SMA’s Sunny Boy-US series achieves UL 1741 listing

SMA America announced the Sunny Boy-US series as the first residential inverter to achieve UL 1741 SA (Supplement A) listing, which represents a significant step in creating a more stable grid and providing the best technology for the residential market.

SMA America inverters

SMA has completed functional and safety testing with the Sunny Boy-US series of inverters according to the published UL 1741 SA Standard, and Sunny Boy inverters now available for ordering will enable customers to comply with the new standard.

California and Hawaii are the first states to mandate that inverter manufacturers meet the UL 1741 SA requirements of the UL 1741 standard, with compliance required in September 2017. Since it is likely that other states will follow suit, SMA has chosen to upgrade its inverter technology to meet the standard almost a year ahead of schedule.

RELATED: How California’s Rule 21 inverter requirements expand grid capacity, limit energy (revenue) generation 

“Residential solar continues to grow at a rapid pace, and the impact on utilities is significant. Collectively the industry is looking for the best, most effective long-term solutions for a modern grid,” said Sven Schreiber, executive vice president of the Residential business unit at SMA. “SMA recognizes the importance of UL 1741 SA, and has opted to add the necessary functions and features to our inverters immediately. We believe that providing inverters certified to this standard now will save our customers time and money later.”

While the UL 1741 SA listing is not yet mandatory in all 50 states, anyone who wants to comply with the standard can choose SMA inverters knowing they will provide the right features and functions should additional states adopt the same requirements in the future.

Although it is not yet mandatory, SMA believes that complying with the UL 1741 SA requirements as soon as possible is a responsible decision that ensures optimal grid health and stability, while also providing customers with the best possible inverter.

The Sunny Boy-US series includes the following models:


Don’t leave yet! Check out our 2017 Inverter Buyer’s Guide.

— Solar Builder magazine

String inverter market trends: Forecast shows 15 percent CAGR up to 2024

String inverter market size is expected to cross $7 billion by 2024, as per the latest report by Global Market Insights, Inc.

Rising demand for continuous and reliable power sources owing to growing population and urbanization will propel global string inverter market share over forecast period. Strong demand trends for off grid electricity will also play a significant role in industry evolution, with over 800 million of total population having poor or no access to electric grid infrastructure as of 2015.

What’s driving demand?

Fronius string inverters optimizers

Major industry players cited in the report include SolarMax, Huawei Technologies, Sungrow Power Supply, Fronius International (pictured), KOSTAL Solar Electric, Growatt New Energy Technology, Schneider, Ingeteam, Ginlong Technologies, Advanced Energy Industries, KACO New Energy and Solaredge Technologies.

Reliability, high efficiency and accessibility are some of the parameters which will drive the global string inverter market. Compact size, light weight, ease of installation and ability to increase power density are some of the other features which may positively favor the industry landscape.

Declining component cost coupled with low ongoing maintenance will positively influence string inverter market growth. Advancement of technology has reduced the three-phase inverter price by over 20% from 2013. Cost competitiveness will increase its adoption among residential and commercial users.

Global industry revenue generated from on-grid will exceed $5 billion. It finds application in small to medium scale industrial & commercial complex and large-scale utility projects. Increasing adoption of decentralization system is set to drive standalone system demand.

The global revenue generated from up to 10 kW string inverter market for 2015 was over $225 million and is predicted to witness strong growth owing to growing rooftop solar system demand from residential and commercial consumers.

In the U.S., programs including Renewable Energy Production Incentives (REPI) have been introduced to encourage the adoption of renewable energy technologies which will positively impact demand. REPI program offers incentive payments to new renewable energy facilities that generate and sell electricity.

For Europe, UK string inverter market size is set to witness growth over 18% by 2024. Shifting trend towards sustainable energy may favor the industry growth. The electricity generation through renewable resources reached from 64.7 TWh in 2014 to 83.3 TWh in 2015.

— Solar Builder magazine

Report: String inverter market to reach $3 Billion by 2021

In the latest “String Inverter Market – Global Forecast to 2021” report, available Research and Markets, the expectation is for the string inverter market to reach $3 billion by 2021.

Fronius string inverters optimizers

Reasons behind the numbers

String inverters are used in residential, commercial & industrial, and utilities. The string inverter market is expected to be driven by decreased balance of system cost, removing systems monitoring capabilities, and easing installation and customization.

On the other hand, shading one panel reduces the efficiency of panels, along with heat losses due to the large size of the inverter, is the major restraint of the global string inverter market, the report states.

RELATED: Multiple PV manufacturers integrate new cell-string optimizer technology from Maxim 

Segments trending

With regard to system type, the off-grid segment is estimated to grow at the fastest CAGR. Though off-grid technology is cheaper, the report authors say the string inverter application is not very cost effective, which restricts the installation of string inverter at a large scale, such as three-phase string inverters.

In coming years, with declining solar module, inverter, and overall solar systems prices, off-grid string inverters are expected to gain momentum.

