FIMER is a well-established company that rose from humble beginnings in 1942. It started making simple welding equipment and over time has expanded to a sprawling multinational corporation, with a direct presence in twenty-six countries in five different continents.
FIMER’s geographic distribution reaches over one hundred different countries today.
It is safe to say that FIMER is a success story.
Today the company is well established in the energy industry with its core business being manufacturing of solar inverters and electric vehicle battery charging technology. Up until recently, FIMER’s emphasis was only on producing industrial/utility level (mainly central) inverters, capable of handling hundreds of thousands of kVA. This changed just last year (2020) when FIMER acquired ABB’s solar inverter division. The acquisition has enabled FIMER to enter the residential and Commercial & Industrial inverter market. These inverters are sufficient for the consumption needs of the average Australian household and business. When FIMER completed the ABB acquisition in March 2020, it became the fourth largest solar inverter manufacturer in the world.
ABB, or ASEA Brown Boveri, is a Fortune Global 500 company, headquartered in Zurich. ABB is a conglomerate of two companies, ASEA (Allmänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget), founded in 1883 by Ludvig Fredholm in Sweden, and BB&C (Brown, Boveri & Cie), a Swiss company founded by Charles Eugene Lancelot Brown and Walter Boveri in 1891. The two merged in 1987 and formed ABB. Today, ABB is a leading producer of a wide variety of electronic goods, ranging from complex robots to simple circuits.
In 2004, ABB entered the solar industry and began producing solar inverters after acquiring an Italian company, Power-One. At the time, Power-One was widely acclaimed as one of the best solar inverter manufacturers in the world.
The point of sharing the stories of these companies is to highlight that solar inverter business inherited by FIMER has a long and storied tradition of excellence. In addition to this, the inverters have always been manufactured in Italy, and not in China. Ergo, quality, and more importantly, consistency in production, will not be an issue. This is not to say that Chinese products are unreliable or of a lower quality, but as with LONGi, issues of reliability and consistency may arise with time. The same cannot be said for FIMER.
FIMER’s taking over of ABB’s business unit changes nothing. FIMER has retained the management, production lines and even the staff, as they were under ABB. What more, the inverters will be branded ABB for the foreseeable future. The acquired inverter range from ABB Solar will begin to see the brand change to FIMER in mid-2021. FIMER’s new Three-Phase range will be under the FIMER branding. This fuse less range is slated for release in April 2021, and will come in 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 30 and 33 kW ranges.
In another display of good business practices, FIMER also announced that it will honour any and all of ABB Solar Business’ outstanding warranties and liabilities world over. FIMER/ABB is well established in the Australian market with a strong local presence and familiar faces to Australian customers. There is no reason to believe, nor is there any indication that this will change anytime soon.
FIMER has a strong commitment to sustainable energy and keeping the planet green and clean. The company aims to realize their vision by laying emphasis on the distributed generation of solar energy via transmission systems including microgrids that interconnect electrical loads with national and independent power sources and storage solutions.
FIMER currently has over 1,100 employees in 26 countries, and its skills are further strengthened by the bold and agile approach that sees it consistently invest in research and development. Currently, FIMER has three dedicated R&D facilities to ensure that it remains on the cutting edge of solar inverter technology.
FIMER Australia has 25 employees at its head office in Melbourne and Sydney where their warehouse, and a state-of-the-art repair & support centre is located.
FIMER’s beliefs are well aligned with Integra Australia, and we are proud to be a major FIMER distribution partner, offering their complete range of single and three-phase inverters and their energy storage solutions for the residential and commercial markets.
Made in Italy, FIMER Products provide high performance, reliability and flexibility packed with technological features including fantastic warranty coverage.
