Tag Archives: inverters


All About Solar Inverters

All About Solar Inverters

Solar power in recent years has become completely modular and that is great news for potential system owners. In the olden days, it was necessary to buy not only solar modules but batteries as well. This dramatically increased the cost of your basic system. In 1991 SMA Solar Technology (the world’s largest solar equipment company)


Remembering: Solar PV Pioneer Bill Yerkes

The solar power family lost one of its founding fathers when John W. “Bill” Yerkes passed away on January 29. He was one month shy of his 80th birthday. I found out about his passing last week when SolarWorld paid tribute to the man. Since then, there has been an astonishing lack of coverage in both the trade


Which Direction Should Solar Panels Face?

A new study from Austin’s Pecan Street Research Institute finds that residential solar PV panels oriented to the West may have more benefits for homeowners—at least in the summer and in Austin. That research flies in the face of conventional wisdom that PV panels should face South where the amount of sunlight that can hit


SolarCity Gobbles Up Zep Solar

SolarCity (SCTY), distributed energy pioneer and financier, has acquired Zep Solar, an innovative solar module mounting startup for $158 million in SolarCity stock. I should have seen it coming. Flashback to SolarCity’s Q1 2013 earnings call, SolarCity co-founder and CTO Peter Rive said in reference to cost-cutting innovations in residential solar: “One of the biggest


Solar: The Great Payback?

The most common question I hear when discussing the value of solar is to ask: “What’s the Payback Period?” Don’t answer this question!! The payback period does have some advantages in that it is a simple thing to calculate and is intuitive. However it is a lousy method for valuing things that have a long


Review: Intersolar 2013

Last week was Intersolar North America 2013 (IS for short) in San Francisco and we were there – here is our first take on who was Hot and who was oh, so, not at the show (and Recom, we mean you). Heat Check Any time you come to a tradeshow – whether IS or SPI


Solar Power: Freedom and Independence

One of the most compelling virtues of solar energy is the opportunity for freedom and independence.  Solar means you don’t have to wait for the utility or other powers-that-be to do the right thing…you can take matters into your own hands and do it yourself.  It’s democracy in energy decision-making in action. So this 4th of


Solar Throwdown: SolarCity vs. XCEL Energy

SolarCity (SCTY), one of the two biggest rooftop solar installers in the country, is now fighting soft costs one utility at a time. Its current nemesis is the Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo), a subsidiary of Xcel Energy (XEL). “From an administrative standpoint, the Xcel Energy Solar*Rewards program is the most complex of the


Solar Ready to Expolde in NYC

Thanks to solar’s resiliency, falling prices and ability to help out in disasters, New York is anticipating more solar installed in 2013 than ever before in the Empire state and in New York City. That’s based on experts who discussed the “Tipping Point for Solar in New York” at the City University of New York


ABB Gobbles Up Inverter Firm Power-One

ABB acquiring Power-One (PWER), the number two global PV inverter company, for $1 billion is certainly a dramatic way to open Greentech Media’s Solar Summit starting today in Phoenix, Arizona. This breaking news comes a few weeks after Advanced Energy acquired REFUsol to become the number-three player in the PV inverter market. ABB already plays


Micro Inverters: What You Need to Know

Are you thinking about installing solar panels on your home or business? You may just want to update your current system and add value to your investment. There are two types of inverters that you can install on your solar panel array. These may be either an array inverter, which will convert the DC current

Roller coaster in Moscow, Russia, East Europe

Riding the Risks and Rewards of the Solarcoaster

It’s been a while since I reflected on my career journey on what many of us in the industry have affectionately begun calling “The Solarcoaster.” Rather than look at events in the industry as a whole over the 2011-2012 period, I wanted to take a more personal view; a view as a big fish in


SMA to Release Microinverter

We are drawing near the long-anticipated release of SMA’s first ever mircoinverter: the SMA Sunny Boy 240-US. SMA is a German manufactuer of photovoltaic inverters that was founded in 1981 and currently holds 40% of the market for solar inverters.  SMA has consistently produced top-quality inverters for commercial and residential applications, distinguishing itself as a


Chinese Solar Inverter Market: Ready to Launch

The U.S. and European solar photovoltaic module market is dominated by Chinese solar panels from vendors such as Yingli, Suntech, and Trina Solar. Tariffs imposed and trade issues aside, China has won this market with low-cost, high-quality, crystalline silicon solar panels. Almost 50 percent of the solar modules deployed in the U.S. in 2011 were