Schneider Electric outlines turnkey solar products strategy

Schneider Electric unveiled its latest single-phase grid tie inverters (Conext; 2.8kW-5kW) for residential applications at the Photovoltaics World Conference & Expo. Oscar Araujo, Schneider Electric, describes the product and how it fits into the company’s overall turnkey solutions strategy, for residential and utility-scale solar.

Debra Vogler, senior technical editor

March 17, 2011 — Schneider Electric unveiled its latest single-phase grid-tie inverters (Conext; 2.8kW-5kW) for residential applications at the Renewable Energy World/Photovoltaics World Conference & Expo (3/8-3/10/11, Tampa, FL). In a podcast interview, Oscar Araujo, PV solutions manager, Renewable Energies Business, Schneider Electric, briefly describes the product and how it fits into the company’s overall turnkey solutions strategy, for residential and utility-scale solar.

Listen to Araujo’s interview:  Download (iPod/iPhone users) or Play Now

The Conext inverter is a high-frequency design in a compact enclosure that may be installed as a single inverter, for a single photovoltaic (PV) array, or in a multiple-inverter configuration for large PV systems.

“The [utility] market is moving from a product-based market to a solutions-based market…the customers are asking for support in products, field installation, etc…one-stop shopping,” said Araujo. The turn-key approach is gaining traction because thought the projects are larger in scale, end users’ resources get stretched, he said.

In the residential market, Araujo, said that feed-in-tariffs (FiTs) are key. In most cases, the only reason a homeowner will install a system is if it becomes financially attractive, he observed. “When homeowners can make a return on their investment in solar PV — that will drive the marketplace,” said Araujo.

More from Renewable Energy World/Photovoltaics World Conference & Expo:
Large-scale utility solar: Solar Frontier discusses the sector and unique requirements
Solar for developing nations: Microgrids and provability
Solar cell efficiency from surface characterization: Bruker chat
Electric keynote address by Kurt Yeager on transforming the grid for the 21st century

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