SolarBridge Technologies has begun producing its microinverters in volumes via contract electronics manufacturer Celestica. The company will produce SolarBridge microinverters at its new facility in Shenzhen, China.
May 12, 2011 — SolarBridge Technologies has begun producing its microinverters in volumes via contract electronics manufacturer Celestica. The company will produce SolarBridge microinverters at its new facility in Shenzhen, China.
The company had previously delayed the product launch to improve the technology. Microinverters have suffered reliability concerns on the market, and cost more than traditional inverters that serve multiple photovoltaic panels.
SolarBridge initially planned to launch its first product at the end of 2009. But the company decided to “leapfrog to our next-generation product,” SolarBridge CEO, Ron Van Dell, told Renewable Energy World network contributor Ucilia Wang, in a recent interview. SolarBridge aimed to develop a microinverter that can match the life expectancy of a solar panel. It’s an important goal to reach in order to convince solar panel makers that they should integrate microinverters into their solar panels and market them as AC panels.
“Solar module companies will not compromise their warranty period or take a risk with integrating electronics if they aren’t comfortable that you are going to match their warranties,” Van Dell said. SolarBridge is offering a 25-year warranty, which is lengthier than the 20 years offered by Enecsys and 15 years by Enphase.
AC solar panels are designed to cut installation time and cost. They are likely to find faster acceptance in residential and light commercial markets.
Celestica is increasing its production of SolarBridge microinverters and expects to devote over 70MW of annual factory capacity to their production by the end of 2011, Van Dell said.
Van Dell was mum about which solar panel makers will likely roll out the first batch of AC panels outfitted with SolarBridge’s technology, but said those products should show up in the market this summer. He also pointed out that the company showed off the AC panel concept with SunPower and Kyocera at Solar Power International in Los Angeles last October.
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