that their products are of the best quality, they make procurement of the whole assortment from the industry’s recognized and reliable vendors. 

Related article: Top 10 Solar Battery Manufacturers in India

Takeaway: Looking for Manufacturers or Wholesalers of Solar Microinverters?

In order to be able to provide an efficient output service, solar systems have to be as flawless as possible. And one way that solar installers can achieve that is by investing in solar microinverters. This is primarily because solar microinverters electrically isolate the panels from each other, so even with small amounts of shading, debris, or snow lines on any of the solar modules, the output of the entire array won’t be reduced. This is completely different from conventional string and central solar inverters since a single inverter is connected to multiple solar panels. 

Because of the advantages that solar microinverters offer, solar installers should consider having them in their solar systems. Fortunately, manufacturers and wholesalers of microinverters exist, and they can easily help you with that. Even better, there are a lot of these manufacturers and wholesalers, so you won’t run out of options for your business.

You can find a lot of solar microinverter manufacturers or wholesalers in India alone. The ten companies mentioned above are only some of them. If you’re really serious about finding the best manufacturer or wholesaler for your business, then you can look through each of the companies in this list first. After that, you can narrow this list down into the ones that you like. And you can even choose to look for more manufacturers or wholesalers out there. 

Basically, just be careful when choosing your manufacturer or wholesaler. This is because the success of your business heavily relies on the manufacturer or wholesaler that you’ve chosen. So, with that said, you have to deliberate and choose wisely.  

Related article: Digital Marketing Strategy to Generate Solar Leads

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An In-depth Comparison: Solar Power vs Biomass Energy

It’s an established fact that we are facing global environmental problems as of right now. Because of this, governments and regular citizens all over the world have tried to find solutions that can help save our planet from complete destruction. On the bright side, we have been able to actually find a few of these solutions, and one particular solution that is prominent is the utilization of renewable sources for energy generation. To be more specific, two of the widely known renewable sources are solar power and bioenergy. 

But what exactly are solar power and biofuels? How exactly are they different from each other? And, if at all possible, which of the two of them is the better option in terms of energy generation?

Defining Terms

Solar Power

Simply put, solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into either thermal or electrical energy. Because solar energy comes from the sun, it is one of the cleanest and most abundant forms of renewable energy sources available. In addition to that, it is also one of the most popular forms, considering that there has been a constant rise in the number of technologies that capture and harness this form of renewable energy.

There are various ways to capture solar energy, and as of right now, there are three prominent ones: photovoltaics, solar heating and cooling, and concentrating solar power. As of these three, photovoltaics is arguably the most common one, and this generates electricity directly from sunlight through an electronic process. Meanwhile, both solar heating and cooling and concentrating solar power make use of the heat that is generated by the sun. Concentrating solar power, in particular, uses mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy to drive traditional steam turbines or engines that create electricity. 

Just like the diversity in terms of technologies, solar power can also be used in a lot of different ways for domestic, commercial, and industrial use. The application can be as small as powering electronics such as calculators, road signs, and even homes and large commercial businesses. And it can also be as big as powering whole communities. Basically, there is practically no limit when it comes to the applications of solar energy. 

Bioenergy

On the other hand, bioenergy is a form of renewable energy that is derived from recently living organic materials known as biomass, which can be used to produce transportation fuels, heat, electricity, and products. A concrete form of bioenergy is the biofuel, which is any liquid fuel that is derived from biological material, such as trees, agricultural wastes, crops, or grass. 

Essentially, biofuels can be produced from any carbon source that can be replenished quickly, like plants. Just like solar energy, the utilization of biofuels is also steadily rising nowadays. In particular, the biofuel industry is greatly expanding in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America.

Because of the fact that biofuels contain no sulfur and produce low carbon monoxide and toxic emissions, they are considered as substitutes for conventional fossil fuels, such as petroleum, propane, coal, and natural gas. As a result, biofuels can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy security by providing an alternative to fossil fuels. In fact, it has often been projected that by 2050, biofuels can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 1.7 billion tons per year. That number is equivalent to more than 80% of current transportation-related emissions. 

Just like solar power, there are various technologies that convert renewable biofuels into heat and electricity. In particular, there are three most common ways to harvest the energy stored in biomass to produce biopower: burning, bacterial decay, and conversion to a gas or liquid fuel. No matter what technology is used, biopower has been proven to increase the flexibility of electricity generation and enhance the reliability of the electricity grid. 

