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Whitepaper: Higher Voltage Standards Help Reduce LCOE for PV Systems

25 February 2021 Miguel De Jesus

Increasing the voltage standards for PV systems has been a critical driver of reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for PV systems for customers. As a result, the PV industry has rapidly adopted higher system voltages, from 600 V initially, then to 1000 V, and currently to 1500 V over the past 10 years. This whitepaper outlines the need for higher PV system voltages, the evolving market for PV hardware technology especially solar inverters, the regulatory and technology barriers to achieve higher system voltages, and the financial benefits that can be achieved using higher voltages.

Key takeaways:

  • Moving to higher voltage standards have allowed PV system designers to reduce LCOE for customers by simplifying system design and enabling PV technology manufacturers to launch higher density, lower cost PV equipment.
  • The market for 1500 V PV inverters has rapidly grown, tripling from 2018 to 2020. IHS Markit forecasts the global market for 1500 V PV inverters to reach 83 GW in 2021 as 1500 V becomes the standard for utility-scale installations globally.
  • Key stakeholders across the solar industry are carefully watching for new developments in higher voltage standards. Higher voltages, such as 2000 V or 3000 V may allow for even greater cost savings, however technology companies such as PV inverters and module suppliers must innovate with next-generation technologies.

Download the full whitepaper to understand how voltage standards can reduce solar PV system costs, and the role this could play in the energy transition:

Download Whitepaper

Posted 25 February 2021 by Miguel De Jesus, Solar market analyst


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