All the progress and technological enhancement in the solar energy field seems to have yielded pleasant results. For those strong supporters of solar power who have been advertising it as the best form of alternative energy, there have recently been few occasions to celebrate. One of the top manufacturers of solar inverters, Power-one has been acquired by a Swiss engineering giant, the ABB Group.
The Italian inverters of Power-one are the second bestselling inverters globally, following closely behind the SMA inverters. With this new acquisition, it might just beat SMA to the finish line. SMA has been at the top of the ladder for a while and has not been proactive there. They have not been showing interests in new markets like micro-inverters.
Power-One on the other hand has adapted to the evolving market rather well and is all set to market its products full throttle. Its new deep pockets will come in handy for this. How deep are the pockets exactly you wonder? A whopping Billion dollars deep! Yes, the acquisition has costed ABB $1 billion. This investment as the ABB Group seems to think too, is bound to be a profitable venture.
A study on PV reliability in the United States (conducted by A.Kaushika and A.Golnasb) concluded that 69% system failures occurred due to inverter failure and 48% were due to control software crashes. In order to overtake the SMA inverters, Aurora inverters (produced by Power-One) would have to beat them to the monitoring software. Here is where the ABB coalition will prove to be a blessing.
ABB for those not very conversant with the solar power business, have one of the most reliable monitoring software products called the 800XA. The Swiss group is also an employer of more than 1, 45,000 minds, including some of the smartest software techies. This will play a crucial role in determining the quality of the micro-inverters.
Technology available at ABB is used even by nuclear energy plants and that is a good sign. They have the ability to make foolproof software which will be required if Aurora is to become the best. They have the resources to make automated monitoring a reality. In case of discrepancies in your solar panels, the software would be able to automatically detect and fix the problems. It would be a troubleshoot feature for solar panels.
With their current resources (including Power-One) the ABB Group also has a vision to create a code that can collaborate hundreds of thousands of PV systems in a cloud (yes just like your iPhones) to create virtual power stations that sell their combined power directly to the grid.
With all this talk of ABB’s techno-power, you’re probably thinking that Power-one is really lucky. The truth is that there is an equal quid-pro-quo. If ABB wishes to make a perfect debut reputation for itself in the solar market especially in the field of micro-inverters, it is but natural that it will chose the player with most potential; which in this case happens to be Power-one of the Aurora fame.
Future of solar energy:
This deal has put the solar industry on the billion dollar map and it will grow even more in the future.