SolarBridge Technologies Wins U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E Grant
Project Focuses on Power Electronics R&D for Large Solar Installations
AUSTIN, Texas (October 7, 2011) – SolarBridge Technologies (SolarBridge), a leading provider of PV microinverter solutions, has been awarded a $1.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The grant is one of ARPA-E’s 60 cutting-edge research projects announced last week that are worth a combined $156 million, aimed at dramatically improving how the U.S. produces and uses energy.
The goal of the ARPA-E project is to accelerate innovation in clean energy technologies while increasing U.S. competitiveness and creating jobs. The selections focus specifically on breakthroughs in rare earth alternatives, biofuels, thermal storage, grid controls and solar power electronics.
SolarBridge will use the funds to perform advanced research and development for a new electronic technique that improves the output of solar panels. The technique is specifically aimed at large solar power plants, where many solar panels are connected together. The technology, called Differential Power Processing (DPP), involves correcting the power differences that inherently occur when two solar modules, encountering different amounts of sun, are connected together. The power conversion device incorporating DPP will be much smaller and less expensive than current electronic solutions. SolarBridge will collaborate on the project with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
“We are pleased to participate in groundbreaking research that is part of a national clean energy initiative,” said Ron Van Dell, president and CEO of SolarBridge. “From the beginning, SolarBridge’s goal has been to accelerate the adoption of solar energy. The ARPA-E grant will help us make our goal a reality.”
ARPA-E had previously awarded $365.7 million in funds to approximately 120 energy projects, across seven program areas. This most recent round of grants adds another 60 projects and five program areas, for a total of $521.7 million in awards.
SolarBridge’s ARPA-E grant follows a $2.3 million grant which the company received in mid-September from the U.S. Department of Energy through its SunShot Initiative. The program’s goal is to reduce the cost of solar energy systems by 75 percent by 2020.
About SolarBridge Technologies
SolarBridge Technologies, a leader in integrated microinverter technologies for the solar industry, is working to accelerate the adoption of solar energy through innovations in solar power electronics. SolarBridge’s patented PantheonTM microinverter mounts directly onto solar modules, greatly increasing system efficiency and reliability, while reducing the cost of solar installation and maintenance. The Pantheon microinverter is designed to match the lifetime of solar modules, enabling module manufacturers to provide a 25-year warranty on their AC modules. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit www.solarbridgetech.com.
Shelton Group for SolarBridge
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