微逆企业的发展历程可以用八个字概括： “因高效生，以安全赢”。 用了十几年，微逆成本与技术终于双双步入成熟期的方案，而为了易于表述，本文将“组串+优化器”和“组串+关断器”的方案，通归为微逆的技术流派：都是通过组件级的控制（简称：MLPE技术）来实现更高效或更安全的目的。
SolarEdge采用DC-DC Optimizer（直直变换优化部件）技术，这种解决方案与微逆变器有相似之处，其原理是将第一级的DC/DC Boost部分从逆变器中拿出来，单独做在电池板后面的POWERBOX里，每个Booster均带有MPPT功能，从而可以实现每块电池板的最大功率点跟踪；这些Booster输出的直流电再汇总起来，集中输入到逆变器里面。这是种介于集中式逆变器和微逆变器之间的一种解决方案。在前级分布式上像微型逆变器，而在后级逆变上又像集中式逆变器。SolarEdge的优化器采用专有的ASIC（专有集成电路）和专利PLC（电力载波通信技术），使得产品的可靠性、技术壁垒得到了保证，同时造价也得到了有效的控制。相比Enphase只以技术取胜，SolarEdge则更加灵活，主要制造商为广州捷普电子，降低劳动力成本同时，广东的电子产业配套能力也为其降低物料成本和研发测试提供良好环境。
与国外企业相比，中国微逆厂商在售价方面有较大的优势，尤其随着多体微逆功率的不断升级，多体微型逆变器已经成为微型逆变器市场的主流产品之一,价格优势进一步扩大。根据Wood mackenzie数据，2020年昱能在微逆市场出货量位列全球第二，国内第一。目前，昱能科技推出的第四代高功率大电流产品，可以匹配功率达670W的光伏组件，单瓦成本大幅下降，已与组串逆变器价差不大， 是多体微型逆变器领域的又一次重要技术引领与突破。
SolarEdge：推出使用 “IndOP” 技术的新一代优化器
Tigo：推出Tigo TS4 platform
禾迈 : 推出单相多体微逆
2017年以前，国产微逆企业以成本取胜，但技术与产品性能与国外企业略有差距，但到2017年以后，中国微逆厂商着手解决智能微型逆变器应具备的支撑智能电网的要求， 具备了无功补偿、高低电压穿越等能力， 也是在这一年，中国国产微逆厂商的技术水平与国外厂商处于同一台阶，并继续处于技术发展的快车道。
微逆价格曲线（来源Wood Mackenzie ）
近年来，微逆价格总体呈现下降趋势， 但由于2020年底以来，全球芯片短缺，逆变器价格在2021年有约10%的小幅攀升。于此同时，随着光伏组件功率大幅增加，多体微逆功率的进一步升级，微逆单瓦成本也被摊薄，未来微逆价格趋于稳定。 索比咨询预计当国内市场分布式微逆市场启动后，微逆价格有望在市场带动下，进一步所有下降。
The birth of photovoltaic micro inverter (referred to as "micro inverse") began in 2006. In an era when photovoltaic electricity price exceeds 4 yuan /W, any technology that can improve the efficiency of power stations and recover the lost power generation is worth trying. Subsequently, the PV benchmark electricity price decreases year by year, and the micro-inverse enterprise changes to survive and find a balance between performance and cost.
The development process of micro inverse enterprise can be summarized in eight words: "because of high efficiency, to win with safety". With more than ten years, the inverse finally both cost and technology maturity, and in order to easy to express, this paper will "set of string + optimizer" and "string" + off set of solutions, as the inverse of technical schools: by component level of control (hereinafter referred to as: MLPE technology) to achieve the purpose of more efficient, or safer.
As the door with the gradual development and perfection of the market, the inverse in the security advantages of more and more attention, the micro inverter system USES the parallel circuit design, will give priority to each component of dc inverter for ac power grid, there is only about 60 v dc voltage, with the advantages of natural without dc high voltage, It completely solves the risk of fire caused by HVDC arc pulling, and also solves the problem that when the house is on fire, the HVDC high voltage of photovoltaic power station hinders rescue. The consumer market in the United States has "tailored" legislation for micro inverse. In the future, it is expected that China and other markets will have further requirements for power station operating voltage, which will stimulate the further rise of micro inverse market.
Therefore, for the dual consideration of safety and economy, the market began to appear series + shut-off products. The market for micro inverse and similar technologies is booming, and with the further tightening of safety standards in the PV market in various countries, the development of lower cost micro inverse and higher precision clusters is imperative.
