TMEIC: Pioneer of Large-capacity PV Inverter (1)
Advanced power electronics technology improves power generation capacity
Fig. 4: The "3-level converter circuit" has four power semiconductors (IGBTs). Switching loss is substantially smaller compared with conventional circuits, leading to improvement in efficiency. (source: TMEIC)
PV inverters are assembled at the rate of 400 units per month in 46B building at the Toshiba Fuchu Complex in Fuchu City, Tokyo (Fig. 1). The building is the PV inverter production base of Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC). TMEIC constructed the building, leasing the site from Toshiba Corp. TMEIC estimates the capacity-based actual delivery for fiscal 2014 at 1.6GW. The company has the top share in the domestic (Japanese) market of PV inverters intended for medium and large-scale PV power generation systems.
The company started development and commercialization of large-scale PV inverters before the implementation of the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme in Japan in July 2012, monitoring the trend of mega-solar (large-scale PV) power plant construction in foreign countries. The company released 250kW units in 2009 and 500kW units in 2010.
The "Solar Ware" series, which are PV inverters intended for PV power generation systems, currently have a lineup of 100kW, 175kW, 630kW, 665kW and 750kW models, in addition to the two models mentioned above. A 1,667kW model intended for the US market was developed and released in 2013. The company is also superior to its competitors in terms of its lineup.
Takes advantage of UPS technologies, production bases
The delivery volume, which was 42MW in 2011, has been increasing rapidly since the implementation of FIT in July 2012. The volume was probably much higher than 1GW in fiscal 2013, far exceeding 472MW in fiscal 2012. In line with the trend, the production volume at the Fuchu Complex has been doubling from 100 units per month to 200 and 400 units per month.
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