Solar Support Partners with SEMIKRON to Tackle Inverter Stack Shortage

February 10, 2020 by Paul Shepard

Engineering services company Solar Support announced its strategic agreement with SEMIKRON, a leading manufacturer of power semiconductor components. As a qualified representative of SEMIKRON in the U.S., Solar Support meets the industry's demand for insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) stack components, a critical semiconductor device used in aging PV inverters.

Solar Support also has launched a new component replacement program for PV asset owners, operators and O&M providers to service failing inverters. The integrated solution combines diagnostics, repair, training, and refurbishment services to replace damaged inverters with brand-new components at a substantial discount. Traditional suppliers sell used and reconditioned parts with a 60-day warranty, while Solar Support offers brand new sets at a lower cost with a one-year warranty.

"This strategic relationship with SEMIKRON lets us address a critical industry shortage," stated Auston Taber, Solar Support CEO. "Not only do we boost the overall supply of stacks, but we also provide a value-added solution and on-site training that arms customers for success. We're delivering replacement parts quickly and cost-effectively to minimize system down-time and security with our one-year warranty for new components."

Solar Support is one of the few U.S.-based suppliers for SEMIKRON's SEMIKUBE 1200V and 1700V industrial standard modules. The SEMIKUBE stacks are available in three sizes up to 900kW, all with integrated sensors for feedback signals of DC voltage, temperature, and output currents. The SEMIKUBE Power Stacks fulfill international standards and are UL certified.

Solar Support's component replacement program provides a much needed answer to asset owners, operators and O&M providers contending with a population of failing inverters in a maturing U.S. market. Stacks have an expected six-year life, which means each inverter will need at least two stack replacements during its 25-year lifetime. With IGBT average failure rates ranging from 2% under standard conditions to as much as 4% in extreme environments, managing risks with a reliable component supply represents a competitive advantage for PV asset owners and operators.

"Solar Support offers spare part kits, IE analyses of both unique failures and systemic flaws, as well as custom tailored O&M preventative strategies for staying ahead of common failures," said Taber. "This is how we serve as a strategic partner helping our customers plan ahead for their fleet, so that they are not losing valuable production time waiting during the peak solar months."