Related article: An In-depth Comparison: Solar Power vs. Wind Power

Solar Energy vs. Biofuels: Which Is the Better Option for Efficient Energy?

Even though it is ideal to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources such as sunlight or biomass, doing so is still very challenging, simply because these energy sources have a lower energy density. As a result, the amount of energy produced is not that impressive as opposed to the energy produced by fossil fuels. 

With this, of course, we would naturally want to choose a renewable source that can generate the most energy. And so, if we want to maximize the efficiency of converting solar energy to renewable energy, which one is better: solar energy (particularly, solar panels) or biofuels? In order to attempt to answer that question, their individual energy conversion efficiency should be compared.

Energy Conversion Efficiency of Solar Panels

The total power from sunlight that reaches the earth’s surface is about 101,000 terawatts, which is around 2,500,000 EJ. However, even though that is the case, solar energy is geographically diffuse. There are just places that are sunnier than others. Because of this, it is then highly crucial to efficiently convert sunlight — to be able to capture its energy in useful forms.

The maximum conversion efficiency for sunlight is said to be 93%. This means that of all the power generated by sunlight, only 93% can be turned into electricity. However, photovoltaic cells in solar panels have efficiencies of only around 15% to 20% for converting sunlight to electricity, and that number will never reach the theoretical 93%. At the very most, solar panels are limited to a maximum conversion efficiency of ~30%, primarily because we only have the technology to convert some parts of the spectrum of sunlight to electricity. This limit is described by the Shockley-Queisser limit. 

On the bright side, advancements in solar panel technology and recent discoveries are still continuing to happen on a regular basis. And all these advancements and discoveries will definitely have a role to play in expanding this limit somewhat. In fact, right now, there are some solar panels that have an efficiency level of above 20%, which is uncommon since the majority of panels range from 15% to 17% efficiency rating. 

Energy Conversion Efficiency of Photosynthesis

We are all aware that photosynthesis is the process used by plants, algae, and certain bacteria to harness energy from sunlight and turn it into chemical energy. It’s essentially the source of the world’s food, animal feed, fibre, and timber. But aside from that, photosynthesis is also the source of biomass-based biofuels that are a source of renewable energy. 

To perform photosynthesis, plants, algae, and certain bacteria need three things — carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight — and after this process, starch and sucrose are the main products. Basically, photosynthesis can be summarized by the following equation: CO2 + H2O + light energy = [CH2O] + O2

The maximum efficiency of converting solar energy to biomass energy is estimated at around 4.5% for algae, 4.3% for C3 land plants (such as woody, round-leafed plants; basically, 95% of all plants), and 6% for C4 land plants (such as sugarcane, switchgrass, Miscanthus, and sweet sorghum). 

Plants are limited by their dependence on photons that fall in the approximate waveband of 400-700 nm, and by inherent inefficiencies of enzymes and biochemical processes and light saturation under bright conditions. Additionally, their respiration consumes 30% to 60% of the energy they make from photosynthesis, and they also spend half of each day in the dark, thus needing to use previous carbohydrate stores to keep them growing.

But even with this low number already, the actual conversion efficiency is even lower than the calculated potential efficiency. This means that the actual conversion efficiency of algae is 3.2%, and 2.4% and 3.7% for the most productive C3 and C4 crops across a full growing season. These efficiency reductions happen because of the insufficient capacity to use all the radiation that falls on a leaf. In addition to that, plants’ photoprotective mechanisms, which have evolved to stop leaves from oxidizing, reduce efficiency as well. 

Conclusion: Which Is the Better Option?

When you put the two energy conversion efficiencies of solar panels and biomass, the initial conclusion that you will get is that solar energy is the better option. The energy conversion efficiency of solar panels may only be less than 30% at most, which is admittedly low, but that is still bigger than the energy conversion efficiency of biomass, which sits at less than 10% on average. So, in terms of efficiency levels, solar is the winner.

