Mitsubishi Electric To Enter North American PV Inverter Market For Large-Scale Solar Power Generation Systems

October 01, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced it will introduce two photovoltaic (PV) inverters to the North American market, with the 100kW model scheduled for launch in October 2010 and the 250kW model scheduled in April 2011. This will make the company the first Japanese manufacturer to enter the North American, large-scale PV inverter market. Mitsubishi Electric also plans to market these inverters in Japan.

To reduce system costs and fulfill maintenance needs for large industrial PV systems, there is a demand for improvement in PV module efficiency, as well as for higher efficiency in peripheral equipment such as PV inverters. Inverters are essential in PV systems that convert dc electricity generated from solar cells into ac electricity for power grid use. Mitsubishi Electric states that it will fulfill these demands for highly-efficient PV inverters in the U.S. market by introducing its new products through Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc., which has been involved in the U.S. PV module business since October 2004.

PV installation companies will benefit not only from the high efficiency of the Mitsubishi Electric’s PV inverters, but also by buying PV modules and inverters from the same manufacturer, which makes procurement, installation and maintenance easier. Mitsubishi Electric also plans to reinforce its PV system maintenance capabilities by assigning designated staff to the Photovoltaic Division of Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA.

The large-scale PV inverters will be developed and manufactured at Mitsubishi Electric’s Nagasaki Works in Japan. Mitsubishi Electric has already announced the development of new technologies that will help achieve a conversion efficiency rate of 97.5%, the highest rate in 100kW-480V PV inverters at a load of 75%. The company plans to employ these technologies; the gradationally-controlled inverter technology and a transformer-less specification, to launch highly efficient PV inverters that are small and light. The products can be used in outdoor environments that meet severe climatic conditions such as deserts and remote locations.