Morningstar Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of solar controllers and inverters. Proven on all seven continents and in a myriad of off-grid solar electric powering applications, Morningstar’s products have been delivering the industry’s best overall customer value for more than twenty-five years. Setting new standards in performance, innovative features, quality and reliability Morningstar’s products are an integral power electronic component in more than two million PV power installations.
Speaking on African market Mark Cerasuolo, Marketing director states that, “We think Africa is easily the most vital of global markets for off-grid solar currently. There are a number of reasons for this. For one, the continent is developing very rapidly, with new economic strengths driving the need for new infrastructure. Africa needs to rapidly increase its electricity production to meet that demand, and while the topographical nature of the continent presents difficulties putting in electrical grids and supplying fuel to power stations, sunshine is more abundant here than any other region on Earth. That and the ability of solar electricity to generate decentralized, local electricity make it ideal for Africa’s emerging needs.
One needs look no further than communications and wireless telephony as a parallel example, and how it is growing exponentially in Africa and other developing countries, since the physical typologies are actually similar. Voice and data communications were once rigidly tied to “hard infrastructure” – copper lines, central offices, et cetera. Wireless technology and cellular communications made “leapfrog” developments possible in developing nations. They no longer had to wait for and invest in the same physical wired networks with this new, localized transmission technology. Increasingly, solar is powering telecommunications systems across Africa for this reason. It reduces the need for fueling and maintaining generators so lowers operational costs, and increases on-site reliability.
Solar electricity is the same with operators, settlements, cities and towns and even entire countries able to bypass the wired stage and go straight to localized electricity production and access with solar. So we envision that the application, penetration rates and growth curve for solar power will at least be equal to what we saw for mobile networks, and probably even surpass it since the second needs the first (sources of electricity) to continue its growth”.
Projects in Africa
They have been involved in everything from small rural village electrification to large telecommunications and other infrastructure projects. Their products power systems serving vast national parks in Zimbabwe, schools across West Africa, urban public WiFi access systems in Kenya, radio stations around the continent, oil & gas fields in North Africa, and much more. Since 2012 Morningstar’s Apollo Series solar powering systems were installed with telecommunications towers in Mali, Senegal, Madagascar, Morocco, Egypt, Niger, and Centrafrique, all with challenging climates requiring exceptionally rugged, weatherized components. With over 1,000 of these systems now running, some for the entire eight-year period, the results regarding reliability, cost, battery life, and greenhouse gas avoidance are impressive.
Uniqueness of their products and services
They are the solar charging experts in off-grid PV for over a quarter of a century, and—unlike many other companies who have the same management and ownership. They are employee-owned, which is the main reason why they are so focused on maintaining the industry’s lowest hardware failure rate and highest reliability. In challenging conditions and remote circumstances, Morningstar’s hallmark features such as superior thermal design (no fans, no moving parts to fail) and hardened, weatherized construction to resist the elements are inherent advantages over any other brand. The company has over 20 patents and a dozen trademarks, leading the field in off-grid power conversion technology. Their low turnover and team approach fosters an environment where technical creativity thrives, resulting in an IP portfolio that’s very broad and comprehensive covering; thermal engineering, mechanical design, charging and control, advanced electronic topologies, safety systems, and more.
Morningstar is increasingly being found anywhere there’s demand for “greening the network” and improving sustainability. It’s part of the trend in using off-grid solar for more than strictly remote, off-grid applications. For resiliency, solar is proving more cost-effective and reliable for back-up power than generators which require regular fueling and maintenance. Our charge controllers achieve higher system efficiency through TrakStar MPPT technology and also are network compatible with Modbus and SNMP open protocols, making them ideal for system designers who want to extract every Watt possible out of their PV investment along with effectively monitor and control their networked power systems. More than 25 years of experience and over four million products in over 100 countries – most of them still in operation – are what’s behind Morningstar’s reputation for building the “world’s leading solar controllers.”
Morningstar has product distributors in 15 countries on the continent, who support local system design and installation specialists in many locations.