The Microinverter and DC Optimizer Landscape 2014: The Evolution From Market Niche to Market Success

The Microinverter and DC Optimizer Landscape 2014: The Evolution From Market Niche to Market Success

GTM, Date of Publication: Feb 13, 2014, 130 Pages
US$2,995.00
GTM2845

2014 marks the beginning of the next chapter for PV module-level power electronics—with shifting strategies and new, well-funded competitors

Microinverters and DC optimizers (collectively known as module-level power electronics, or MLPE) comprise one of the newest and fastest-growing sectors in the solar industry. The product segment surpassed 1 GW of annual volume and over 2 GW of cumulative installed capacity in 2013, just four years after the first contemporary products entered the market. While initially considered a niche solution for residential or shaded rooftops, the category has consistently expanded its appeal, to the point where nearly half of the MLPE category’s volume is in the commercial-scale market, particularly for DC optimizers. The module-level electronics providers have done this by evolving their value proposition while simultaneously reducing product costs.

Thus far, the landscape has been dominated by a few players -- Enphase Energy and SolarEdge Technologies, with Tigo Energy a distant third – accounting for 88% of capacity shipped in 2013. Yet, new players are joining every day, many with significant venture or private backing. At the end of 2013, the distributed optimization market had been fueled by over $600 million of venture and public capital - not including internal corporate development - even though it still accounts for just 2.5% of the overall PV market. While the growth of the space has surpassed expectations, it remains one of the most hotly contested sectors in solar: skeptics still dismiss the overall value of the products, while the bulk of industry discussion has turned to where, and how much, the sector will evolve. 

FIGURE: Module-Level Power Electronics Taxonomy


Microinverter and DC Optimizer Landscape

Source: The Microinverter and DC Optimizer Landscape 2014: The Evolution From Market Niche to Market Success

At over 130 pages, this new report describes the MLPE market's transition into its second chapter. In it, incumbent companies are initiating growth strategies as a new group of well-funded competitors enter the space. The report analyzes the value proposition and cost-benefits of module-level power electronics, provides a competitive landscape of the market, and forecasts growth globally and by region.

Companies profiled in the report include:

Ampt | APS | Draker / Solar Power Technologies | Empower Micro | Enphase Energy | Enecsys | I-Energy | LG Electronics | Petra Solar | Power-One | ReneSola | SMA | SolarBridge | SolarEdge | Sparq Systems | Tigo Energy | Volterra Semiconductors / Maxim Integrated


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Introduction

1.1. Defining and Categorizing Distributed Optimization
2. The Value Proposition of Module-Level Electronics
2.1. Increased Energy Yield From Mismatch Mitigation
2.2. Design Flexibility
2.3. Design Simplicity
2.4. Reduction of Electrical Balance of Systems and Associated Labor
2.5. Improved Inverter Design and Reduced Cost
2.6. Module-Level Monitoring, O&M and Other Performance Factors
2.7. From Product Reliability to System Availability
2.8. Improved Safety
3. Total Cost-Benefit of Module-Level Power Electronics

4. Barriers to Adoption

4.1. Upfront Pricing
4.2. Bankability
4.3. Advanced Grid Integration Compatibility and Certification
4.4. Installation Labor
4.5. Buy-In From Module Companies for Smart Modules
4.6. Competitive Landscape

5. Module Integration: Status and Leaders

5.1. Overview
5.2. Module Players
5.3. Value Chain Drivers
5.4. Partner Selection Criteria
5.5. Separating True Integration from the Rest
5.6. Existing and Prospective MLPE-Module Partnerships

6. The MLPE Competitive Landscape: Suppliers, Survivors and Key Questions for the Industry

6.1. Suppliers and Shipments in 2013
6.2. Evaluating the Competitive Landscape – Market Positioning and Strategy
6.3. Market Momentum and Growth Prospects – How MLPE Competitors Stack
6.4. MLPE at a Crossroads – Key Questions for the Evolving Market
6.5. Pushing Forward a Proven Model – Key Questions for Expanding the MLPE Market

7. Regional and Global Forecasts

7.1. Global MLPE Forecasts
7.2. North America
7.3. Asia-Pacific (APAC)
7.4. Europe
7.5. Latin America and Other Emerging Markets

8. Company Profiles

8.1. Ampt
8.2. APS
8.3. Draker/Solar Power Technologies
8.4. Empower Micro
8.5. Enphase Energy
8.6. Enecsys
8.7. I-Energy
8.8. LG Electronics
8.9. Petra Solar
8.10. Power-One
8.11. ReneSola
8.12. SMA
8.13. SolarBridge
8.14. SolarEdge
8.15. Sparq Systems
8.16. Tigo Energy
8.17. Volterra Semiconductors/Maxim Integrated

Appendices

A. MLPE Vendor Capacity and Unit Shipments, 2013

LIST OF FIGURES

1. Introduction
Active Module-Level Power Electronics Providers
and Investments
Dormant and Exited Module-Level Power
Electronics Firms (as of Q3 2013)
Distributed Optimization Topologies
DC Optimizer Design Implementation and Benefits
Module-Level Power Electronics Feature Set
Versus Relative Cost
Standalone Microinverter, AC Module (Frame
Attached) and AC Module (Embedded)

