Solar Power » Industry

Value Chain Activity: Manufacturing Electrical Components: Solar Inverters, Wires and Transformers

The manufacturing of inverters, wires and transformers is largely a commodities business. Efficiencies of these devices are already realtively high, offering little room for technical differentiation. There are exceptions - for instance, Stecca produces a solution to the problem of partial shading when solar modules become as inefficient as under full shading.

The global leaders are SMA Solar Technologies and Fronius. Apart from that there are very few pure-play inverter- companies. instead, there are many module manufacturers that vertically integrate into electrical components - not just selling them, but actually producing them. in addition, there are big electrical or electronics companies that diversify into the solar market including well-known names like Siemens, Danfoss and GE Energy.


This is a small selection of companies active in this sector, but provides an insight into the diversity and provenance of the players involved.

Name Country Comments
Top Companies
Fronius Austria Inverters, monitoring
SMA Solar Technologies Germany World leader in inverter technology
Specialising in electrical components
Danfoss Denmark For solar market: Inverters and monitoring devices. Otherwise, Danfoss manufactures many other electrical products.
Delta Energy Systems Germany Also in telecoms business
Diehl AKO Stiftung & Co KG Germany Part of the Diehl Controls company, for pv industry Diehl produces the "Platinum" inverters and monitoring devices.
Kaco new energy Germany Kaco produces inverters for on- and off-grid applications as well as for other industries.
Power-One USA Manufactures the "Aurora" inverters
Prysmian Germany Prysmian specialises in cables
SolarMax Switzerland inverters and el equipment
Steca Elektronik GmbH Germany Inverters, Connectors, Controllers
Sungrow China Sungrow specialises in DC inverters for solar and wind applications.
Voltwerk Germany Inverters, monitoring, tracking - wholly owned by Conergy (see below).
Vertically integrated companies
Conergy Germany Conergy has abandoned bioenergy and solar thermal to just focus on photovoltaics in attempt to turn around operations. Fully integrated from modules and inverters to projects.
ES System South Korea CPV modules with cells from Emcore (high concentration). Also crystalline pv and inverters.
GE Energy USA In renewables: more active in wind than solar.
Isofoton S.A. Spain Produces mono-crystalline cells (to 17.2%) and modules to 13.8%. Now developing a high-concentration pv module (1000x). Also manufactures solar thermal collectors and inverters.
Kyocera Japan Pioneer in solar technology. Its new range of modules use special plasma coating to reduce reflection off the glass. Multicrystalline cell efficiency 16.5%
Mitsubishi Electric Japan Apart from solar modules, Mitsubishi Electric also produces all electrical components necessary.
Motech Industries Taiwan One of the largest PV cell manufacturers. Monocrystalline efficiency to 18.24%, multicrystalline to 16.5%
Photowatt France Photowatt produces three types of inverters for their modules.
Siemens Netherlands Inverters, bipv and turnkey projects
Siliken Spain With Siliken Chemicals, Electronics and Modules produce poly-Si, modules, inverters. Module production 92MW
SolarWorld AG Germany Production capacity 2008: 260MW, Plan for 2010: 700MW. Module efficiency 16% (multi) and 17% (mono). Won the "Highest yield module" Photon award 2008
Sunways AG Germany Sunways produces a number of inverters to match their modules.

Downloads: Download comprehensive list of ingot & wafer producers including financial ratios, revenues and other information.


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