The Solar Digest for Solar Power, Solar Energy and Photovoltaic PV News - Market Research
SMA Voted Number One PV Inverter Brand in Survey of Global Customer Base
- Published: Thursday, 24 January 2013 18:08
A new survey conducted by IMS Research of more than 400 photovoltaic (PV) inverter purchasers has revealed that the most preferred PV inverter brand globally in 2012 was SMA Solar Technology.
IMS Research’s recently released report PV Inverter Customer Survey – World - 2013 analyses the results of the survey and reveals the reasons behind PV inverter customers’ choice of supplier and product.
In total, 74 brands were mentioned in survey responses, which was a significant increase from the number mentioned just one year ago. SMA Solar Technology received almost one-third of the votes and ranked as the number one preferred brand in Germany, Italy, U.K. and the U.S. Globally, the top four brands have not changed over the past year. However, there were several new entrants to the top 10, including two U.S. suppliers - Advanced Energy and Enphase.
The survey also highlighted the importance of warranty and aftersales service plans for customers, with more than 90 percent of respondents indicating that they are ‘important for most projects’ or ‘critical for all projects.’ According to the customers surveyed, the most important service offered from a manufacturer was extra fast response time in service cases, followed by remote system monitoring. “Considering the highly competitive nature of the PV market, attractive warranty and service offerings, and a good reputation for offering excellent after-sales support is becoming a highly important way in which PV inverter suppliers can strengthen their brand and gain market share,” commented Sam Wilkinson, manager of IMS Research’s PV inverter and BoS research and analysis.
PV inverter suppliers were also ranked by respondents as to which suppliers offer the most attractive warranty and service plans. Once again, SMA Solar Technology ranked first with more than 35 percent of the votes, followed by Fronius. New entrants in the top 10 included U.S. microinverter supplier, Enphase, and Kostal.
In total, more than 400 purchasers of PV inverters including distributors, installers, integrators, EPCs and wholesalers were surveyed by IMS Research to understand more about their requirements when choosing an inverter and a supplier.