The results of a new survey, conducted by IMS Research, reveal that there is a growing approval of Chinese solar inverters worldwide, with the UK ranked as one of the most accepting markets. The results also highlight an increase in the use of three-phase string and microinverters.

IMS Research’s PV Inverter Customer Opinions & Requirements Survey report looks into PV inverter buyer trends, considering tendencies when selecting an inverter and a vendor.

Out of the 400 purchasers of PV inverters surveyed in the final quarter of last year, 30 percent said Chinese inverters were of acceptable quality. There was very strong brand preference for Western suppliers of inverters, with SMA Solar Technology confirmed as the front-runner, yet many customers indicated that they also trust Chinese brands.

However, the survey also highlighted a desire for increased reliability, functionality and yield, with more than half of the respondents saying they were prepared to pay a premium for a 1 percent yield gain.

In addition, the report comments on the increased use of microinverters and three-phase string inverters worldwide, with more than 70 percent of respondents indicating they would consider using a string inverter in PV systems over 750kW and over 10 percent claiming they intend to use microinverters for some of their projects in the next 12-24 months.

Yet, while more customers are considering using microinverters, the survey also found that many are put of this technology as it is more expensive and remains a new and somewhat unproven tool.