However, that doesn’t really make solar panels inherently superior over biomass. This is because plants and other forms of biomass are self-regenerating while solar panels are not. What this means is that if panels get broken, the energy output gets drastically reduced, and there is an added cost to repairing the damaged panels or to buying new ones. Meanwhile, with biomass, there is no added cost. In other words, it’s true biomass is not as efficient as solar panels, but at least, it also won’t cost money since it can replenish itself.

Long story short, both solar energy and bioenergy have their own perks and limits. And if we are to truly save the environment, then we should not settle to choose only one option. There is always a time and place to use either solar energy and bioenergy, so we should choose both of them. Doing so will definitely maximize the clean energy generation as a whole, thus resulting in a better and sustainable environment. And having a sustainable environment is clearly the end goal for utilizing renewable energy sources in the first place, so both solar energy and bioenergy are beneficial in their own way. 

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Fuel Cells as a Potential Solar Energy Storage Solution

When it comes to solar energy, storage is incredibly important. This is primarily because solar systems are heavily reliant on the sun, which means that if it’s nighttime or even if it’s cloudy, they will be rendered useless. So, if you want to maximize the purpose of a solar energy system, then you would need a form of solar storage to store the excess energy produced by the solar array, thus allowing you to use that stored energy during night-time or during power outages.

Unfortunately, solar batteries are usually expensive, and they can only store enough energy to back up the grid for a few hours at most. In other words, there is a massive need to improve the current solar energy storage solutions that we have now. Luckily, there is a new technology that can help provide a solution to this solar storage problem. And that technology is also known as the fuel cell. 

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What Is a Fuel Cell?

Components

Essentially speaking, a fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device that converts hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, heat, and water. In a way, it is very much like a battery because it can produce electricity while being recharged at the same time. 

Moreover, even though fuel cells are similar to batteries in that they convert chemical energy into electrical energy, they also have their own differences. The primary difference is that fuel cells produce electricity from external supplies of fuel (on the anode side) and oxidant (on the cathode side), and these react in the presence of an electrolyte. 

The primary components of a fuel cell are electrolytes, which are also the reactors that keep the reagents from mixing together. The other important components of a fuel cell are electrodes, which are the pieces that act as catalysts for the electrical chemical reaction. Basically, what happens is that the reactants flow in and reaction products flow out while the electrolyte remains in the cell. Then there is a bi-polar plate, called a separator, which is a way to collect the current and build voltage from the cells. Because of all this, fuel cells can operate virtually and continuously as long as the necessary flows persist. 

Fuel for Fuel Cells

Simply put, fuel cells can use a wide array of fuels. Some of the most commonly used ones are hydrogen, ethanol, methanol, and other various acids and alkalines (bases). 

Out of these, hydrogen is known to work the best for fuel cells, but it’s also the one that is incredibly difficult to source. As of right now, there are two ways in which hydrogen can be sourced for fuel cells. The first is digging out fossil fuel and converting it into a hydrogen-rich stream (but one has to reform the stream first and clean up the gases a bit). And the second is using an electrolyzer to split water into its constituent parts of hydrogen and oxygen. Both processes are complicated and difficult to accomplish. 

How Can Fuel Cells Help Fix the Renewable Energy Storage Problem?

Because of all the problems that batteries for renewable energy offer (such as a mismatch in the electricity generated by the array to the grid power demand, the high cost, and the short amount of time that the stored energy can be used), there is a dire need for an alternate solution. And one alternative that developers have found is the water electrolysis technology.

Basically, with water electrolysis technology, devices called electrolyzers split water into its oxygen and hydrogen gas. Then the second set of devices — the fuel cells — can convert that hydrogen back to electricity to power cars, trucks, and buses, or to feed it to the grid. 

Hydrogen gas has the largest energy content of any fuel, thus making it a very good vehicle for holding and distributing energy. In fact, it has the ability to hold 120 MJ/kg, which means that a relatively small amount of hydrogen is needed to store significant amounts of energy. Additionally, the stable chemistry of hydrogen also means that energy can be stored for far longer than any other medium. Because of all this, this technology is considered as a solution to the storage problems that the renewable energy industry is facing today. 

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What Are the Benefits of Fuel Cells?

The most notable benefit of fuel cells, especially those that are running on pure hydrogen, is the fact that they are pollution-free, giving only electricity, water, and heat. In fact, the potential for fuel cells to provide zero or near-zero emissions has been a prominent force in the development of technology over the past three decades. And as of right now, it is still drawing increasing attention to the fuel cell technology. 

