May 2009: The Coming Disruption in the Inverter Market – Distributed Inverter Architectures

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This month's Greentech Innovations Report looks at the innovations, investments and entrepreneurial activity in the $1.8 billion photovoltaic inverter market.

Until now, the electronics and mounting equipment used in PV systems – inverters and Balance of System (BoS) – have been an overlooked and underinvested part of the solar ecosystem despite being a multi-billion dollar market in itself and a product that serves as the principle point of failure in almost all solar power installations.

But in recent years, there has been a surge in investment and entrepreneurial activity in solar BoS – specifically the inverter and power conditioning circuitry that supports photovoltaic energy conversion. Since the beginning of 2009, four firms have received more than $50 million in funding and a large public firm (National Semiconductor) has officially unveiled its BoS product after acquiring a related technology startup (ACT Solar). Meanwhile, more than $100 million in venture capital and more than 15 companies have entered this sector since 2005.

New thinking in inverters by VC-funded entrepreneurs is challenging the conventional wisdom in solar installations with the potential for lower materials and labor cost and higher overall system conversion efficiencies. This month's Greentech Innovations Report focuses on the new inverter architectures coming to market.

This info draws upon extensive investigations by our research team and interviews with the leaders in this field. Purchase the report for more tables and charts, including:

  • A Listing and Profile of More Than 15 New Players Working on New Inverter Architectures
  • VC Investment in New Inverter Firms
  • Microinverters vs. Distributed Maximum Power Point Tracking

Greentech Investment Data in the May 2009 Issue:

  • The Recent Upswing in VC Investment in Renewable Energy and Greentech
  • The Growing Trend in New Greentech M&A
  • New Venture Capital and PE Funds dedicated to Greentech, a Brightspot in Fund Raising
  • Biofuels and Gasification
  • Energy Storage
  • Solar
  • Automotive and Transportation
  • Wind Power, Ocean Power and Geothermal
  • Green Buildings
  • Carbon Markets
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