One of the latest evolutions in the inverter industry is three-phase string inverters, for the small-to-medium commercial PV market. Electrical distribution systems in commercial buildings often have three-phase electricity (residential systems are single-phase). Until recently, small commercial PV systems used multiple single-phase inverters for three-phase service. Now, several manufacturers are offering string inverters with true three-phase output, which offers several benefits:
- Not having to balance multiple single-phase inverters across a three-phase service.
- Lower price per watt—one 15 kW three-phase inverter is about 30% less expensive than three 5 kW single-phase units.
- No AC inverter subpanel is required to combine the outputs of the single-phase inverters.
- Less required wall space and reduced installation time.
Chint Power Systems, Fronius, KACO New Energy, Power-One, SMA America, SolarEdge Technologies, and Solectria Renewables are residential inverter manufacturers that offer three-phase inverters. Here are some additional companies offering wall-mountable, three-phase string inverters:
AE Solar Energy (solarenergy.advanced-energy.com) was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado. AE Solar Energy provides power conversion products used in thin-film module manufacturing and solar energy markets. The company acquired two other inverter companies: PV Powered and REFUsol.
Ideal Power (idealpower.com) has its headquarters in Austin, Texas, and was founded in 2007. Ideal Power manufactures its products in the United States, and offers inverters and converters for energy storage and EV charging.
SolarMax (solarmax.com), headquartered in Biel, Switzerland, is a pure-play PV inverter manufacturer founded in 1991. In May 2013, SolarMax announced its entry into the U.S. market and opened its Atlanta, Georgia, office.
Sungrow (sungrow.ca), headquartered in Hefei, China, builds power supply equipment for the PV and wind industry. Founded in 1997, the company’s North American subsidiary, Sungrow Canada, is in Vaughan, Ontario. The U.S. sales office is in San Jose, California.
|AE Solar Energy||SolarMax||SMA||Sungrow|