This product should be a huge success in the residential market, because it reduces BOS costs while increasing overall system efficiency . The only other manufacturer that I'm aware of that has an integral micro-inverter is SunPower, but I believe that's who CSIQ is referring to in their press release when they talk about the significant improvement from the "first generation products" of "existing solutions".
Some others, like SOL, have a micro inverter option, buts it's mounted externally to the module and must be wired into it (more labor and more points of failure). CSIQ's new AC module is obviously far superior, and it will make a nice compliment to their Commercial AC module.
TORONTO and GUELPH, Ontario, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) (the "Company", or "Canadian Solar"), one of the world's largest solar power companies, today announced the launch of its next generation ResidentialAC system.
Until now, PV system installers had to make use of first generation micro inverter technology. Canadian Solar's ResidentialAC system combines the Company's highly efficient 250W PV module with a state of the art next generation Micro Inverter to provide solar system installers, investors and homeowners with a breakthrough solution that delivers high quality and cost-effective performance. Canadian Solar's ResidentialAC system was designed from the ground up and is anticipated to address ALL of the critical limitations of current, first generation AC micro inverters in the market.
Canadian Solar's ResidentialAC system breakthroughs include:
a) 25-year long Micro-Inverter reliability to match Canadian Solar's module warranty by eliminating the key life limiting components in the current first generation of AC micro inverters
b) Power generation in high temperature environments above 65oC
c) Compatibility and ability to work with higher power class modules up to 300Wp, up from current 215Wp limitation
d) Reliable and consistent data communication
The end result is a new generation ResidentialAC system that meets the needs and challenges of today's residential PV systems and confidently meets the standard 25-year system performance warranty requirement. Installers, homeowners and investors will benefit from fewer repairs, safety advantages of not working on high voltage DC electricity, and faster installations with lower labor and material costs. Homeowners and investors will also benefit from faster ROI due to the ability to use higher power class modules in addition to more flexible roof layouts that can accommodate portrait and landscape module orientations that optimize roof space usage.
"We are excited to launch a solution that provides our customers with the smartest residential AC module solution in the market and reinforces our leadership as a cutting-edge innovator in the solar industry. This new architecture represents a breakthrough from existing AC solutions and a significant improvement from all first generation products, offering our customers measurable value." commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar.
Canadian Solar's ResidentialAC system also includes monitoring software, allowing customers module-level tracking of solar panel performance to optimize the system's solar energy production.