TMEIC to Release 'Modular' PV Inverter in Japan

2019/07/11 11:43
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
An actual machine was exhibited at a trade show that is related to solar power generation technologies and taking place in Yokohama City. The special model (not for sale) painted with an image of the latest Spider-Man movie. (source: Nikkei BP)
The "Solar Ware U" (single unit) (source: TMEIC)
The modular PV inverter consisting of four units (source: TMEIC)

Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) announced July 10, 2019, that it will release a modular PV inverter in the Japanese market.

The PV inverter has already been launched in overseas markets. By connecting multiple modules with rated outputs of 675kW and 750kW, it realizes an optimal output in accordance with site conditions. The name of the product is "Solar Ware U."

Specifically, it can connect up to six modules. When six 750kW modules are combined, its output becomes 4.5MW (maximum output). The maximum output of the company's previous product is 3.2MW. So, the maximum output of the new product is 1.3MW higher.

The modular PV inverter was launched in overseas market in May 2019. TMEIC has already received orders for about 2GW of the product in, for example, the North American and Indian markets, making a good start, according to the company.

For the past several years, the market for PV inverters designed for large-scale solar power plants has been equally divided by two types: (1) "central type (concentrated type)," which consists of conventional large-size models, and (2) "string type (dispersed type)," which sets up many compact models in a dispersed way. TMEIC defines the modular PV inverter, which was commercialized this time, as the "third PV inverter" that has the advantages of the two types.

For the new product, TMEIC realized a large capacity, which is the characteristic of the central type, and enhanced design flexibility and extensibility by modularizing it. Even if the modular PV inverter fails, properly-functioning modules continue to generate electricity, making it possible to minimize loss in power sales.

Also, for commercializing the modular PV inverter, TMEIC thoroughly reduced thickness and weight. Its footprint is 1.2m2 per module, which is 35% smaller than that of the previous model (per unit output). The weight of the new product is less than 1t and 40% lighter than that of the previous model. As a result, it can be carried on a small 2t truck.

TMEIC exhibited its products including the Solar Ware U (actual machine) at PV2019 Photovoltaic Solar Exhibition & Forum, a trade show that runs from July 10 to 12, 2019, at Pacifico Yokohama (Yokohama City).

TMEIC is currently practicing a campaign in collaboration with "Spider-Man: Far From Home" (movie) to enhance its brand image. And the new model exhibited at the show is a special model (not for sale) painted with an image of the latest Spider-Man movie.