Posts Tagged ‘Inverter’

15 February

Dramatic Move In Solar Inverter Technology


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Just spent part of the day learning about Solar Edge’s (NASDAQ: SEDG) HD Wave Inverter Technology. This novel power conversion topology may potentially represent one of the most significant advancements in solar technology in the past 20 years. Inverters of a solar energy system converts the solar power into usable energy and its functionality is determined by the size, reliability, and efficiency.

To borrow part of the wikipedia explanation (in Italics): A solar inverter, or PV inverter, or Solar converter, converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network. It is a critical BOS–component in a photovoltaic system, allowing the use of ordinary AC-powered equipment. Solarinverters have special functions adapted for use with photovoltaic arrays, including maximum power point tracking and anti-islanding protection.

To have a better understanding of how the new HD Wave Inverter Technology differs from the traditional systems, let’s take a look at the internal view of a traditional solar inverter, with many large capacitors (blue cylinders seen in the photo below) used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform (diagram below The Guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter) . The new HD Wave Inverter technology eliminates the need for the electrolytic capacitors. It also uses less magnetics and fewer cooling components, smaller, lighter, with higher efficiency, and greater reliability.

The guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter. Internal view of a solar inverter. Note the many large capacitors (blue cylinders), used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform. Russell Neches -

The guts of the Sunny Boy 3000 inverter. Internal view of a solar inverter. Note the many large capacitors (blue cylinders), used to store energy briefly and improve the output waveform.
Russell Neches –

Square waveform with fundamental sine wave component, 3rd harmonic and 5th harmonic (Source:

Square waveform with fundamental sine wave component, 3rd harmonic and 5th harmonic

Most of the reports I’ve come across discussed the space and weight that will be reduced as a result of replacing those traditional large capacitors (blue cylinders in photos above). In reality, it is even more critical the fact that the replacement by the new HD wave  technology (thin film technology) means much lower chance of failure and may potentially allow the inverter to last as long as the complete solar system itself. Keep in mind that, now, most of the solar panels have warranty period of about 25 years, batteries typically have limited warranties of 5-10 years, and inverters have coverage of 5-10 years. So, if one takes all into consideration (longevity as well as the reduction of space, weight, and transport cost, etc.), this new HD Wave Inverter technology may potentially massively (greater than 50%) reduce the cost of inverter and overall solar system.

This is a perfect example of why cost of solar systems may continue to drop despite the fact that much had already occurred (cost of solar had already dropped tremendously these past 5 years). So, let the growing demand of solar to continue. We are ready for a sunny world!

Gathered, written, & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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12 July

Ideal Power’s 2-Port & 3-Port Hybrid Converters at InterSolar North America 2014


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links and note magenta)

I’d like to share with you an interview at InterSolar North America 2014, in Moscone Center of San Francisco, CA on July 9, 2014. The future of the multi-billion dollar solar industry depends much on the progress in combining PV with energy storage. In this post, Sun Is The Future will present to you Ideal Power’s AWARD winning 30KW Hybrid PV Storage Converter (which is becoming the de facto industry standard to enable PV+storage integration). Ideal Power received its award on June 4th during a ceremony at InterSolar Europe in Munich, Germany, the world’s largest exhibition for the solar industry. Ideal Power’s technology stood out due to its ability to combine PV and battery systems with an efficiency level of up to 97%. It also provides modular flexibility for different applications, particularly in off-grid systems. Due to the dramatic improvement in size, weight, cost, and efficiency over conventional converters, the Hybrid Converter integrates multiple power sources (i.e. PV+storage+grid) to lower the cost of delivering grid resiliency during blackouts such as Superstorm Sandy. I can’t wait to get my hands on the 3-port Hybrid Inverter/Converter (125 lbs) that will enable us to be better prepared for future natural disasters without the dependence on the grid. Currently the 2-port converter system (100 lbs) is used for demand reduction in grid-tied system (currently used in Walgreen of  Southern CA) whereas the 3-port converter will be in one box and creates its own microgrid during power outage.

Below, is an interview with John Merritt, Director of Applications Engineering, of Ideal Power, at InterSolar North America 2014:

Ideal Power’s hybrid converter is the first 3-port product to leverage the Company’s Power Packet Switching Architecture™ (PPSA), which allows it to combine PV inverter capabilities on one DC port, bi-directional battery converter capabilities on the second DC port, and provide an AC port supporting both grid-tied and off-grid applications. It can accomplish these functions with only a modest increase in product size and weight over its established 2-port battery converter and PV inverter products and with no loss of system efficiency. Conventional technology solutions to hybrid power conversion systems combining PV and storage require multiple power conversion steps, thereby reducing efficiency, and multiple power converter units, increasing size, weight and cost. (Ideal Power press release)


About Ideal Power Inc.
Ideal Power Inc. (NASDAQ: IPWR) has developed a novel, patented power conversion technology called Power Packet Switching Architecture™ (PPSA). PPSA improves the size, cost, efficiency, flexibility and reliability of electronic power converters. PPSA can scale across several large and growing markets, including commercial Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), electrified vehicle charging, and solar photovoltaic generation. Ideal Power utilizes a capital-efficient business model to commercialize our technology through the use of contract manufacturing, product licensing, and market distribution channels. Ideal Power has won multiple grants including one from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to commercialize bi-directional power switches, which are expected to improve power density by thirty percent and reduce efficiency losses by fifty percent. For more information, visit

Ideal Power Wins Electrical Energy Storage Award for Product Innovation in Integrating Solar and Storage

Ideal Power Media Contact:
Mercom Communications
Wendy Prabhu
Email Contact

Ideal Power Inc. Investor Relations Contact:
MZ North America
Matt Hayden

Email Contact

Other pertinent link:

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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1 April

What Is Solar Cell (1)?


If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at Thank you.

Due to popular demands/requests, I am going to present a series of discussions on solar cell .  A solar cell is also known as photovoltaic cell or photoelectric cell that converts the sunlight/light energy directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect (the creation of a voltage or a corresponding electric current in a material upon exposure to light).   click below:


In the photovoltaic effect, the generated electrons are transferred between different bands (i.e. from the valence to conduction bands) within the material, resulting in the buildup of a voltage between two electrodes;this  effect was first observed by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839.

Photovoltaic cells are simply cells whose light source is not necessarily of sunlight whereas solar cells are cells whose light source is that of sunlight. When  solar cells are electrically connected and encapsulated as a module to make solar modules or solar panels, solar power/energy is generated from these solar modules/panels.  Solar or photovoltaic modules usually have a sheet of glass on the front (sun up) side, allowing light to pass while protecting the semiconductor wafers from abrasion and impact due to rain, hail, debris, etc. Most of the solar cells of the solar panels on the market now a days are made of either monocrystalline silicon or polycrystalline silicon.  Monocrystalline solar cell (darker/black) is more expensive and have higher efficiency than that of polycrystalline silicon.

A solar cell made from a monocrystalline silicon wafer (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Polycrystalline photovoltaic cells laminated to backing material in a module (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Modules are then interconnected, in series or parallel or both, to create an array with the desired peak DC voltage and current.  Then the solar generated energy/electricity is often fed into the electricity grid using inverter (a device that converts direct current to alternating current);in stand-alone systems, batteries are used to store the energy for future use.  Solar panels may be used to power or                                                                                  charge portable devices.  For those of you who are thinking of projects or demonstrations for your students or children, please stay tuned in for my next blog.

~Be well and have a sunny day~

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,
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