SolarBridge Technologies, an Austin, Texas-based provider of PV microinverter solutions, has been awarded a $1.75m grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
The company intends to 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.
Led by Ron Van Dell, president and CEO, SolarBridge has developed patented PantheonTM microinverter, which mounts directly onto solar modules, 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.
SolarBridge’s ARPA-E grant follows a $2.3m grant the company received in mid-September from the U.S. Department of Energy through its SunShot Initiative.