To elaborate even further, because of the fact that there is no combustion in a fuel cell, fuel is then converted to electricity more efficiently than any other electrical generating technology available today. There are also no moving parts in a fuel cell stack, thus making them more reliable and quieter than generators. Even the ancillary systems, such as fans, pumps, controls, etc., in a complete fuel cell unit, are relatively mature and simple technologies that should prove to be reliable. 

Additionally, fuel cell reactions do not degrade over time and can theoretically provide continuous electricity. This is unlike batteries considering that batteries must be disposed of once their chemicals are used up. Fuel cells can also achieve higher efficiencies at any scale, making them perfect for small portable, residential, and transportation uses. This is an advantage over traditional power plants since power plants have to be large in order to gain efficiency. 

There are more benefits that fuel cells offer. For one thing, fuel cells can be located almost anywhere because they are clean and efficient at any size. And for another, they can offer an alternative to building new power lines while also reducing the dependency on foreign oil. And, last but not least, on an economic point of view, fuel cells represent a prudent path to provide the country’s electric power because they can be installed quickly, are fuel flexible, and can be put in place incrementally, thus mitigating the need for more expensive and sweeping changes.

What Are the Disadvantages of Fuel Cells?

The obvious disadvantage of fuel cells is the fact that they are large and extremely expensive to manufacture. However, this is expected to change just like how the prices for computers dwindled down once they were mass-produced. As of right now, there are already a lot of fuel cell companies that are investing millions of dollars to gear up for mass manufacturing. At the same time, these companies are also trying to begin to develop a variety of markets for their fuel cell products. 

However, even though that disadvantage seems solvable in the near future, fuel cells still have another disadvantage. And that is the fact that as of right now, there is no hydrogen infrastructure to supply coast-to-coast delivery of hydrogen fuel. Technologies are currently being developed to provide alternative fuel storage and delivery methods. SOFCs, MCFCs, and PAFCs can internally reform natural gas, thus providing the perfect solution for industrial use. But MCFCs and PAFCs are too large for home and transportation use, and SOFCs still have years in development. 

Aside from that, PEMs and AFCs can use fuel reformers to convert hydrocarbons, like gasoline and natural gas, into hydrogen, but this technology can lower the overall efficiency of the fuel cell by 25% and can release small amounts of pollutants. And onboard fuel storage and conversion solutions are also being developed, but they are still years from being perfected. 

Takeaway

As the name suggests, solar energy depends heavily on the sun’s light — a fact that proves to be a problem at times. This is because if it’s nighttime or a cloudy day, the solar arrays are forced to be idle. Thus, in order for the solar system to be maximized, there must be a form of energy storage that can store excess energy for future use. 

Solar batteries do exist, but they are costly and can only store enough energy to back up the grid for a few hours at most. Plus, batteries also exhibit an intermittency problem where the energy generated by the arrays does not match with the grid power demand. So, with all this, the solar industry is actively looking for an alternative to solar batteries. 

Luckily, there is actually an alternative, and that is the fuel cell. A fuel cell is essentially an electrochemical energy conversion device that converts hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, heat, and water. And it’s primarily used alongside the water electrolysis technology, which is a process that splits water into its constituent parts of hydrogen and oxygen. 

Using fuel cells as storage for energy proves to be extremely beneficial. For one thing, hydrogen can store a large amount of energy for a long period of time. And for another, fuel cells that are running on hydrogen are notably pollution-free. Basically, fuel cells are an ideal solution to the storage problems that the renewable energy industry is facing today. 

However, fuel cells come with their own share of disadvantages. To begin with, they’re not cheap since they’re not yet mass-produced. Plus, their technologies are still being developed, and this development might take a long time for them to become perfect. Basically, there is still a long way to go for fuel cells to become fully integrated into the solar energy industry. But on the bright side, all that will definitely happen in the near future.

Related article: The Falling Cost of Solar Energy: Reasons and Implications

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Top 10 Solar Microinverter Manufacturers in the United States

Every solar energy system is composed of various important components, and one of these important components is solar microinverter. Essentially speaking, the solar microinverter, or simply known as microinverter, is a plug-and-play device that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). This device is primarily used in photovoltaics, particularly in solar modules. 