Asia-Pacific is expected to be the largest market for string inverters, with China and India being the biggest markets in the region. It is estimated to dominate the global market during the forecast period, owing to government targets, policy support (tax incentives and RPOs), incentives such as feed-in tariffs, and tenders & competitive bidding in the region.

Here’s a link to the report.

— Solar Builder magazine

String inverter market forecast to grow the next five years, led by utility market share

solar installations increase

The string inverter market is expected to grow from an estimated $2.61 billion in 2016 to $3.89 billion by 2021, registering a CAGR of 8.29 percent from 2016 to 2021. These estimates are pulled from the “String Inverter Market by Phase (Single and Three), System Type (On-Grid and Off-Grid), Power Rating (Up to 10kw, 11kw-40kw, 41kw-80kw, and Above 80kw), End-User (Residential, Commercial & Industrial, and Utilities), and Region – Global Forecast to 2021,” published by MarketsandMarkets. The global market is witnessing significant growth due to a decrease in balance of system cost, removing systems monitoring capabilities and easy installation and customization.

Some quick bullets from the report

  • The on-grid segment is expected to hold the largest share of the string inverter market, by system type, during the forecast period.
  • The on-grid segment led the overall String Inverter Market in 2015. On-grid systems are applied mostly in small-to-medium scale commercial & industrial and large utility-scale solar applications. This is driving the market of three-phase string inverters, which are being commercialized at a huge scale in Asia-Pacific and Europe.
  • Maybe surprisingly, utilities are expected to hold the largest market share of the string inverter market, by end-users, during the forecast period.

RELATED: Centralized vs. decentralized inverters: Keys to the decision 

More on that utilities number

Utility-scale large projects are improving given regulations for renewable integration, while accelerating the growth of the String Inverter Market for the utility segment. On islands, string inverter in utility-based solar systems, integrated with energy storage systems, is expected to grab areas with high level of penetration of renewable energy.

Asia-Pacific is the largest market for string inverter

In this report, the String Inverter Market has been analyzed with respect to four regions, namely, the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa. Asia-Pacific is estimated to be the largest market for string inverter till 2021. Government targets, policy support (tax incentives and RPOs), incentives such as feed-in tariffs and tenders, and competitive bidding in the region will drive the Asia-Pacific sting inverter market from 2016 to 2021.

Head here to purchase the full report.

— Solar Builder magazine

Details on three new inverter models from KACO

The German inverter manufacturer, KACO new energy GmbH, has made new three-phase devices available. The blueplanet 8.6 TL3 and 10.0 TL3 are suitable for residential and commercial-scale PV arrays; the blueplanet 20.0 TL3 fits commercial systems as well as large-scale, industrial-sized power plants. All three inverters enter the market with approvals for a large number of countries.

Let’s learn more about them.

Blueplanet 8.6

KACO blue planet inverter 86

KACO Blueplanet 8.6


The blueplanet 8.6 TL3 fits seamlessly into the range of three-phase blueplanets with a lower output. They are addressed to PV operators in the residential and small commercial sectors. As with all blueplanets the numeric denomination describes the AC output. Accordingly, the new inverter has a rated output of 8.6 kilowatts which makes it especially suited for the French market: It is tailored to comply with building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) subsidy thresholds, a highly attractive market segment in France.

RELATED: Check out these five inverters on the SPI show floor 

Blueplanet 10.0

KACO blue planet inverter 10

KACO blue planet inverter 10

The blueplanet 10.0 TL3 is cut from the same cloth as the blueplanet 8.6 TL3. The new 10 kVA inverter closes this “small” blueplanet range which now consists of six devices with rated outputs between 5 and 10 kilowatts. Both new inverters are particularly convincing with their 2 MPP trackers, DC and AC plug connector technique which facilitates the quickest wiring, in addition to a wide voltage input range spanning 200 V to 800 V. Everything is well protected and sits cozily in a compact IP65 housing.

KACO blue planet inverter

KACO blue planet inverter 20

The blueplanet 20.0 TL3 INT follows the blueplanet 50.0 TL3 INT: It is a wall-mounted device operating on the threshold between commercial and utility applications that feature a decentralised plant concept. Whereas the blueplanet 50.0 TL3 INT is targeted at optimum cost-efficiency with its “reduce to the max” concept, the new 20 kVA inverter offers all variables when it comes to getting to grips with smaller, complex systems and difficult design scenarios.

The blueplanet 20.0 TL3 INT operates using two separate MPP trackers that can handle both symmetrical and asymmetrical loads. East/west facing roofs (symmetrical load), factory roofs which are shaded or inconsistently designed and open spaces (asymmetrical load) can thus be dealt with. With sockets for digital inputs and outputs, the blueplanets are proving themselves to be future-proof solutions, capable of responding to all control issues, whether received from the grid operator or in communication with the electrical appliances.

— Solar Builder magazine