Pulsed PV cell and module testers market maintains positive momentum despite recession

Research and Markets has announced the addition of Frost &Sullivan’s new report "2010 High Growth Market Opportunity -Photovoltaic (PV) Cell and Module Testers" to its offering.

Pulsed PV cell and module testers market maintains positive momentum despite recession

Notwithstandingthe global economic meltdown, the world PV cell and module testersmarket has remained buoyant. During 2008, PV had witnessed tremendousgrowth with installation increase in excess of 100 percent. The pulsedtesters segment has been progressing steadily, growing at a compoundannual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.8 percent.

Sales of testersare primarily driven by additions in production capacity and though theindustry is in oversupply, capacity additions are still occurring.Companies have been largely unable to halt additions for 2009 and arelikely to slow only in 2010. Beyond 2010, the industry is expected tostabilize and show consistent growth on the back of renewed demand forPV.

For years, PV had been in the research stage, with workgoing on in the field of increasing conversion efficiencies andreducing costs. Recently, the PV industry has blossomed, and alarge-scale drive toward production is being seen with companies addingproduction capacity regardless of the economic predicament. Whenproduction capacity is added, the associated market of testers alsobenefits.

"Governments across the world have already focusedor are beginning to focus on renewable sources of power, especiallysolar PV," notes the analyst of this research service. "The market ishighly subsidized and countries such as Germany and the United Stateshave implemented policies aimed at increasing adoption of PV." Alongwith the increase in PV installations, the demand formanufacturing-related equipment such as testers is slated to increase.

Technologiessuch as thin film are becoming more advanced, and other technologiesare also showing lower costs and better efficiencies. "Though the costof solar power has been declining over the years, there is still a longway to go before it becomes comparable to conventional sources ofpower, without being subsidized, " says the analyst.

"Obviously,future demand for solar PV related equipment will depend on when PVachieves grid parity." The hope of attaining grid parity, may be evenas early as 2015, is instilling confidence in the market. This meansthat demand is growing for testers from both R&D laboratories andmanufacturers.

The erratic nature of the market is proving tobe a challenging aspect. This is evident in the case of Spain, wheredemand levels soared in 2008 and slumped the following year. In theshort term, it is no easy task for market participants to map out thegrowth potential; hence, it is possible for plans to add capacity andsales projections to go awry. However, once the market matures, it willprogress on an even keel.

Uncertainty will overshadow the PVcell and module testers’ market scenario only during the short term,and participants must realize that the market is displaying robustgrowth and will attain stability in the near future. Considering theoverall situation, participants would be wise to continue to ramp upproduction capacities in order to attain efficiencies of scale.

Overthe last few years, Asia Pacific has emerged as the largest producer ofPV devices, largely driven by China. Targeting Asia Pacific would be asmart strategy that would ensure more productive business outcomes forparticipants in this space. Some companies in this domain are alsoshowing vertical integration, rolling out both testers and otherproduction equipment. More of this can be expected in the future.

Participantsin this arena should look for alliances between tester manufacturersand equipment integrators to provide customers a comprehensive offering.