ABB starts shipping a central inverter, an essential component in every solar installation, with a 40 percent increase in power density – ABB’s PVS980 central inverter – an essential component in every solar installation that converts direct current (DC) produced in solar panels into alternating current (AC) for use by electrical grids – increases the amount of incoming solar power connected to a single inverter by as much as 40 percent: a dramatic improvement that completely changes the economics of a solar installation. Thanks to its increased power, the PVS980 central inverter also allows operators to use 30 percent fewer inverters than previously

The high power 1500 VDC central inverter PVS980 is capable of processing more incoming direct current power from photovoltaic (PV) panels through one inverter, reducing the total number of inverters needed onsite, which helps reduce overall costs across the lifetime of a solar plant. Central inverters are used for applications such as large field installations as well as large arrays installed on buildings and industrial facilities. Originally introduced at Intersolar as a concept last year, the PVS980 is now shipping commercially and has already seen strong interest among customers, with a number of pilot projects in place.

Another attribute of the new inverter is that it is designed to seamlessly integrate into digital smart grids and operate efficiently in reducing the carbon footprint of electricity consumption.

ABB engineers have improved the compactness of the device, enabling a power density increase of more than 40 percent making it possible to build large power rated inverters in the same physical size. Avoiding external air entering the critical compartments of the inverter, the inverter can operate from below freezing to extreme heat in 100 percent humidity without jeopardizing functionality. The very wide temperature operating range, designed to withstand the toughest environments, is working without derating to up to 50°C with a water- and dustproof outdoor enclosure.

Using ABB’s innovative self-contained cooling system, the central inverter does not require refilling of liquids, and has no pumps or valves that need to be serviced. With optional remote condition monitoring, plant operators are able to gain operational data and more accurately plan maintenance.

“ABB has pushed the boundaries of development in the inverter area once again and is fully committed to the solar industry and strongly investing in R&D,“ said Stefano Giommetti, ABB’s Business Development Manager for Solar in Australia. “ABB’s leadership position in the development of larger and more powerful high quality inverters, as well as full station solutions, is the direct result of utilizing excellent local and global R&D talent to design systems to satisfy Australia’s market requirements.”


Complete inverter station solutions

In Australia, ABB actively promotes complete inverter station solutions for the solar industry, including inverters, transformers and switchgear. ABB has developed a skid based solution for the power conversion unit, integrating all key components for the power conversion and control onto a single skid solution. Available in a range of sizes from 2MVA to 4.4MVA, this solution is tailored for Australian conditions and standards.

“The locally managed solution reduces risk for customers in challenging Australian conditions and enables greater flexibility for features, with dozens of skid based installations throughout Australia,” said Rachel Hogan, ABB’s Utility Application Engineer for Solar in Australia. “The fully integrated solution also reduces the need for complex foundations; a rigid structure and included transformer bunding simplify not only the installation of the skid, but the associated civil works and logistics”.

ABB ( is a leading global technology company in power and automation that enables utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.