We think string inverter might change from 500K-1MW to 1.5-2MW, 1000V to higher voltage 1500V, as to apply to bigger station plant. Higher power density inverters, especially microinverters, will become mainstream inverters in rooftop applications, due to its competitive features. 100 percent safe with up to 60V DC input voltage (NRS) and IP67 waterproof, low start-up voltage (22V only) and extremely light weight of Hoymiles microinverter, says Dr. Yang Bo, General Manager, Hoymiles Converter Technology Co., Ltd, China-based one of the leading microinverter company specialist in MLPE (Module Level Power Electronics) solutions for global solar investors & end users. In conversation with Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Saur Energy International, Yang shared his views on various topics including his company’s focus markets, technology shift, scope for rooftop solar market etc. Here’re the excerpts from that exclusive interview published in the Saur Energy International Magazine’s November 2019 edition:
Q. What are Hoymiles focus markets? How do you see the growth of rooftop market in the coming years?
Hoymiles microinverters are not only designed for residential rooftop, but also for large scale roof and ground based commercial solar projects. Even its latest version MI-600 has already been successfully installed on a 3.6MW industrial project. However, we are more focused on the rooftops, especially residential. And we expect 20,000 units will be installed till 2020 by targeting 5,000-10,000 rooftops. We believe the rooftop market will grow rapidly in the coming years based on the government policies and various market reports that we have read.
Q. What are the big technology shifts we are likely to see in this market? Over 2 years and beyond?
We think microinverters and optimizers’ market share will be higher, thanks to their core advantages which are safer, smaller and more powerful. We think new semiconductor materials like Sic and Gallium nitride will be more in demand in near future in the production of inverters, as they can improve the efficiency, especially for microinverters. Also they have a higher demand for efficiency. Another market trend we see is for storage and hybrid inverters.
Q. As storage and hybrid projects take off, how it will impact the decision on the right inverters to go with for developers?
I think it won’t impact on the type of inverters to be picked, but more on selecting the right suppliers/manufacturers. They might prefer the suppliers/manufacturers that can also provide hybrid inverters and storage as well. We are happy to share that, Hoymiles will be releasing its hybrid inverter series at the beginning of 2020.
Q. India has underperformed massively vis a vis targets on rooftop solar, but growth last year was strong. Do you see a big opportunity here?
Yes definitely! We believe the rooftop market will grow rapidly in the coming years, especially residential applications.
Q. What is your firm’s target in terms of value, installation, or market share for utility scale inverters?
We are targeting 20,000 units of 4 in 1 microinverters for residential rooftops in India market, and our global target is 300,000 throughout 2020. Of our goal 150,000 for 2019 globally, we has already sold some 130,000 microinverters at the latest this year.
Q. Do you see end customer involvement as a critical aspect of inverter sales?
We do think end customers is the most critical aspect, we listen to them, adjust & design our products to provide them the most benefit. But as an international company, our strategy is to work closely with local distributors or installers, as what we are doing in other markets like South America, Europe, North America, etc., and we are very confident about their knowledge of the local market. We believe localization is the key to the company’s on-going success.
Q. What are the key changes you see happening in your product portfolio?
We think string inverter might change from 500K-1MW to 1.5-2MW, 1000V to higher voltage 1500V, as to apply to bigger station plant. Higher power density inverters, especially microinverters, will become mainstream inverters in rooftop applications, due to its competitive features. 100 percent safe with up to 60V DC input voltage (NRS) and IP67 waterproof, low start-up voltage (22V only) and extremely light weight of Hoymiles microinverter.