I just checked and read the new C250 inverter is rated at 350W. That's not at the promised land yet, but it's getting there. Once they start to move above 400W I think you'll start to see a major migration to Micros by the large installers. At that point there will be simply too many advantages to micro inverters that the market will force the change even if the participants/large installers are hesitant (if they don't the small installers will eat their lunch).
"Why do you say this? System costs are comparable, are they not? And SEDG efficiency is slightly higher than ENPH as well?"
Cost are relative to the system size, both sides can claim cost advantage by manipulating numbers....but over all micro inverters are far less expensive.
Why? Central inverters are expensive and last around 12 years because of the high voltage they work with. If you are going to put up 15 panels you'd buy a central inverter that would handle that load....if you went micro you'd buy 15 micro inverters. Micro wins on the lower panel number because they cost around 130 bucks while central inverters will run you between 3K and 10K. Now say you want to add 5 panels because the electric company just raised their rates another 30%. With micro you just buy 5 more....with the central inverter you may buy zero (if you over paid the first time) but if you got just enough to cover the 15 panel now you have to buy another inverter (very expensive).
So there is no real winner on absolute costs...both can claim victory. I went with Micro because the cost was similar for 30 panels if I bought just enough central inverter to handle that load. But down the line I may want to add 10 more and did not want to have buy a new very expensive new large central inverter.....1300 for micros and about 8K for the new central one.
As for efficiency, SEDG is very disingenuous by only quoting their number without the required central inverter (total around 95% vs 96% for micro).
"They are also a finished product with zero future products or improvements in the works"
Last I checked ENPH outspend SEDG on R&D by about 3.5X. ENPH has better gross margins but because they are investing large amounts for future products the profits are not there....yet.
You have to remember DC optimisers only exist because string/central inverters have so many negatives....all of which are taken away by micro....and too many to list in one post.
That is exactly the only reason SEDG exists...ENPH's first generation inverters failure rate was around 25% within just a few years. They had to offer at least a 10 year warranty (similar to central inverters) to be competitive, but the failure rate caused caused sales to be very slow (and rightfully so.....and the share price tanked from IPO of 7 to near 1 two year later) and warranty claims to be very high.
Then the world changed with the 2nd and then 3rd and today 4th generation of micro inverters. Now the warranty goes out 25 years (double central inverters that are in 12 year range) and test have shown they should last for centuries on average before failing (over 300).
Micro inverters offer so many advantages over central ones there really is no comparison. The failure rate was the main issue to stay away from them....the other reason being they only handled panels south of 300W (why Solar city and other major installers still shy away from them.....they want everything standard).
The first sign central inverters were doomed to the scrap pile of obsolescence was the 25 year warranty and those in the field reporting near zero failure rates of the newer generation of micros. The next nail is the just released C250 micro inverter that handles up to 350W panels. The final nail, if that isn't, will be the next generation that will handle even higher wattage (remember, while SEDG spends near zero on R&D ENPH with it's higher GROSS margins spends all their profits on it....resulting on the appearance SEDG is the more efficient company).
Once that barrier is broken everyone doing any research will demand micro inverters....forcing large installers to move away from central inverters.
It will happen, it's a only matter of time.
Solar City doesn't produce solar panels....yet anyway (they will in a few years in N.Y.). They are just an installer.....a VERY big one.
They use about 5 different manufacturers (according to their last 10K).
But they do not use ENPH micro inverters.
Everything is standardized with them on installation.
ENPH does not have a product that is rated about 300 watts per panel. On my house, since room was not an issue, I simple choose the best price per watt package (ended up with 30 Mit. 250 Watt panels and M215). When I called Solar City they pushed panels in the 320 watt range....meaning I could not, even if I wanted to, have those installed from a different company using micro inverters.
I think Solar City, as an installer, wants to keep it simple. The other issue is the first generation of ENPH's micro inverters was horrible with a failure rate around 25%. Many installers still remember that and shy away from micro inverters not realizing the new ones are leaps ahead and nearly indestructible (25 year warranty with simulated tests pushing that out centuries before failure).
As a side note I don't see SEDG's really competing with ENPH. They have a product that adds value to the inferior central inverter system that can be used with higher wattage systems. That gives them a unique place in the market with no competition.
But anyone using under a 300 watt per panel system, which is what the best value per watt panels are now, using micro inverters is a no brainer (efficiency, price, warranty, monitoring)....which is why ENPH is growing faster than SEDG (just not as profitable....yet....because they spend on R&D).
If ENPH had waited until this year to do their IPO, and used GS as their firm, they'd be trading for 40 dollars a share right now. They will still get there, it will just take a little more time.
Solar City's panels are above 300 Watts, which puts it out of reach of micro inverters. ENPH's M250 can handle 300 on the high side. So Solar City has no choice in the matter but to encourage/push inferior central inverters since ENPH does not make a product for them.
If ENPH put out a micro inverter rated around 400 watts per panel they'd put central inverters out of business. I far as I can tell there is simply no good reason to choose a central inverter over a micro one if you have a choice....with or without a DC optimiser.
SEDG is able to partner with large solar companies because their product adds value to a central inverters only. But they are not really competitive with micro inverters ENPH), which is why they are growing slower. They are also a finished product with zero future products or improvements in the works...which is why their R&D budget is nearly zero and their net margins higher than ENPH while their gross margin are less.
I saw those when I did my own comparison in deciding which way to go with my own system.
My only point is SEDG's website extremely misleading statement that ENPH's mico inverters are twice as expensive as SEDG's DC Optimisers.....clearly does not figure in the expensive of the required central inverter.