Technical solution security and economic comparison
Micro inverse and component power optimizer major player
Enter the domain of micro inverse and component level optimizer time and business cycles
Except for Huawei and SMA, other micro inverse enterprise product lines only focus on micro inverse and component-level optimization solutions, and rarely cross over. This is because the micro inverter contains power electronics, microelectronics and solid state electronics, embedded software and database platform, carrier communication, reliability design and production process, five technologies integrated together, among which the core microelectronics technology and cluster or centralized power electronics technology has many differences. So although the global photovoltaic inverter manufacturers have exploded to hundreds, but the number of micro inverse enterprises is not much.
And the future micro - inverse technology competition, also around the micro - electronic technology further spread out.
Micro reverse the way of enterprise survival
The survival of micro-inverse enterprises can be obtained from the survival situation and enterprise characteristics:
The main reason for the exit of National Semiconductor and SolarBridge is the cost problem, which used to trouble almost all micro inverse enterprises. The cost of micro inverse in the early stage was $1 /W, and National Semiconductor did not locate the segment, but in the centralized power station, such a high cost is clearly unacceptable.
Among the surviving companies, Enphase also suffered from losses for a long time, but as the pioneer of micro-inverse technology, it has always maintained its technological leadership. In June 2018, Enphase acquired SunPower Micro Inverter for a mixture of cash and shares. After the acquisition, Enphase will become the exclusive supplier of SunPower micro inverter, with a rapid increase in revenue, and through further technological innovation and cost reduction measures, Q4 turned a loss into a profit for the first time in that year. Since 2019, with the repeated record highs in the American household market, and Huawei's exit from the American market, American inverter enterprises have benefited a lot.
Although the turnover is lower than that of Huawei and Sun Power, SolarEdge can be regarded as the inverter king in 2019-2020 only from the perspective of net profit. In the fourth quarter of 2019, the gross profit margin of photovoltaic business was 37.3%.
SolarEdge uses DC-DC Optimizer, a solution similar to microinverters in that the DC/DC Boost portion of the first stage is taken out of the inverter and placed in a POWERBOX behind the panel. Each Booster features MPPT, which enables maximum power point tracking per panel; The DC output from these boosters is then aggregated and input into the inverter. This is a kind of solution between centralized inverter and micro inverter. It is like a miniature inverter on the front distributed stage and a centralized inverter on the back inverter. SolarEdge's optimizer uses proprietary ASIC (proprietary integrated circuit) and proprietary PLC (power carrier communication technology), so that the reliability of the product, technical barriers are guaranteed, while the cost is also effectively controlled. Compared with Enphase, which only wins by technology, SolarEdge is more flexible. The main manufacturer is Guangzhou Jepp Electronics, which reduces labor costs. Meanwhile, the supporting capacity of Guangdong electronics industry also provides a good environment for reducing material costs and R&D and testing.
SolarEdge and Enphase are also veteran players of American business rules. On January 1, 2020, they completed their firm control of the American market through three steps: mandatory installation (expanding the market), upgrading safety standards (only micro-inverse or quick shutdown), and patent protection (protection to design concept level). Together, the two companies accounted for about 80% of the U.S. residential PV market in 2020.
Take a break from the commercials
Among Chinese enterprises, Yueneng Technology is one of the earliest micro inverse enterprises. Its founders, Dr. Ling Zhimin and Dr. Luo Yuhao, have photovoltaic and microelectronics background, so they choose micro inverse technology combined with them as the starting point. Chinese enterprises are more pragmatic and think about the balance between cost and performance of micro inverse earlier. In 2013, Renergy launched three-phase micro inverse and single-phase dual-body micro inverter, both of which are the first in the world and have been certified in European and American markets. A multi - body micro - inverse architecture is established to balance performance and system investment cost. Later, many domestic inverter enterprises are using this architecture, which can reduce the cost by more than 30%. In addition, three-phase micro inverter is an important product of micro reverse industrial and commercial photovoltaic system penetration. Compared with single-phase micro inverter, it has advantages in function and performance, and is more suitable for industrial and commercial photovoltaic projects. From 2013 to 2020, Renergy was the only three-phase micro inverter supplier in the micro inverter market until Hemai launched its three-phase multi-body micro inverse product in 2020.
The year 2013, when the photovoltaic industry was at its lowest point, was also a very important revolution year for microreverse. Except for a few companies such as Enphase with high technology moat and Yuneng with cost advantages in architecture innovation, most microreverse companies fell into bankruptcy.