Microinverters differ from conventional string and central solar inverters in that a single inverter is connected to multiple solar panels. Meanwhile, the output from several microinverters can be combined and often fed to the electrical grid. Moreover, microinverters also have several advantages over conventional inverters. The primary advantage is that they electrically isolate the panels from each other, so small amounts of shading, debris, or snow lines on any of the solar modules, or even a complete module failure, will not disproportionately reduce the output of the entire array. Aside from that, other advantages include simplicity in system design, lower amperage wires, simplified stock management, and added safety.

Because of the wide range of advantages that microinverters offer, it’s no surprise that as solar installers, you would want to have them in your solar energy systems. Luckily, there are quite a lot of manufacturers and wholesalers who can provide you with high-quality microinverters. The United States, in particular, is well-known for housing a number of these manufacturers and wholesalers. 

That is why if you’re a solar installation business based in the U.S. and you’re in need of quality microinverters, here is a list of ten manufacturers and wholesalers that you can look up. 

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Top Manufacturers or Wholesalers of Solar Microinverters in the United States

Enphase Energy

Website: https://enphase.com/en-us

Founded in 2006, Enphase Energy is a NASDAQ-listed energy technology company that is headquartered in Fremont, California. The company primarily designs and manufactures software-driven home energy solutions that span solar generation, home energy storage, and web-based monitoring and control. 

In June 2008, the company introduced the world’s first microinverter system. And since then, they have already shipped about ten million solar microinverters, primarily into the residential and commercial markets in North America, Europe, and Australia. In addition to that, they also have had over 940,000 installations all over the world. With all of these accomplishments, Enphase Energy is recognized as the first company to successfully commercialize the microinverter on a wide scale. And until now, they remain the market leader.

SolarBridge Technologies/SunPower

Website: https://us.sunpower.com/

Based in Austin, Texas, SolarBridge Technologies is a manufacturer and provider of solar microinverters and solar inverters for photovoltaic arrays. The company was established in 2004 with a goal to bring to market power electronics technologies that were created at the University of Illinois. However, in the autumn of 2014, SolarBridge was acquired by SunPower Corporation, which is one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the United States. Because of this, SolarBridge’s microinverters are usually paired with SunPower solar panels. 

The SolarBridge Pantheon microinverter is mounted directly on the solar panel to create a roof-ready AC module. Additionally, this product has passed all tests required under the Underwriters Laboratories 1741 safety standard, as certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). 

Advanced Energy Industries

Website: https://www.advancedenergy.com

Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. is a company that primarily develops power and control technologies for the manufacture of semiconductors, flat panel displays, data storage products, industrial coatings, medical devices, solar cells, and architectural glass. They also used to manufacture and sell gas-system products for semiconductors, but eventually, withdrew from the market of gas-system products. 

The company was founded in 1981, and since then, they have operated in regional centers in North America, Asia, and Europe. Additionally, they also offer global sales and support through direct offices, representatives, and distributors. As of right now, they have manufacturing facilities in the U.S., EMEA, and Asia.

CyboEnergy

Website: http://www.cyboenergy.com/index.html

Located in California, CyboEnergy Inc. is a subsidiary of CyboSoft and General Cybernation Group Inc. The company primarily focuses on the development, manufacturing, marketing, and servicing of the product lines in the energy and clean energy field. To be more specific, they develop the world’s first solar power Mini-inverter, called the CyboInverter, which possesses the key merits of both central inverters and microinverters. With this, CyboEnergy offers on-grid, off-grid, and on-/off-grid CyboInverters. Aside from that, they also offer battery-less off-grid CyboInverters for electric water heaters and Inverter-Air-Conditioners (IAC). 

CyboEnergy received the Frost & Sullivan’s 2013 Global Product Differentiation Excellence Award for Solar Inverters and Frost & Sullivan’s 2017 Global Solar Inverter Technology Innovation Award.

Petra Systems

Website: http://www.petrasystems.com/

Petra Systems Inc. is a leading global technology provider for markets of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and distributed power generation. The company delivers remotely managed networks for Smart City infrastructure, leveraging core expertise in power electronics, controls, and communications. As of right now, they have more than 250,000 installed systems all over the world. And Petra Systems aims to raise that number by combining technology innovation and competitive financing to help municipalities, utilities, and transportation authorities transform streetlights into valuable and forward-looking assets. 