2. The Value Proposition of Module-Level Electronics
First-Generation and Second-Generation Value
Proposition of MLPE, In Approximate Order of
Importance
Normalized Energy Recovery in Shaded Systems,
Microinverter Versus String Inverter
300 kW Array and Location of Shade Object
Shading Loss Simulations From Various
Obstructions Near 300 kW Array
Monthly Shading Losses From Large-Tree Shading
Expected Mismatched Losses Based on Module
Power Tolerance Range
Thermal Mismatch on Residential PV Array
Distribution of Varying Module Degradation Rates
System Design and Engineering Savings
Opportunities
System Design With Zero-Tolerance Shade Rule
System Expansion Example by Shade Tolerance Rate
Marginal Productivity of Increases in System Size
(Shaded Array, With and Without Module-Level
Electronics)
Expansion Economics for 1 MW project With
10% Expansion
System Design and Engineering Savings
Opportunities
Voltage Limiting by DC Optimizers
MLPE Electrical Balance-of-Systems Benefits
and Costs
Inverter Power Boosting Through DC Optimizers
Certified and Actively Investigated Boosted
Inverters With DC Optimizers
Residential Module-Level Monitoring
Voltage Fingerprint of Module With Arc Fault
String and Sub-Array Monitoring Adoption Rates
by Main Country and Segment, 2012

3. Total Cost-Benefit of Module-Level Power Electronics
Factory-Gate Prices for Standalone Microinverters
and DC Optimizers, 2012-2017E
Module-Level Power Electronic
Volume Factory-Gate Pricing for Inverter by
Product Segment (Adjusted to Wac), 2013
Module-Level Power Electronics: First-Order
Pros and Cons
Upfront Costs and Savings for Microinverter
Utilization in Residential Systems
Potential Lifetime Costs and Savings for
Microinverters
Residential Microinverter Installation System
and Operational Costs and Savings, Aggressive
Scenario for U.S. System in 2014
DC Optimizer Commercial Installation Upfront
System Costs and Savings
DC Optimizer Commercial Installation Lifetime
Costs and Savings
Large Commercial DC Optimization Installation
System and Operational Costs and Savings,
Aggressive Scenario for U.S. System in 2014

4. Barriers to Adoption
Penetration of Inverter Technology in Third-Party-
Owned Systems in California, 2009-2012
Components of Bankability for Module-Level
Power Electronics

5. Module Integration: Status and Leaders
Criteria for Selecting Module-Embedded
Electronics Partner
Maxim/Volterra Optimizer Circuit Board
PhonoSolar AC Module With Attached
Enphase Microinverter
List of Module/Module-Level Power
Electronics Partnerships

6. The MLPE Competitive Landscape:
Suppliers, Survivors and Key Questions
for the Industry
Global Market Share of Top MLPE Suppliers by
Capacity Shipped (MWac), 2013
Global Market Share of Top MLPE Suppliers by
Units Shipped, 2013
Global Market Share of Top Microinverter
Suppliers by Shipments (MWac), 2013
Global Market Share of Top DC Optimizer
Suppliers by Shipments (MWdc), 2013
Module-Level Power Electronics Taxonomy
Relative Competitiveness of Module-Level Power
Electronics Players
MLPE Growth-Share Matrix
Commercially Available, Fully-Integrated AC
module or smart module
Microinverter Pricing premium versus Residential
and Small Commercial Inverters, 2009 - 2013
DC optimizer with Residential Inverter
Pricing premium versus Residential and Small
Commercial Inverters, 2009 - 2013
Communications for MLPE Providers: Required
or Optional
Screenshot of Enphase’s ArrayGun Mobile App
Major Global Regulations Addressing High
Penetration Distributed PV

7. Regional and Global Forecasts
Global PV Demand by Market Addressability for
MLPE Technologies, 2012-2017
Global MLPE Shipments (MW) by Technology,
2012-2017
Global MLPE Market Value by Technology,
2012-2017
Global MLPE Shipments (MW) by Region,
2012-2017
Global Microinverter Shipments (MWac) by
System Size Segmentation, 2012-2017
Global Microinverter Shipments (MWac) by
Region, 2012-2017
Global DC Optimizer Shipments (MWdc) by
System Size Segmentation, 2012-2017
Global DC Optimizer Shipments (MWdc) by
Region, 2012-2017
North America MLPE Shipments and Penetration
by Technology, 2012-2017
North America MLPE Shipments (MW) by Market
Segment, 2012-2017
North America Microinverter Shipments (MWac) by
System Size Segmentation, 2012-2017
North America DC Optimizer Shipments (MWdc) by
System Size Segmentation, 2012-2017
Asia-Pacific Installed Capacity by Country, 2012-2017
Asia-Pacific MLPE Shipments (MW) by System
Size Segmentation, 2012-2017
Asia-Pacific Microinverter Shipments (MWac) by
System Size Segmentation, 2012-2017
Asia-Pacific DC Optimizer Shipments (MWdc) by
System Size Segmentation, 2012-2017
Europe MLPE Shipments (MW) by System Size
Segmentation, 2012-2017
Europe vs. U.S. PV Inverter Pricing Comparison
by Product and Vendor Type, Mid-Year 2013
Europe Microinverter Shipments (MWac) by
System Size Segmentation, 2012-2017
Europe DC Optimizer Shipments (MWdc) by
System Size Segmentation, 2012-2017
Latin America and Rest of World MLPE Shipments
(MW) by System Size Segmentation, 2012-2017
Latin America and Rest of World MLPE Shipments
(MW) by Technology, 2012-2017


Date of Publication:
Feb 13, 2014
File Format:
PDF via E-mail
Number of Pages:
130 Pages
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