FIMER Company & Product Highlights:
- Founded in 1942
- 26 Countries, 5 Continents
- 4th Largest Global Inverter Company
- String inverters are designed and made in Italy
- 11+ GW Production
- 46+ GW installed capacity
- Australian presence with offices, warehouse and local support staff
- Leading technological features
- Highest quality with easy commissioning capability
- Wireless access and web user interface
- Free monitoring for life
- Dynamic Feed-in Control
- Remote Firmware Upgrade
- Built-in DC Isolators
- Single & Three Phase, Hybrid and Battery Solutions
So what does FIMER bring to the table?
Delving deeper into the company’s product lineup, it becomes apparent that FIMER offers a wide range of inverters. Whatever the demand, FIMER more likely than not will have a solution.
Integra is proud to help expand the reach of FIMER and their wide range of high-quality inverters to the Australian market, and we anticipate customers will receive them exceptionally well.
FIMER’s smallest inverter range begins at 1.2kW. The inverter is a single-phase string inverter, which can be used to power four to five solar panels. From there on, it is upwards and onwards. The largest FIMER inverter is a central inverter that can manage ~5MW or fifteen to eighteen thousand solar panels.
At Integra, we are confident that there is no solar setup that FIMER cannot manage, be it a small backyard generator, or a massive solar farm. In terms of competition, FIMER is usually a step ahead of its contemporaries. Starting with warranties, it is apparent that FIMER can deliver. They offer a ten-year warranty on all residential inverters and a five-year warranty on all commercial inverters. This is a departure from the norm. Most companies only offer a five-year warranty on domestic inverters. Customers have to pay an extra premium if they want to get the full ten-year coverage. FIMER’s Warranty is unique in that the company’s small range inverters have a ten-year full replacement warranty. So regardless of what happens, FIMER will cover the cost of replacing the inverter. Many other brands may only cover the cost of parts, so the homeowner will be left to cover the cost of labour and shipping, which can add up. FIMER is the one of the few companies that currently offers such an extensive warranty coverage.
This brings us to the question of FIMER’s ability to honour existing warranties. Well, unlike newer and younger companies, there is little doubt that FIMER, an eighty-year-old company can honour its warranties. Not only is FIMER in excellent financial health, but the company is diverse and robust enough to weather a good amount of turbulence, should unfortunate events like COVID-19 arise.
FIMER inverters are often more flexible than comparable inverters offered by Fronius, like the Ecos, and lower priced than the Symos. They are also usually far more reliable than competing brands, as they have fewer superfluous parts. Additional parts lead to added complexity, which can lead to comparatively frequent breakdowns. Lesser parts not only is testament to FIMER/ABB’s superior engineering, but the long-term benefits are undeniable.
At 27kW, the Eco-27 is Fronius’ largest inverter. For a 100kW system, a customer would have to string three Eco-27s together. Alternatively, a customer could just purchase a FIMER PVS-100, or link together two PVS-50s. Now, it is worth mentioning that Fronius did plan to release 50kW and 100kW inverters in 2020, but the design specs of these revealed that they will have only one MPPT. This gives it a lot fewer options for panel and string design than the FIMER PVS-100, which has six MPPTs.
Another example of how FIMER is ahead of the crowd is that they have the technology to find the absolute maximum power point, and have had it since 2011. SMA has been touting its ShadeFix technology’s ability to find the absolute maximum, but this is not new to FIMER. FIMER’s PowerGain technology will optimize the energy produced by the solar system regardless of where shading occurs.
FIMER inverters also come with Wi-Fi monitoring, which can connect to an online platform like FIMER’s Aurora Vision, on both a computer or through an app. If combined with an energy meter, the inverter can monitor electricity consumption as well as production. FIMER also has weather stations and irradiance sensors that Aurora Vision could theoretically be connected to. This could, in theory, be used to compare definite and predicted outputs based on weather patterns. Now, this will not come cheap, but for large, commercial solar projects, it may be worth it the cost.
In conclusion, it is a safe assumption that a customer cannot go wrong with FIMER. The company is large, robust, and has a long proud history. Its products are reliable and its management is sound. FIMER is probably going to be doing business, and quite a lot of it, for many years to come.