Even though the solar market has become more financially viable, widespread adoption will require further cost reductions. This means, according to a blog post on the Nasdaq website, that solar companies have much to do in terms of innovation. Based on the progress happening in the space right now, it seems that not only is the solar industry equal to the task, the next generation of solar technology is already under way.
Panel-level electronics is likely the next great innovation for solar technology, according to the post. Technology is being increasingly integrated into the solar panel itself.
Enphase Energy installs microinverters directly onto the solar panels, which enables the electricity coming from the solar panel to be AC, which homes run on, instead of DC.
Vivint Solar uses Enphase microinverters, and SunPower recently acquired microinverter manufacturer Solar Bridge.
SolarCity is building a manufacturing plant with technology acquired from Silevo. Microinverter technology might be on SolarCity’s acquisition radar, the post suggests.
Microinverters will allow manufacturers to reduce the number of components that are shipped to an installation site, help simplify the installation process, reduce labor costs and improve the operational function of the entire system.
Enphase Energy introduced a system that enables large-scale implementation of grid-ready solar power last month. The system includes a smart-grid ready microinverter.
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