It feeds into the idea of why SEDG's market value is nearly 4X ENPH and the perception that it is growing faster (taking ENPH's market share).
Yet the reality is they are more expensive and they are growing slower (both did 86M revenue last quarter and ENPH's sequential guidance for next quarter is 10M higher than SEDG).
You guys read what SEDG's website states about the comparison of their product to ENPH?
"Low cost: On an average system, Microinverters will cost twice as much as a comparable solution powered by SolarEdge"
Twice as much? Where the heck do they get that from? Maybe if you don't include the price of the inverter, which is required. In the end for my system micro was at least 20% less expensive when the entire cost was figured in.
Reliability: The leading Microinverter uses twice as many parts with shorter lifetimes. SolarEdge uses fewer parts and uses solid state electronics that are more reliable on the rooftop."
Twice as many parts? The DC optimizer is another part altogether the way I see it....with the advantage being you can now monitor individual panels. But micros give you that and wipe out the need for the central inverter....which is expensive and last half as long as micro inverters.
They list more reasons, the only one legit I can see is the system cost less (per panel) as you increase the size of the overall system. But even that is seriously misleading as the overall cost vs the micro inverters will still be higher when the central inverter is added.
The only downside for the mico is you have to use less wattage with panels as they can only handle less than 300 Watts. But most systems will stay within this range making micro's a no brainer (IMO).
I spoke with the largest installer in San Diego who uses Solar City and central inverters. He was firmly against micro's on the belief they were unreliable. I explained to him that was true with the first generation but is no longer the case. Once anyone accepts micro's are reliable, and uses less than 300 watt panels, it's a no brainer to go micro....which is what I did.
Kind of interesting this tanked in after hours yesterday with no news, then it comes out this morning a fund dumped 16% of the total outstanding shares at the open.
But of course there is no insider trading going on in this market.
Well, when they start paying Hudson in cash that's the time to buy...if you believe in the tech. Until then you have zero chance against that convertible.
All the small caps on my screen are tanking today. Guess they aren't the flavor of the day for Wall Street.
I'm a buyer but have zero interest in stepping up into a death spiral deal. Since the price just tanked another 15% guess how many more shares have to be converted? My guess is Hudson shorted those shares at 3.50 and will again and again to increase the shares they get and lock in their profit.
Worse case scenario for them is they cover with the shares they convert for a large profit or the company goes BK and they just profit 100% on their short.
The other thing is....companies only really get one shot with this death spiral deal to survive. The reason is the shorting just destroys the share price so they can't raise cash through an equity deal anymore (not without selling millions of shares to raise thousands...which they will do if it comes to that...management always wants to get paid....and no one else will loan them money without a new convertible.
So UNXL either starts to make money with what they have or they go to sub pennies very quickly.
It doesn't work like that....where Hudson Bay just coverts then sells at whenever the price happens to be.
Hudson Bay has a vested interest in getting the share price as low as possible in order to get the max amount of shares. So they will continue to short the stock and then cover with the shares they convert.
The only thing stopping Hudson Bay from shorting is if they believed UNXL would be able to pay them back in cash and not shares.....but that just is not a realistic scenario at this time.
Death Spiral financing is a beautiful thing for holders of the convertible but tends to not work out so well for shareholders.
"Statistically trading options makes me more money than trading or investing in underlying shares despite the fact that I use only 15% of my entire account for options."
OK, so you're in the .01%. Somebody always wins the lottery, statistically speaking.
I would only add......
If you're so successful, and have been for years, why limit your account to 15% when that's where you make the majority of your money?
You are obviously are new to option trading or you'd know its a losing game for 99.99% of traders....so bragging about a successful option trade just makes traders chuckle.
The reason is the commission and spreads kill you.
The only way to use options is to use them as a hedge/insurance. Other than that you're just tossing money away.
"Shouldn't ENPH et al. stop selling inverters for inefficient uses forthwith or
at least explain the superior technological DC alternative to rooftop-solar customers."
Thomas Edison would have agreed with you. He pushed DC over AC a century ago.
But that battle is long over.....AC won....
AC won for a multitude of reasons....google the fight if you're curious
Bottom line....if you're shorting based upon that logic I'd stay stick with the electrician business because
investing is not your thing.
As for me.....that one year chart says it all.
You just need to look at the last 9 months or so to get a clear indication of what the price of oil does to refiners.
When the price of oil tanked over 50% during Q4 2014 refiners margins and profits tanked with it.
When the price of oil jumped 50% during Q1 2015 profits jumped with it.
In CA the top tier (which is hit if you turn your AC on for more than 10 min a day) is .38 cents and I get about .04 cents back.
Go buy MLP refiners if you want high dividend/distribution.
I like OKS right now around 8% waiting for the natural gas turnaround.
I like Midwest oil refiners as fracking gives them a huge advantage on transporting (used to have to bring the oil in from the coasts) that the markets have not figured out yet.
CVRR and NTI both pay around 15%.
RCAP is the last stock you want to own if you're looking for safety. It has huge upside potential but also the potential to go to zero. They just acquired a 1.2B company for massive debt and convertibles (the convertibles have been sinking the price lately as the short interest is at record highs). If it works out the share price will skyrocket. If it hiccups they'll break their debt covenants with no way to repay such a massive amount (over 800M).
Right now the markets are betting they hiccup.
33 is a nice price target considering if you buy the stock by Wed you'll probably get over 2 dollars in distributions over the next three months (1.06 plus the next quarter which at the moment is looking just as good or better).
Meaning you'll be able to own a conservative stock with over a 10% payout with a price target 30% higher.
That's a pretty safe play as the markets digest the interest rate increases coming up over the next year.