Date: 08/11/2016

A new market fast emerges for solar microinverters in the form of HVAC

Market researcher IHS finds that the market for microinverter and power optimizers is shifting from modules to integrated systems where it forecasts the revenue for smart and AC modules will go high from $100 million in 2015 to almost $500 million by 2020.

"Suppliers are shifting their business model from selling stand-alone products to selling an off-the-shelf integrated model," said Cormac Gilligan, research manager at IHS Technology. This will help them capture new emerging markets, improve sales channel efficiencies and lower customer costs.

"Purchasing one unit is more attractive for customers than purchasing multiple parts and installing them one by one, and the market is adapting to that demand," Gilligan said.

The reason for this move is, air conditioners and some other equipments which operate during day time can rely on solar Photovoltaic (PV) to reduce the cost of energy and also to work with both the grid power and solar power. If you have the solar powered AC, that will be a selling advantage for air conditioners targeting the regions where weather is very hot during day time but is blessed with lot of sun-shine.

IHS says Micro inverters will be increasingly installed in the factories in the form of AC in smart modules.

"Growth will be driven by cost efficiencies gained from manufacturing through to the installation, and by sales channels shifting to module suppliers, which will develop more high-volume buyers" Gilligan said. "While this trend is predicted to be more certain for microinverter suppliers because of the strong cost benefit and the current need to lower prices, the shift in the power optimizer market will be dampened by leading Chinese suppliers looking to enter the market with low-cost non-integrated solutions in 2017."

"Policies and standards will be a significant driver of MLPE adoption and associated module integrated solutions over the next five years, particularly in the United States," said Camron Barati, solar analyst at IHS Technology. "The 2017 update to the United States National Electric Code will standardize safety requirement applications in state markets. This will ultimately incentivize the use of microinverters and power optimizers for rooftop applications. Technology giants such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Huawei, AT&T and Comcast also provide solutions for the smart home market and, therefore, opportunities for MLPE suppliers to engage with wider audiences."