The inverter manufacturer KSTAR currently produces 10 GW annual capacity and plans to expand to 15 GW by the end of this year. He hopes to double the capacity to 30 GW by 2021 after new products are launched. The vice president of KSTAR, Mr. Ye, talks about solar, storage and inverters.
October 29, 2020
KSTAR is launching new products this year. Can you talk more about it?
We will be launching several new products. A 1500 V string inverter for large applications, a grid-tied 1100 V string PV inverter and a single-phase all-in-one storage solution from the BluE series. The 1500 V string inverter is intended for large utility-scale power plants. The 250 kW inverter offers an efficiency of 99% with a European output of 98.5%. It has 12 MPPT channels (Maximum Power Point Tracking) and 24 string inputs. For the hybrid inverter BluE series, which combines KSTAR inverters with a CATL battery solution, the latest single-phase all-in-one storage offer from KSTAR offers customers an optimal experience.
How do KSTAR PV solutions stand out from the competition with so many inverter manufacturers in the market?
Our intelligent PV technology solutions at KSTAR are full of innovations and have been introduced worldwide. The powerful GSM series installed for a 240 MW PV project in Ukraine, a 500 MW PV project in Russia and a 320 MW solar power plant in Asia all use our turnkey KSTAR DC 1500V Solution. This includes a max. DC / AC ratio up to 1.5, night SVG function, modular design for easy maintenance and full performance below 50 ° C.
In addition, together with our inverters and ESS solutions, we offer value-added services worldwide. We have 18 professional teams in different countries so that we can support local customers on time. The customer doesn’t have to worry about customer service. When purchasing our inverter and ESS solutions, our customers get access to our wireless monitoring system, so that errors or problems can be quickly identified and checked remotely. Based on our wealth of experience, most inverter problems can be resolved by upgrading the firmware and remotely controlled from our online server. This significantly reduces on-site visits and saves time for our customers.
Battery storage systems are becoming more and more important for PV systems. Where do you see the future integration of solar PV and storage – and what types of accompanying solutions do you offer the market?
Battery storage systems are very important for both small roof systems and large solar parks. Solar PV and battery storage create business opportunities for each other. With the boom in renewable energy systems, energy storage systems offer great opportunities in 2020 and 2021. The MW-scale storage market will be important in the years to come.
KSTAR offers large energy storage solutions like the GSE5000-MV turnkey solution of the GSE-MV series, which is highly integrated including an integrated converter, step-up transformer (10 kV / 35 kV) with lower system losses and battery access management. The GSE5000-MV is safe, reliable and network-friendly. The protection class IP54 is suitable for extreme outdoor environments, has an effective forced air cooling and an overload capacity of 1.1. For hybrid storage systems with CATL technology, our current product ranges offer up to 5 kW for residential applications and from 50 kW to 5000 kW for commercial and industrial applications. We offer intelligent solutions for different configurations.
China is the largest market for KSTAR. What are the top overseas companies in your company in 2020 and looking towards 2021?
For our company, we have seen emerging overseas markets in 2020. For example the residential and commercial markets in Europe and Korea; especially for energy storage products. We have done very well in both the new overseas PV and ESS markets and traditional markets over the past few years. According to reports from IHS Markit Inverter, KSTAR was a top 10 global player.
We expect more results from Europe and Australia in the energy supplier and energy storage market in 2021. In the case of hybrid storage systems, we definitely see more opportunities in markets such as the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Australia with the new products from the BluE series all-in-one solution with CATL technology. Our 1500V and 1100V string inverters will penetrate into developing markets such as the Middle East, Europe and Korea.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted your business? Certain markets such as Brazil, Mexico, India, South Africa and the United States have been severely affected by the pandemic. How do these developments affect your international business?
Our business is growing steadily this year despite a Covid-19 pandemic. We were slightly affected by the Covid-19. Some large PV projects in Europe and the Middle East are delayed, but our ESS products, developed in a joint venture with CATL, have sold well in Europe this year.
What affects our overseas business market a lot is that we cannot simply visit our customers face to face. As a result, we have often held online video meetings to discuss customer collaboration, requirements, and pre-sales and after-sales service. Training, new product introduction, etc. In fact, some customers order and pay for solar inverters and ESS right after the online meetings.
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