Compared with foreign enterprises, Chinese micro inverse manufacturers have greater advantages in terms of price, especially with the continuous upgrading of multi-body micro inverse power, multi-body micro inverter has become one of the mainstream products in the micro inverter market, and the price advantage is further expanded. According to Wood mackenzie, Renesola ranked second globally and first in China in terms of shipments in the micro inverse market in 2020. At present, the fourth generation of high-power and high-current products launched by Reneng Technology can match photovoltaic modules with power up to 670W, and the single-watt cost has been significantly reduced, which is not much different from that of cluster inverters. It is another important technological leadership and breakthrough in the field of multi-body micro-inverters.
Micro inverse of several breakthroughs innovation and leap
The development of micro inverse technology and the creation of enterprises
SolarEdge: Pioneer single component optimizer
Tigo: Launch the component level optimizer
Enphase: Pioneer microinverse technology and launch single phase microinverse
Enphase: Monomer single-phase microinverse enters commercial application in large quantities
Reneng: A single phase microinversion is deduced
SolarEdge: Launches a new generation optimizer using "IndOP" technology
Reneng: Created the first dual-body single-phase microinverse and the first multi-body three-phase balanced output microinverse
Hemai: Introduce single-phase monomer microinversion
SolarEdge: Launched the HD-wave inverter
Hemai: Deduced single-phase two-body microinversion
Tigo: Launches the Tigo TS4 platform
Enphase: Initiates single-phase single-phase microinverse that supports smart grid scheduling
Reneng: Single-phase dual-body & multi-body micro-inverse for smart grid scheduling
Sun Power and Huawei launched optimizer products
Hemai: Deduced single-phase many-body microinversion
Renergy: Introduce a component-level shut-off device
Hemai: Introduced single-phase multi-body micro-inverse to support smart grid dispatching
Renergy: Introduce a twin-body component-level shut-off device
Hemai: Three phase many-body microinversion is derived
Tigo: Launch of double-body shut-off products
Enphase: to launch a single-phase two-body microinversion
Reneng: Created the first single-phase and three-phase multi-body microinverse matching 20A high-current high-power components
Tigo: Launch of a turn-off/optimizer for high-power components
Before 2017, domestic micro inverse enterprises won by cost, but there was a slight gap between technology and product performance and foreign enterprises. However, after 2017, Chinese micro inverse manufacturers began to solve the requirements of intelligent micro inverter to support smart grid, with reactive power compensation, high and low voltage crossing and other capabilities. The technological level of Chinese domestic micro inverse manufacturers is at the same level as that of foreign manufacturers, and continues to be in the fast lane of technological development.
By 2021, Chinese companies had made a comeback in some technologies. Renergy released the fourth generation of products, using a new DC boost topological circuit and software control algorithm, released the world's highest power micro inverter, the output power of up to 3600W, DC input current 20A, while the current support of other micro inverse enterprises between 14-15A. With the large-scale application of 210mm large silicon chip components, the component current has reached more than 18A. If the application of large components is limited due to the low inverter current, the small inverse cost reduction dividend brought by the 600W+ era cannot be enjoyed. At the same time, yu can rapidly shut off for the component level of science and technology products also made innovation, completed from went to yi tuo 2 upgrade, improve the product price, also supports a dc input current 20, combined with the product installation is simple, can be directly CARDS in the component frame or paste on the component backplane, boost further large-scale commercial application of the product.
Slightly inverse price curve (source Wood Mackenzie)
In recent years, microinverse prices have generally shown a downward trend, but due to the global chip shortage since the end of 2020, inverter prices have climbed slightly by about 10% in 2021. At the same time, with the large increase of PV module power and the further upgrade of multi-body micro inverse power, the cost of micro inverse single watt is also diluted, and the future micro inverse price tends to be stable. Sobie Consulting predicts that when the domestic market distribution of the micro inverse market launched, micro inverse prices are expected to be driven by the market, all further decline.
Negative market share (Soapy Consulting Tabulation)
According to Sobey Consulting data shows that in 2020, the global shipment of micro inverse 2.28GW, accounting for 1.2% of the total new installed capacity of 185GW in the world. Among the major overseas markets, Europe micro inverse accounts for 1.1%, North America 5.1% accounts for more than two-thirds of the global installed capacity of micro inverse, and Latin America 1.3%. In terms of market share, Enphase is firmly in the top position, with a market share of about 83%. Renergy, the second largest, has been in the second position of micro-inverse market share since 2013, and its market share has expanded from 8% at the beginning to 13% in 2020. The two companies together occupy 96% of the market share (excluding the optimizer market).
The North American market is the most likely to give rise to monopoly enterprises. It is believed that with the global development of micro inverse, the market will be diversified. Especially once the Chinese distributed market is launched, it will bring leapfrog growth opportunities for Chinese PV micro inverse enterprises.