Shenzhen-based manufacturer, Huawei has been an innovation leader since its market entry five years ago. It first focused its research and development efforts on the large-scale segment in both China and overseas markets. More recently, it has entered the residential segment in various countries, and it is this push into distributed generation (DG) solutions that is catching the attention of established players in that segment, such as SolarEdge.
Huawei has just been served with the complaint filed by SolarEdge in Germany and is currently evaluating the claims raised in the complaint. In a statement to pv magazine, Huawei makes clear that “it does not believe that it has infringed any valid patent rights of SolarEdge and, accordingly, will defend its rights vigorously.”
The statement goes on to say, “Huawei is always customer-centric and, together with our partners, will continuously invest in R&D and technology innovation, to accelerate the positive development of the solar industry. If, to the extent that our customers receive any intellectual property (IP) infringement assertion based on Huawei products delivered, Huawei will use every means to defend our products and protect our customers not to be affected by such assertions.”
Huawei has leveraged its long and successful track record as a leading global ICT company to quickly roll out cutting-edge inverter products and solutions to the solar PV industry. It has not only developed solutions spanning various PV market segments from residential, to commercial & industrial (C&I) and utility-scale, but has also scaled up its production to earn the top spot among global inverter suppliers with over 20 GW shipped in 2016. In 2017 it maintained this leadership and passed the 30 GW milestone.
In terms of R&D and intellectual property, Huawei invested €10.4 billion in R&D in 2017, representing around 15% of its annual revenues in 2017. And Huawei ranked top among companies filing patents at the European Patent Office in 2017. These 2,390 patent applications were more than any other company in the field of digital communications, a milestone Huawei had already reached in 2016.
At Intersolar Europe this week, Huawei is showcasing its utility-scale FusionSolar 1500V Smart PV Solution, which integrates tracker data to provide a comprehensive highly digital solution for PV power plants in this market segment. For plant owners the benefits are high availability above 99.5%, as well as reduced operations & maintenance (O&M) costs through “smart O&M”.
This includes Huawei’s smart I-V curve diagnosis, which provides constant string-level monitoring to screen for possible faults and optimize plant output. But given the importance of residential solutions in Germany and other European countries, Huawei’s FusionHome Smart Energy Solution is also highlighted at the Huawei Intersolar booth and here too the strength of Huawei’s ICT background is driving digitization, high availability and ease of operation.