In today’s perspective, the first order from the Indian market was quite small, with just 2.5 MW of capacity for its inverter business, but it was a milestone in a new market. With the rapid growth in the Indian PV market since 2014, TBEA Electric achieved flourishing sales growth to match. Its inverter orders exceeded 1.2 GW in 2017, and its total installed capacity for its inverters in the Indian market currently exceeds 3 GW.
Aside from sales of TBEA’s traditional products, the Indian market has also provided the company with the opportunity for new product trials of its latest technologies and applications under complicated scenarios. In 2019, when the 1,500 V 208 kW string inverter was developed and ready for market launch, it was first deployed on an Indian project. The trial proved the technology’s feasibility and advantages, providing a successful example for other customers in the international market.
Xu Yiyao, vice general manager of TBEA Electric, has participated and witnessed the company’s global market expansion – attesting that great achievements for TBEA’s global market expansion have been gained from the Indian market. “As an international inverter enterprise that entered the Indian market early, TBEA Electric has always been committed to providing the Indian market with system solutions of the best LCOE (levelized cost of energy),” Xu says of the company’s past success.
Since its entrance into the market, TBEA has become one of the top three inverter suppliers in India, with more than 3 GW of capacity currently installed in the country. The company has projects installed in a range of environmental conditions across India, such as the Bhadhla desert of Rajasthan, the hills of Uttarakhand, and the wetlands of Odessa. “With so many local photovoltaic benchmarking projects, TBEA Electric won a good reputation here and became one of the top inverter brands in the Indian market,” says Yiyao.
With its successful footing in India, TBEA has since expanded to other overseas markets. The Asia-Pacific region is familiar in many ways, which is why it became the second step in the company’s expansion process.
Southeast Asian countries show promise for PV development, with an abundance of sunshine. In conjunction with continuous cost reductions, solar PV is quickly becoming the most competitive renewable energy source for the market, and it has the support of regional governments. As one of the most active manufacturing regions of the global economy, power demand across Southeast Asia is increasing by approximately 6% per year. “All of these factors make Southeast Asia one of the best solar PV markets – and TBEA doesn’t want to miss the chance to participate,” says Yiyao.
With several years’ hard work, TBEA Electric has delivered iconic projects to several key Southeast Asian markets, including Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. “All of those projects are operating stably, contributing continual power and profits to investors,” says Yiyao, noting that this has gained the company high praise across the region.
However, TBEA Electric has not ignored marketing opportunities in other countries. In Australia, the company has successfully developed large SVG projects in South Australia, among other states. It is also moving into the solar PV inverter and microgrid market.
And in the Middle East, TBEA Electric has established strong partnerships with active large international developers and local EPCs to deliver many solar PV projects – expanding beyond inverters and SVG products.
“The 45 MVar + 30 MVar water-cooling SVG power quality solution that has been installed for the Saudi-based 300 MW solar project last December was a good example representing the quality, credibility, and reputation of TBEA’s products,” Yiyao says in reference to the Middle Eastern market. “Because this Sakaka project is the first utility PV project since the Saudi Arabian ‘Vision 2030’ national energy strategy was released, it has received great attention.”
With TBEA’s water/electric isolation technology, the SVG eliminates electrical short-circuit problems caused by water leakage when device failures occur and improve product lifetime by stepping down the IGBT peak voltage. The company’s SVG adopts the technology of IGBT temperature real-time monitoring to stabilize module performance and uses waterway parallel connection and pipeline equalization technology to optimize heat dissipation balance and pressure. “We have achieved 99.9% utilization efficiency, which is not easy,” says Yiyao.
In its process of internationalization, the company says TBEA respects the cultural differences between Chinese companies and local employees and markets, balancing know-how between localization and internationalization. “When we first decide to enter a particular market, we study the country across many aspects – including policies, laws, commercial customs, traditions, and etiquette,” says Yiyao. “And when we establish local branches, we hire local staff with profound industrial and business experience, and we learn about the market and customers from them.”
From his perspective, having a strong international team accompanied by “localized staff and innovative solutions are key to opening the international market.”
“Our Chinese employees cooperate with regional colleagues and establish a working environment of harmony, so its balanced in localization and internationalization,” Yiyao says.
And now, TBEA has built its first gigawatt-level overseas production base, located in Bangalore, India. The facility possesses brand new production lines for both 1,500 V string inverters and centralized inverters.
“This has enhanced our global delivery and operation and maintenance capability, and has a significant influence on TBEA’s overseas markets development of new energy equipments,” Yiyao says, noting India’s importance to the company among international markets.
“We have already entered active PV markets including Australia, Algeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Chile, Spain, Ukraine, Bulgaria, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and other countries – but we are targeting more countries and markets,” says Yiyao. “It is our deep hope to make this world greener and cleaner, with the products of TBEA.”
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