A strong partner of the Energiewende for over two decades

Inverters from KACO new energy as the heart of the PV revolution

Neckarsulm, 13 December 2019 – In the autumn of 1999 – the idea of a Renewable Energy Sources Act in Germany could only be guessed at – a handful of idealists climbed on the roofs of Baden-Württemberg's pioneers to install PV systems. In their luggage they had the world's first transformerless string inverter, a KACO Blue Planet PVI 2600. Twenty, sometimes stormy years later, KACO new energy GmbH continues to be regarded as a reliable partner of the German Energiewende and a growing solar community that is driving the global energy transition.

blueplanet 10.0 TL3 and PVI 2600 inverters

Inverter evolution: Today's blueplanet 10.0 TL3 (left) has four times more power than the PVI 2600 20 years ago, but the same size.

Matthias Haag and a PVI 2600 inverter

Matthias Haag (left), Head of Technology at KACO new energy, at one of the inverters that he co-installed in the home of the Britsch family 20 years ago.

Valerij Dörheim and a PVI 2600 inverter

A man from the very beginning: Valerij Dörheim, Shift Manager Repair, screwed, soldered and tested the first KACO new energy inverters 20 years ago.

The installation of these PV systems was undertaken by the first partners of a young company that had just specialised in the development and production of power converters. The inverter specialists were Ralf Hofmann and Matthias Haag, who themselves had proven with the first transformerless topology that grid-feed inverters can work safely without galvanic isolation – and with significantly higher efficiencies. Their young company was called KACO Gerätetechnik GmbH.

From transformerless topology to silicon carbide inverters
At the beginning of 2009, the "Gerätetechnik" became KACO new energy GmbH. Today, the company has 800,000 inverters in the field worldwide, which means a delivered capacity of more than 13 gigawatts. Important stations along this path were central inverters for the solar boom in Southern Europe, the first three-phase inverters with higher output and the trend towards maximum output in the smallest space: While the first central inverter with 100 kilowatts of output weighed over a ton, the same output can now be conveniently hung on the wall at less than 80 kilograms. This was made possible by a further innovative step by KACO new energy: the first serially produced inverters with innovative power semiconductors made of silicon carbide (SiC). These make it possible for the blueplanet 150 TL3 to achieve an extraordinary power density of almost two kilowatts per kilogram.

Inverters from climate-friendly production
All this has always been done with the aim of working in an ecologically exemplary manner. Since 2006, CO2-neutral production has taken place, initially through the supply of electricity by a green electricity supplier, later thanks to the company's own PV systems. Many partners from the very beginning and KACO new energy welded their pioneering days together; inverters from Neckarsulm are still in the range of these customers. Ralf Hofmann, Managing Director of KACO new energy, therefore describes another important characteristic in addition to sophisticated technology as follows: "We have always attached great importance to being directly accessible for distributors, installers and end customers and to consider their ideas and wishes in our developments. Even when steep growth presented our company with many new challenges, we have remained true to this down-to-earth approach".

Since the end of April 2019, KACO new energy has been a subsidiary of Siemens AG.

About KACO new energy
KACO new energy, a subsidiary of Siemens AG, is headquartered in Neckarsulm, Germany and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of inverters for grid-feed solar power. The product line-up recommends itself for the full power spectrum from PV systems for single-family homes and commercial and industrial enterprises to solar parks producing megawatts of electricity. Since 1999, KACO new energy has supplied inverters with a cumulative power output of 13 gigawatts. In addition to grid-tied string inverters, the product range also includes hybrid and battery inverters for energy storage, accessories for grid management and operations and maintenance services. KACO new energy is the first company in the photovoltaic industry to achieve CO2-neutral production. In 2014, KACO new energy celebrated the 100th birthday of the original parent company which, at the end of the 1930s, was one of first ever inverter manufacturers. More at https://kaco-newenergy.com/

Contact presse
KACO new energy GmbH
Kai Block
Associate Corporate Communications
Carl-Zeiss-Str. 1
74172 Neckarsulm
+49 7132 896-0

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