Chilicon Power

Website: https://www.chiliconpower.com/

Chilicon Power was founded under the premise of sustainable organic growth from a business standpoint. The company has been involved with generously financed startups in the past, and initially, their focus was on “nano-inverters” for building integrated photovoltaic modules. However, they soon shifted their focus to building the world’s highest efficiency 60-cell module inverters, microinverters, and Gateway. All of their products are designed and manufactured in California. 

Apparent

Website: https://www.apparent.com/

Founded in 2007, Apparent is a clean-power and energy efficiency company that is based in Novato, California. The company takes pride in the fact that they’re the only company to provide a sustainable and reliable ancillary quality resource. They work with investment partners and service providers to construct and manage sustainable facilities, thus generating cleaner power while outperforming traditional generation. 

At the heart of Apparent’s suite of energy technologies is the intelligent grid operating system (igOS™), which is a cloud-based, machine-learning application that manages distribution level energy assets in parallel with the grid. Hosted on three platforms — namely, electrical panels, solar microinverters, and battery power control systems — energy systems that Apparent offers can operate independently or in concert at customer-designated levels of services. 

Blue Frog Solar 

Website: https://bluefrogsolar.com/

Blue Frog Solar LLC was founded in 2011 in Poulsbo, Washington with a goal to bring the finest solar design and technology to the Pacific Northwest. The company is primarily known for developing and selling microinverters. But aside from that, they also have a Simple Solar program, where they offer complete solar financing, as well as materials and installation package for residential and commercial PV systems. The Simple Solar program offers the best pricing and the smoothest and most buyer-friendly process for installing the solar arrays. 

eIQ Energy

Website: http://www.eiqenergy.com/

Located in Santa Clara, California, eIQ Energy Inc. was founded in 2007 by experts in power electronics, power semiconductors, and power conversion architectures to provide power conversion technologies to the renewable energy world. The company’s most well-known product is the vBoost, which is a DC-DC boost converter that converts PV modules from low voltage/high current devices to high voltage/low current devices. This product can be placed in parallel where each becomes an independent power generator. This was introduced in 2009, and since then, over 3.3 MW of this has been installed worldwide.

Aside from this product, eIQ Energy also offers other kinds of products. Some of these include DC-DC converters for battery storage units, AC rectifiers to convert generator or grid power to DC, off-grid inverters optimized for applications within this DC domain, and microinverters.

HiQ Solar

Website: http://hiqsolar.com/

HiQ Solar is an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that aims to bring their technology to market through partnerships with large solar system manufacturers and installation companies that use standard or customized versions of their products. Founded in 2009, the company draws on a decade of industry experience in related technologies with a veteran team from a combination of test and measurement, automotive, and renewable energy backgrounds. 

HiQ’s successful products include the award-winning TrueString solar inverter series and the recently introduced TrueString XL model, which incorporates both standalone and hybrid solar-plus-storage solutions. 

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Takeaway: Looking for Manufacturers or Wholesalers of Solar Microinverters?

When it comes to solar energy systems, solar installers would understandably want them to be of the best quality as possible. And in order to achieve that, one thing that they can do is to invest in solar microinverters. This is because solar microinverters electrically isolate the panels from each other, so even with small amounts of shading, debris, or snow lines on any of the solar modules will not reduce the output of the entire array. This is completely different from conventional string and central solar inverters since a single inverter is connected to multiple solar panels. 

Because of the advantages that solar microinverters offer, solar installers should consider having them in their solar systems. Fortunately, manufacturers and wholesalers of microinverters exist, and they can easily help you with that. Even better, there are a lot of these manufacturers and wholesalers, so you won’t run out of options for your business.

You can find a ton of solar microinverter manufacturers or wholesalers in the U.S. alone. The ten companies mentioned above are only some of them. If you’re really serious about finding the best manufacturer or wholesaler for your business, then you can choose to look through each of the companies first. After that, you can narrow this list down into the ones that you like. And you can even choose to look for more manufacturers or wholesalers out there. Just be extra deliberate and careful when choosing your manufacturer or wholesaler. This is because the quality of your products and service heavily relies on your chosen manufacturer or wholesaler, so you better choose wisely. 

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